It’s bad enough having to fill out an application form, but not really knowing what on earth they are looking for makes it ten times worse. It’s never a fun task and one we can tend to put off- until the last minute. Then we do a rush job- and wonder why we never hear back. Here are some tips to help you reduce the stress of getting your application form in.
- Whether it’s an online or paper based form type up your answers. You should be able to re-purpose them for other applications which will save plenty of thinking time.
- Do make sure you tailor your answers to the questions. If you are asked about how you have successfully put a plan in place don’t write about how motivated you are- you’ll get a big cross next to your name.
- Work out what the question is asking by underlining the key parts and jotting them down to check you have covered them later. For instance, a question may ask ‘describe a time where you have taken extra steps to ensure a successful outcome’. You would want to jot down ‘steps’- what steps did you take; ‘outcome’- what were you aiming for and did you achieve it? ‘successful’- was it a success and how do you know it was i.e. how did you evaluate this? ‘extra’ i.e. what detail can you include to show that you went above and beyond what might normally have been expected. By breaking down the question you have a better chance of covering everything the assessors are hoping to see.
- Be clear in your mind what the company is looking for. if it’s an engineering job, they aren’t just looking for qualified engineers- all you’d have to do is send in a copy of your qualifications to get through to the next round. They want to know what sort of engineer you are i.e. whether you’ll be someone who excels in the position or just scrapes by. You can work out what is important to the company by browsing their mission statement, corporate values, any competency documents and of course the person specification which is likely to come with the bumf about the job.
- Tell yourself that the deadline is several days in advance and work to that. Don’t leave it to the last minute!