For many jobs you will need to complete an application form – probably on-line  – or send in a CV

When completing an application, consider the following:

Before you start

  • Read the instructions carefully
  • Read any information you have been given about the more you know about
    the vacancy, the better your application will be
  • Draft your application e.g. using Microsoft Word. This way you can spell check before copying it onto the online application
  • Some sites may offer the option of saving your application and coming back to it – if you do this make sure you keep a record of usernames and passwords so that you can get back in
  • If you give the name of a referee for a reference, check with them that it is OK to give their name
  • Ask someone (e.g. Connexions Sandwell) to check your practice form before you send it off
  • Make sure you have your CV to hand – some online applications can get ‘timed-out’ so preparation is vital before you start

Filling in the application

  • Make sure that your spelling and grammar are correct – use a spellcheck
  • Do not use ‘text speak’
  • Do not use any abbreviations – write words out in full
  • Complete all the questions – if a question is not relevant to you, write N/A (not applicable)
  • Make sure you complete any sections called ‘extra’ or ‘supporting’ – this is an important part of the form as it gives you the opportunity to sell yourself
  • Read the information you have about the job and match your skills and abilities to those that the employer is looking for
  • Make sure to give your full address, postcode and contact number
  • Under ‘education,’ list secondary schools/academies – no need to include your primary or junior school
  • Under ‘qualifications’ list any exams you have taken and your grade(s) – be honest, you may be asked to show your certificates
  • If you are due to take some exams or are waiting for results, include your predicted marks or grades
  • Under ‘employment’ put down any jobs you have done, including any work-experience, part-time work or voluntary work
  • Explain any gaps in your employment history

Writing the covering letter

Before you send it off

  • Read it through slowly and carefully to check that you have completed all the sections with no mistakes
  • Save a copy – if you get invited to an interview you can remind yourself of what you said


Do you use social media?

Then be careful – employers may look at Facebook or Twitter to check out job applicants so make sure that any photos and personal news that you post on a social networking site don’t go against you. There may be a problem if what they see doesn’t match up with the image you present on your application.

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