The most common things you do for a applying for a job is filling out a form with all your details and attach your CV to it. Don’t be desperate while filling out the form and preparing your resume/CV before you submit your application.
While filling in your application form
1. Once you receive it, take a copy or two of it to draft your responses. You will want the form that your prospective employer receives to be immaculate and not have any blots, rub outs or scribbles on it!
2. Read all the instructions contained upon it carefully and comply with them.
3. Do not be tempted to try to put a form through your computer printer and have your typed words line up into the boxes – it will take you forever!
4. Never, ever, EVER write in any of the boxes ‘See enclosed CV.’ It is a guaranteed way to have your application rejected. Employers use these forms for a reason; they do not take too kindly to someone who is too lazy to be bothered to fill them in.
5. Boxes on application forms tend to be small. Choose your words carefully. If the box simply is not big enough for what you want to tell them, attach a piece of plain paper with your script and refer to it on the form.
6. When listing your previous employers, ensure there are no unexplained gaps.
7. Try to adopt a positive attitude throughout the form. Stress achievements if you can.
8. If you are asked to name referees, ensure that you have sought their permission first, or if you do not want them contacted until you’ve been made an offer, indicate this on the form.
9. Once you are happy with your draft, transfer the detail to the original form. Always write application forms in your neatest hand and in black ink for preference as this photocopies well. Never use any other color except black or blue inks.
10. Once you have completed the form, photocopy it for your own records. You may wish to take it to interview with you to refer to.
11. Draft a covering letter to go with your form. Keep it brief and always use the term ‘Dear Mr Smith’, or whatever the recruiter’s surname is.Don’t be tempted to use their forename, even if the advert has it on, as this is over-familiar. Never write ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ as it too demonstrates a lack of attention to detail.
Take care of your Curriculum vitae
I will leave it to you to decide on the style and content of your curriculum vitae. There are many sources which will advise you on these aspects. Here are some brief pointers:
1. Use the best paper you can afford.
2. Use only white or off-white paper.
3. Do not use a fancy hard cover or binder.
4. Use a simple font such as Arial and use the same font in your covering letter.
5. Never use a generic covering letter. Be specific in its content by bringing out one or two elements of how you match what they are looking for. It is not just a wrapper for your CV!
6. Your CV needs to get past that first 30 seconds after the recruiter has picked it up. Imagine yours is just one of 50 or 60 or more applications received. You want your professionalism to stand and not stand out because you’ve used bright yellow paper!
7. Stress your achievements in your CV; not simply list your past employers and job titles.
8. Comply with any instructions in the adverts such as supplying your current salary – you may wish to do this within your covering letter.