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You and Your Career – Completing an Application Form

For many roles you will be asked to complete an application form instead of submitting a CV.  This is usually online but can be paper based.

It is important to remember that the application form is the Employer’s first way of getting to know more about you.  It is important that you use this as an opportunity to show them why you are a perfect match for their role.


Take some time to prepare, gather together all the information that you will need, including;

  • Employment History – if you don’t have any, don’t panic! Everyone has to start somewhere and it is about finding the right role for you.
  • Qualifications and Training
  • Contact information for your referees.

You will make a great first impression by starting with some research;

  • Understand who the company are and their Vision and Values
  • What sector they operate in and who their competitors are
  • Look at the job description to see how you match and whether the role is definitely for you. Think of examples that you can use that will show the employer how you meet the requirements.
  • Always read the instructions carefully
  • Finally, understand what date you need to submit your application by and plan enough time to meet this deadline.
Points to consider to get shortlisted

Competition is usually high and recruiters have many application forms to sift, to ensure you get shortlisted;

  • Ensure no key information is missing and your application form is complete.
  • Provide examples to demonstrate your skills, knowledge and experience highlighting how you meet the Job Description. These can be based on your transferrable skills as discussed in our job searching tips.


  • Use words from the Job Advert and Job Description, this will prove that you have read the advert properly and paid attention to detail.


  • Application forms can be time consuming, but it is important that you tailor your answers to the role you are applying for. Copying and pasting from previous applications may mean you are including information that isn’t relevant and missing information that is really important to the role.


  • Present your information and examples in a clear format that is easy to read; consider using sub headings to demonstrate skills, knowledge and experience outlined in the Job Description and always remember to spell check.
Application Tips

Employers are looking for applicants who show them that they have the skills to complete the role.  You should:

  • Focus on answering the questions and avoid waffling or being too vague
  • Write your answers in a positive way.
  • Select appropriate examples of your achievements from past experience
  • Avoid writing “see attached” – you need to demonstrate your committed to the role to your perspective employer, be sure to compete all information required
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm for the role and passion to work for the employer
  • Ensure your spelling and grammar is correct – read your application thoroughly. If you are completing online, try to copy and paste your answers into word and running a spell check.
  • Avoid leaving blanks – If the question does not relate to you put ‘N/A’ or ‘Not Applicable’.

Further Support

For further information or support completing an application form please contact our Brighter Futures Team on 01685 727774.