Your resume can be amazing, your cover letter can be articulate and well written, but what about your job application? The application is an important part of the hiring process. Many companies will not proceed with an interview without a completed job application. How you fill out the application matters and believe it or not, there is a wrong way to do it.
Why do you need to fill out a job application if you have already submitted a resume?
Your resume highlights your skills, experience and education. This is very helpful but it is one sided. It is your personal assessment of the things you think would be important for an employer to know. The job application is the employer’s run through of what is important. Your resume and the application may share some similar information but both will need to be completed.
Is there a wrong way to fill out a job application?
Yes! There is indeed a wrong way to fill out an application. Do not rush through the application. If possible, print off a job application from the company’s website or pick up a hard copy from the company prior to an interview if you have not previously submitted one. Read the instructions carefully and thoroughly. If you put the wrong information in a certain spot or don’t complete the information completely, the hiring manager may feel that you didn’t pay attention to the details or were not able to follow directions. Both of which are a big no-no.
Tips for Filling Out the Application
The following tips will help you complete the company application in the most concise way possible.
- Use good penmanship. Handwriting is not just a class you take in elementary school! It really counts for something especially when filling out a job application. Fill out your job application with blue or black ink and use legible writing. Avoid cursive unless it is easy to read. If possible download the application to your computer and type in the information the print off a copy. Hiring managers will not take the time to decipher your handwriting, they will simply toss your application aside and move on to the next one.
- Don’t leave any blank spaces. To show your attention to detail fill out all applicable information and write “N/A” in any categories that do not apply to you. Blank spaces leave a question as to whether you purposely left an area blank. This also applies to sections of the application that cover your work history. Do not write “See Resume” in the work history portion. Copy the information directly from resume into this section.
- Be transparent. Be upfront about gaps in employment or other factors that may affect your employment. Don’t not bend the facts or embellish your resume in an attempt to secure a job. If you are caught lying on your application, you are almost guaranteed to lose your shot at employment.
Completing a clear and concise job application is an important part of the recruitment process and you should take time to fill it out properly. Your job application in combination with your resume and cover letter are often the first glimpse your potential employer gets of you. Make a memorable first impression by filling out your documents the right way.