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Tackle applications head on

Applications are intensive and can take two or three hours to complete. If you are only spending half an hour on them, you probably won’t get an interview.

Make sure, before you start, you have all the necessary materials to hand. These should include a copy of the job advert, your CV, and any extra research you’ve done about the company.

A Quick Writing Masterclass

  • Stick to the word count -The size of the box often indicates how much detail is expected, so be sure to write as much or little as is needed.
  • Keep it relevant - Make sure that all the information included is as useful as possible – don’t waffle!
  • Big up your skills - Remember to focus on your skills and use active words.
  • Be logical - Answer your questions in a logical and structured way. Talk about a situation you faced, the task you carried out to resolve the situation, the action you took to achieve your task, and the result you achieved.
  • Present effectively - Use bullet points and paragraphing correctly to improve readability.

Other Things To Concider

  • Fresh answersMake sure you write fresh answers for each application form you fill out. Even if they appear very similar, application forms are intended to test your suitability for a specific role within a particular company.
  • Tests and exercises - Occasionally application forms will be accompanied by a test or exercise, such as a psychometric assessment, or multiple choice questions. Be prepared, and do your best if you do get given one.
  • Key words - Because most application forms are completed online, they can be easily scanned for key terms and phrases sought for by the employer. Make sure you mirror the kind of language used in the job advert, and cover every skill referred to.
  • Planning ahead - Make sure to keep a copy of your application form, so that if you do get an interview, you’ll be able to refer back to what you wrote.

Before You Send It

  • Spell check everything - Many forms don’t let you go back, so ensure that you check each page before you move onto the next question.
  • Follow their rules - Read the instructions carefully. If you’re expected to include a CV alongside your application, make sure that you do. If not, then don’t send one. The same goes for a cover letter. If you fail to follow their rules, it will count against you.
  • Answer every question - Never leave a box empty. If a question doesn’t apply to you, put “not applicable.”
  • Check attachments - Ensure all the required documents are attached.