How to Fill Out a Job Application Form
When you apply for a job, you are usually required to fill out a job application
form. Depending on the employer, an application may be submitted on paper or
online. More companies have been using online applicantions. Most employers review your application before they choose to see you.
It can also form an important first impression of you. To increase your chances
for an interview, follow these guidelines:
- Read the entire form carefully. Know what is being asked before filling out the form. Answer each item truthfully. Employers may use the application form to judge how well you follow instructions and how careful you may be as an employee.
- Fill in the blanks completely, accurately,
neatly, and to the best of your ability. Answer all questions. Answers should
be brief and consistent. Write "not applicable" when it does not
apply to you. Check your answers for correct spelling, grammar, punctuation,
completeness, and accuracy.
- If submitting the application in paper form, type the form if possible.
- Describe all of your skills and abilities.
- Know the deadline for applying and where to send your application.
- Be prepared to answer the following basic parts of an application form:
Have copies of transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other documents ready to attach to your application form.
Keep a copy of your completed application so you can review it before your interview.
- PERSONAL INFORMATION:
List name, mailing and/or email address, and phone number. If you do not have a phone
number, have a number where messages can be left for you.
- POSITION DESIRED:
Spell correctly the job for which you are applying. You may be asked to
specify full-time, part-time, or temporary, and the days and hours you can
- EDUCATION AND TRAINING: List academic, business, trades, armed forces, and professional education and schools attended. Include apprenticeships, job-related training, and relevant courses. Be prepared to attach copies of certificates or other documents.
- SPECIAL JOB-RELATED SKILLS,
AND LICENSES: Listing these will make you stand out from other
applicants. List the types of equipment and tools that you are able to use
and the licenses you have. List ability to speak and write other languages
if relevant to the job for which you apply.
- EMPLOYMENT HISTORY (BEGIN WITH MOST RECENT JOB): List employer's name, current address and telephone number, supervisor, position title, dates of employment, and beginning and ending salaries. Describe your job duties clearly. Use action verbs. Concentrate on skills and accomplishments which will interest the employer. The job description can provide clues about important skills. Explain gaps in your work history. Include volunteer work related to the job that you are applying for.
- REFERENCES (CHARACTER AND/OR PROFESSIONAL): Provide names and titles, current business addresses, email address, and current phone numbers of people who can speak positively about your skills and your character. Former or current employers teachers, and leaders of organizations and in the community usually make good references. If you are self-employed and don't have a boss, list your customers, attorneys, or other business persons in the community. Be sure to ask for their permission before listing them and verify where they can be reached. You may also want to give them a copy of your resume so they know more about you. Have enough references so that no one person is constantly called about you.
- Sign and date the application in the space(s) provided.
Each company has its own application form. It's a good idea to have a sample form completed as a handy reference when filling out other application forms. For a sample application form, see SAMPLE JOB APPLICATION FORM.