Many employers prefer people to complete an application form rather than send in a CV. From an employer’s perspective this has the advantage of enabling them to:
- deter unsuitable/unmotivated applicants;
- create a focus on areas relevant to the job;
- control information that applicants provide on areas relevant to the job; and
- compare potential applicants.
Some application forms ask for a personal statement. Employers often specify the type of information they expect to be covered in this section but where no direction is offered you need to provide:
- reasons for your interest in the role and in the organisation; and
- evidence that you have the skills, knowledge and experience required.
Hints and tips for completing application forms
- Read the form through carefully and note any specific instructions.
- Draft answers in a word processing document first; then transfer them to the application form. This will enable you to check for spelling and grammatical errors and word count.
- Tailor your answers to relate to the job description and the person specification.
- Think about why the employer may be asking a particular question. What information is being sought? If the question is competency-based (i.e. asking for a particular example of when you did something) what skill is being assessed?
- Use different examples for different questions.
- Stick to word limits and always keep a copy of the form so that you can revisit what you wrote if asked to attend an interview.