At some point in your job search you are likely to encounter application forms. While the rest of the world seems to have moved on to PC based documents, for some reason many employers still use paper based application forms, and the truth is that most job applicants hate them!
Having said that, like anything else you have to do, it makes sense to figure out how to do it to the best of your abilities. So what are the secrets to successfully completing application forms?
Have your information ready: First and foremost you need to have all your essential information ready before you start writing. All application forms are going to want to know the basics - your personal details (name, address, e-mail, contact number etc), and information on your previous work experience and your training and qualifications.
Make sure that you not only have all this information at hand before you begin writing, but that you have also taken the time to think about things like a brief description of your duties at previous employers. Anything that requires you to actually write should be thought through and figured out on your PC before you write it down. Make sure that the changes and editing work happens on the PC so that your final application is not full of mistakes and crossings-out.
In addition it's also a good idea to have thought about and written things like a summary of your achievements, and a personal profile that introduces you and talks about what you are looking for in your career.
Make sure that the information you have fits the space available: If you have already written a wonderful personal profile, or good descriptions of your duties at a previous employer, make sure that what you have is the appropriate length for the form. If they want 100 words for your profile and your is currently 200, it's time to get editing.
Take your time: These days most of us don't do a lot of actual writing. If you are writing your form by hand, slow down and take your time so that the form looks neat. Take breaks if necessary, but don't rush it, or your writing will get worse and worse as you progress through the form.
If you plan it out and take your time, your hand written application will be a credit to you, making an employer want to offer you an interview.