If you are currently looking for work, then you will probably already created a targeted CV and covering letter, however CV and covering letter is not the only way that employers recruit new staff. Often employers will ask you to complete an application form instead.
The main difference between a CV and an application is that; you create and design your CV while an application form is designed by the employer and is structured in a question and answer format. Employers use application forms to help them:
- recruit candidates in a fairer way as candidates will answer the same questions.
- make comparisons with different candidates in order to create short lists.
- deal with large volumes of applications at once.
Applications are an essential part of recruitment and will deserve your full attention to ensure that you get the job. If you are currently completing an application form here are my 3 top tips to ensure that it will be successful:
Tip Number One: Do Your Research… a great application is more that just filling in a form. Your application should demonstrate that you have researched the company and thought about how the job on offer matches your skills, experience and abilities. Careful research will help you to; gain a clear idea of what the employer is looking for, help you understand the company’s ethos and values and support you to organise and describe your experience in a successful way that demonstrates your suitability for the role. Further information about how to research companies: http://jobsearch.about.com/od/interviews/qt/interviewtipcompany.htm
Tip Number Two: Get your Personal/Support statement right….most applications will have a section where you are given the opportunity to highlight why you are applying to the job. Don’t over look this section or launch into a large waffling statement that does not relate to the job on offer. A great statement will be written in a positive tone that demonstrates your suitability for the role using your work history /experience as evidence. It will also indicate your motivation and will summarise why you are the best candidate. Write a great statement by reviewing your research and identifying key skills/experience that the employer would be interested in hearing about, then structure your text so that it flows from one point to another. Sounds difficult? Why not try using the STAR technique to help create your statement:
- STAR Technique: S: situation T: task A: action R: result. Find out more about the STAR technique here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Situation,_Task,_Action,_Result
Tip Number Three: Double check for spelling and grammar errors…just like your CV, employers are not going to be impressed with poor spelling or grammar. If great spelling and grammar is not your forte, take your time and get a trusted friend to check over your application once you have completed it. Ask them to: find errors, check sentences to make sure that they make sense as well as demonstrate your match to the job…
Further Information on Applications:
- Totaljobs ‘Why application Forms?’: http://www.totaljobs.com/careers-advice/cvs-and-applications/why-application-forms
- Guardian ‘Using STAR technique at interviews’:http://careers.theguardian.com/careers-blog/star-technique-competency-based-interview
- Jobs ‘what to include in a personal statement’http://www.jobs.ac.uk/careers-advice/jobseeking-tips/1343/what-you-should-include-in-a-personal-statement/
- Biggest mistakes on application forms: http://www.frsdevelopment.com/the-3-biggest-application-form-mistakes/
- 5 Biggest job application mistakes :http://www.careerealism.com/job-application-mistakes/
Want to find out more contact the GSA Careers adviser for further advice and tips on writing applications.