Finding a job is not just about the interview and impressing the recruiter. Before you can even think of snagging an interview you have to get the attention of the recruiter.
And how do you do this? In the past, people would just print a cv, go from one company to another and drop their CVs. The times have changed and so should you. This also means that finding a job is not just about preparing one cv and sending that one resume to dozens of companies. If anything, most of the top companies out there will not ask you for a resume but will instead ask you to fill in a form on their website!
Let’s Look at The Things You Need To Bear In Mind When Filling Out Application Forms
Tip #1: Ensure you have all the necessary documents.
Most job application forms take a relatively long time to fill because of the details they ask you to put on the system. Do not make the process any longer for you. If you are still filling in the form after 1 hour, you are likely to give up! So, don’t waste time running around the house and rustling through drawers. Before you even begin filling in the form, find all the documents you may need. This includes your social security number, latest resume (in case they ask you to upload one), your job reference list and the contact numbers of your previous employers.
Tip #2. Read the instructions carefully.
Don’t start immediately filling in the form. Carefully read the instructions and skim through the webpage or the form you’ve been given to ensure you have all the information you’ll need on hands.
Tip #3. If it’s an application form you need to fill and send by post, ensure your handwriting is legible.
You’ll typically he to do this if you are applying for a job in the public sector. What’s the use of filling in the application form if the recruiter does not understand a word you’ve written? Use correct spacing, capitalization, grammar (if necessary) and write neatly.
Tip #4. Accuracy is key.
Ensure you’ve gotten past employers, dates of employment, contact details, job title and references correct. This will serve no purpose if it’s wring. If the mistake is obvious, it will send a clear message to the recruiter: you either don’t care enough about the job, or you are lying. Either way, it’s a huge red flag!
Tip #5. No matter how long the application form is: Do not look for shortcuts.
Here’s one thing you want to avoid at all cost: Writing “Refer to attached resume” when filling in the blanks on the application. Complete the details as requested and ensure it matches your resume.
Tip #6. This is a continuation of the tip above: Describe your qualifications FULLY.
Avoid acronyms. The recruiter might have never of them. Write every qualification in full and ensure they are accurate.
Tip #7. Don’t leave out questions
Some companies reject applications that leave required sections blanks. When you’ve scanned the form at the start you must have seen these sections. Ensure you complete them. If there is a question that does not apply to you, write “Not applicable” instead of just leaving it blank.
Tip #8. Do not be too strict with your salary expectations
If your salary expectations do not fall within their grid, they will probably reject you before even calling you for an interview. How will you get to impress them then? Instead, give them a range or write “negotiable”. That way you at least get the chance of meeting them and proving to them that not hiring you would be their loss.
Tip #9. References: Know when to mention them. Provide references if requested
While you must prepare a reference list before starting the application, it does not mean that you must mention them. Here’s the unspoken rule about references: do not provide them unless requested.
Tip #10. Do not leave any grammatical mistakes
Once you are done with filling out the form, PROOFREAD! The recruiter reviewing your application will most definitely notice spelling mistakes. And, unfortunately, sometimes this is enough to sabotage your chances.
Tips for When You Are Going Through Recruitment Agencies
If you are choosing to go through them, you need to make sure to build solid relationships with the recruitment consultants. To do that, here are a few things you can do:
Tip #1: This is your career. Don’t expect them to take the lead. Instead, be ready to do a good amount of chasing.
Tip #2: Do not rely on these agencies alone. Get on as many jobs boards as you can. The more exposure you get, the higher the chances of you getting hired are.
Tip #3: Do NOT apply for jobs you don’t care about. You are wasting both your time and the recruiters time.
Want more information about recruitment agents? The second part of the post will cover this. Click here for more.