A job application form and your CV should be seen as a opportunity for you to market yourself to potential employers.

Typically on receiving a batch of application forms or CV’s a employers will only spend 2 to 3 minutes quickly scanning and comparing each one. It is therefore vital that your application quickly stands out and gets noticed.


Analyse the job advert
Before filling in any job application form you should first of all carefully read the whole job advert. From this description pick out key skills and competencies required by the employer and make a list of them.

By doing this you now have a understanding of exactly what the employer wants to see in any candidate.


Tailor your application to the job advert
Using the job advert as a reference point fill in any application form or create a resume specifically targeted at the vacancy you are applying for. Demonstrate and if possible give examples of relevant achievements and responsibilities.


Research the job sector you want to work in and select specific industry related CV power words. Include these keywords in your application and highlight them to make sure they are noticed.


Personal attributes and strengths
In any application mention and demonstrate the following personal skills:


Proof reading & spelling mistakes
Finally before sending in a application, go over it to make sure there are nor grammatical errors in it. Get a friend to proof read it for you.


Tips when filling in a application form:

  • Make sure that you answer all of the questions.
  • Read every question carefully and ensure that you understand it, then focus on giving it a relevant answer. See questions as an opportunity to impress recruiters by giving a industry specific, relevant and detailed answer.
  • Do not include or attach a CV or certificates unless you are asked to.
  • Answer ‘open’ questions by listing those skills and abilities that are relevant to the question or vacancy.


Keep copies of sent application forms
If you are invited for a interview then these can be very handy in referring back to. If you have applied for many vacancies then you can easily loose track of what you have said in them.


Related topics:

How to sell yourself

Job application cover letter 

Job acceptance letter