Application Forms

When applying for a job you most likely will be asked to complete an application form. This gives the employer the chance to assess you on written answers and compare those to other applicants. They will evaluate your application on the following and eliminate those who have not met the basic requirements and interview those that have.


  1. Has applicant followed the instructions? – Application Forms will come with instructions and a Personal or Job Description. The employer wants to see that you have followed the instructions and answered the questions linking them to the description. Has the form arrived on time? If application is on line it will not be possible to submit after the deadline. Have you signed and dated the form? Its amazing how many people forget.
  2. Has applicant completed every section? – Have you completed every section? If a section is not relevant to you mark it N/A (non applicable)
  3. Has applicant written in black ink and in readable writing, in capitals if asked to and if not then be consistent and don’t chop and change between lower case and capitals. Many forms are now on line. Do not complete on line applications in capitals.
  4. Is the form mistake free? – One or two mistakes can be forgiven but any more suggests you have been sloppy and haven’t read over your form. Check spelling and ask someone to read it through for you. Do a first draft so you don’t make mistakes on the real form. Spell check any on line forms. Check your grammar, put the commas in the right place and do not use slang words or abbreviations.
  5. Is the form in good condition? Do not send in a dog-eared, tea stained or damaged application form. The employer will put in straight in the bin. The employer would prefer you asked for another form in advance if an accident has happened than send in a damaged form. Keep it in a poly pocket or A4 envelope so it stays perfect. Post it in an A4 envelope so you do not have to fold it.
  6. Is the applicant honest? – Do not fib, any lies on an application will result in immediate dismissal. It’s not worth it, fibs are very easy to find out. The real you is the one they want.
  7. Has the other required information been sent with the application? – There may be an Equal Opportunities Form, Criminal Convictions Form or Health Form to be completed. Make sure these are sent with the Application Form.


  1. Photocopy – Before you complete your form if it is a paper copy then photocopy it if possible so you can do a first draft. If it is an on line application – look through the questions and copy them into a Word document. Complete your answers first on this and cut and paste them into the form in case the WIFI or computer crashes when you are completing the form. This will also mean you have a copy of your answers.
  2. Make Time and Space – do not complete your form in a rush. Allocate time and a quiet space to concentrate and not be interrupted. If the form is on line you will have to plan computer access, at school or home or in a library.
  3. Gather the information your will need, CV, personal statement, qualifications, NI number.
  4. Read Everything – the instructions, the specification and the application form.
  5. Think and Take Notes – Match your experience to what is wanted by the job specification. If it says they are looking for a team player – think of a good example that shows you are a team player. Write in full sentences in the order asked by the specification.
  6. Do a first Draft – this will make sure you can fit what you want to say into the boxes provided.
  7. Proof Read your first draft. If it is online make sure to read through everything before you press submit. Some forms will let you print them out before you submit so you can have a paper copy.


  1. Personal Details – make sure to give correct contact information – if a phone number or e mail address doesn’t work you could miss out on an interview. Make sure to include your postcode. Some employers will not require your first name and will only ask for an initial. This is because of Equal Opportunities. You will be asked for Date of Birth and NI Number to make sure you can work in the UK. You may be asked for Driving License Information.
  2. Work History – List with current and most recent first. Include work experience, part time jobs and any voluntary work.
  3. Qualifications – Again list with most recent first. Include any you are currently studying towards. Include school and college and Saltire Awards and Duke Of Edinburgh Awards etc.
  4. Training – Include any training you have had that did not result in a formal qualification. It might have been First Aid Introduction at school or dance teacher training that you hope to sit a qualification for in the future.
  5. Health – you may be asked about any time off work that you have had. If you have not worked you can give details of absence off school.
  6. References – Most application forms will ask for 2 references. Ideally these should be a teacher if you are just leaving school and someone you have worked for, so in a part time job or work experience or volunteering. Make sure to have their name, address, telephone and e mail contact to make it easy for the employer to contact them and make sure you have asked their permission.
  7. The Why do you want this job section. – There will be a section in the application form where they ask you to list any information in support of your application. This is where you put the information adapted from your CV and personal statement to fit the job decsription. Ths will often be the first thing the employer reads before they look at your qualifications and work history so it has to be good, detailed and specific.

Top Tips

When completing the why do you want this job section – use the 1-2-3 system.

  1. Who am I am what am I doing? – This can be adapted from your personal statement on your CV.
  2. What can I bring to the job? – This addresses the job description.
  3. Why do I want this job? – Sincerely convey why you want this job in a short paragraph.

For further application Advice go to


UK Govt