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Job Applications

How do I fill out an application that will get me hired?

You're looking for your first job or a new one, and the employer asks you to fill out an application.  What now?  How do I fill it out?  What information can I leave out?  Relax, take a moment to think about your answers, and read the information below.  Here is some information that will help you get an interview to get that dream job!

The Definition
An application form is usually the first thing an employer looks at that will give them an idea of who you are and see if they want to hire you. This is your opportunity to show that you are qualified for the job. The application is made up of different parts that will show an employer that you have what it takes for the job.
From an application employers find out:
  • Personal information such as name, address, and social security number
  • Education history that includes schools attended and whether you received your diploma or any degrees
  • Employment history such as where you have worked and what your duties were on the job
  • Personal references that will be able to tell a potential employer what kind of person or worker you are
Filling out the application
  • When you pick up the application, dress as if you were going for an interview in nice clean clothes and make sure you are well groomed; you may get an interview on the spot
  • Be prepared to fill out the application by having a blue or black pen to write with, a small dictionary to check your spelling, and if possible a "white out" pen to correct mistakes
  • Make sure to read each question carefully and think about your answer before you start writing, this will help to prevent mistakes
  • Follow all instructions on the application and fill it out correctly, this will show the employer that you pay attention to detail
  • Fill in all the blanks so the employer knows you didn't leave it blank on purpose, if a question doesn't apply to you put a line through it or put "N/A" in the space provided
  • If there is a question that might hurt your chances of getting the job, write in "Will discuss in interview" and be prepared to explain your situation in the interview
Powering up your application
  • There is only so much space in on an application so make your words count by being prepared and choosing your words carefully.
  • Don't try and cut corners by putting "See attached resume" or "same as above"; this shows that you are taking the lazy way out of filling out your application.
  • Read the front and back of the application before you start writing to make sure you can answer all the questions and follow instructions.
  • Take two applications if possible; this way you can practice writing down your answers on one and then transfer your final answers to the clean copy.
  • Neatness counts so make sure you can read your application, type it out if possible or make sure your handwriting is neat, free of mistakes, and easy to read.
  • Have someone read your application before you turn it in, they will catch mistakes you've made that you may have missed.

Workshops are offered on this topic and many others, so be sure to check out our Workshop Listings.

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