Filling an application form

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1 . Filling in an application form
2. Explain work history gaps
Filling in an application form
Follow our guide for advice on how to answer questions in a job application form.
Before you start Most job application forms are now online. If you do not have access to the internet, ask at your local library about booking a slot to use a computer.
Gather together all the details you’ll need to fill in the application form, for example:
your qualifications your work history references
To start planning what you’re going to add to your form: read the instructions on the application form read the job description and understand what the employer wants
research the employer to find out who they are and what they do Personal details You'll usually need to include your: full name date of birth Address phone number - give a number you'll be available on during the day email address Depending on the job, you may also need to give your: driving licence details national insurance number permission for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check work permit details Education history The employer may ask you to list your education history with the most recent first, including: your qualifications the name of the organisations you studied with other training courses you have completed
the dates you attended Check what the employer asks for and follow their instructions.
Work history Add your employment history here, starting with the most recent. You can include work experience and volunteering activities. You should aim to cover the last 10 years, or more, depending on how much relevant experience you have.
You will need to include: the name of the organisation you worked for what role you had when you started the job when you left the job The application form may also ask what your main tasks were. You should prepare 3 to 5 bullet points to describe what you did in each job role.
Explain work history gaps
When you have a gap in your work history you should give a brief explanation and say what you did during that time. You can also add more detail in your cover letter.
Show your skills match the job The employer may ask you what makes you the right person for the job. Make sure that what you write matches the person specification or job description. Concentrate on telling them about the skills you have that they need.
Competency-based questions
Some online applications are more competency-based. The form will ask you to give examples that show you have the skills for the job.
For example, it could ask you to:
describe a time you have been under pressure at work
explain a situation where you've worked in a team
As long as you highlight skills relevant to the job, you can use examples from:
the workplace
social activities
Use the STAR method to help structure your examples and show how you added value in previous roles.
You'll usually need a work-related reference and a personal one. Make sure you check with people first that they’re happy to provide one.
You should include the person's: name and job title
relationship to you
contact details
You may not have any work experience, or may not want to use your last employer. You can ask other people to give a reference, such as:
an older employer
a teacher or college tutor who knows you well
a team leader from a volunteering group, a society or sports team
someone respected in your community
Before you submit your application
Read through your answers and check the spelling and grammar.

Save a copy so you can use it for future job applications, and in case you're asked about it at the interview. Most organizations require candidates to fill out job application forms as part of their recruitment process. This is an important process, as the hiring manager evaluates candidates' suitability based on the details of their application form. Understanding how to fill out an application form can help you successfully pass through this critical step when job searching. In this article, we discuss the steps when filling out an application form, explain how to answer open-ended questions, and highlight post-application tips so you can find success in securing employment.

Related: What Is a Job Application Form? (With an Example)
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