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Top Tips for Completing Job Applications

How do you master completing job applications so that yours stands out? These top tips will get your application to the top of the pile to be invited for that crucial interview!

1. BE SPECIFIC

Completing an application form has very similar principles and technique to completing a C.V. However, an application form has specific questions to answer and evidence.
Your main aim when completing an application form is for the person shortlisting to be able to put a ‘tick in the box’ that says you meet the criteria.

2. ESSENTIAL CRITERIA FIRST

Focus on the essential criteria, as you must meet these to be offered interview.  If you have a restricted word count, then evidence the essential criteria first and then provide any other criteria mentioned. Keep your statements clear and concise.

3. KEEP IT RELEVANT

Use relevant experience to show transferable skills. Think about the examples you have and use one that gives a good image of you doing the job you have applied for. The example you give should either be direct and recent experience, or an example of when you have recently used the same skills, demonstrating that you can transfer them into the role you have applied for.

4. PASS THE SIMPLE TEST

Avoid abbreviations and acronyms unless the person shortlisting is likely to know what this is.  Avoid jargon.  If in doubt write in full.

5. USE YOUR SPACE AND WORD COUNT WISELY

Word count may be limited, so answers need to be specific and ensure that you hit the required points.  Double check that you have not exceeded the word limit.

6. CONSIDER WHO MAY BE SHORTLISTING

Some companies use a recruitment or HR team to shortlist. This person may not know or understand the role that you have applied for so check that your answers would be clear regardless of who is completing the shortlist.

7. USE STRONG, POSITIVE, POWERFUL LANGUAGE

Strengthen your answers with strong and powerful language as well as evidencing experience. Remove words that weaken or undermine your experience and abilities.

8. MIRROR LANGUAGE

Mirror the language from the questions in your answers, highlighting keywords in the question and check that they appear in your answers.
Repeat the question back as a statement.

Q. Demonstrate experience of completing application forms
A. I have ten years of experience completing application forms.  An example of this is…

9. DO YOUR ANSWERS REFLECT THE ROLE YOU HAVE APPLIED FOR?

Check the language used and examples given.  Do they reflect the level of role you have applied for?  Have you written your answers with the role in mind?

10. RESEARCH THE ORGANISATION

Research the organisation online, check their mission statement and core values. Aim to mention these in your answers, as this will resonate with the person shortlisting, show that you have taken time to research and that you are a suitable fit for the organisation.

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