Job Application

Are you completely ready to apply for a job? 
Job application is often your first step towards a flourishing career.  Hence, it is essential that it should be prepared with due precision by highlighting the critical information relevant or specific to the position you are applying for. Employers use it to perceive your suitability for the profile by comparing your accomplishments and ingenuity to that of your competitors. There some others who simply prefer submission of resume. Below is the itinerary of some tips to be considered while completing applications successfully.

Follow directions

Avoid getting your application rejected due to a few irrational or fatal transgressions on your part.

  • Recruiters want to observe your level of special interest in their company. They are more likely to pursue a candidate who has a history with the company or industry.
  • Read the entire application meticulously and collect the necessary documents to be attached as a prerequisite before you commence the process of filling and submission of forms.
  • Explore the company’s website by accurately analyzing the mission and value of the company and incorporate them into your job history and cover letter. This will outshine other aspiring competitors by highlighting your suitability directly to the vacancy advertised.
  • When a job application is submitted online, it enters right into anApplicant Tracking System(ATS) to be reviewed by a recruiter. Applicant Tracking Systems filter and sort resumes by topics or keywords. In order to optimize your resume for ATS, you should attempt to intentionally include the keywords most commonly used in the job description provided by most of the companies. Online tools enable identification of the right keywords by copy and pasting your resume and the job description into the site. Hence, do tailor your resume for each job differently while applying online.
  • Make sure that you add your up-to-date LinkedIn profile as most companies now request you to do so in their job applications. Having an active LinkedIn profile helps show a recruiter that you’re serious about your job search and career.

See: Personal Branding Essentials

It provides you the opportunity to represent information about your background and skills in an elaborate form than through a normal job application, so avail the complete advantage of it. Add work-related pictures, show some of your recent projects and make sure you’re active in relevant LinkedIn networks. Do share some videos of exemplary tasks performed by you which prove the authenticity of information shared by you.

  • Although a cover letter is sometimes optional for an online job application, you should always submit one. It serves a platter and a commendable tool to expound more about yourself and your experience and to incorporate the company’s values and mission statement into your application. Including a cover letter also has a more tactical advantage. Many Applicant Tracking Systems will account for a cover letter when recruiters search by keywords.
  • Adhere to the instructions scrupulously and evade writing in sections that say “Do not write below this line” or “Office Use Only” as it might lead to your being disqualified for the position.

Filling Application

Make sure that your application creates a good impression by answering all the employer’s questions.

Revise a few quotations which could be conveniently applied to the questions fired by the employer to make your replies emphatic and convincing.

Prepare a copy of resume and personal data sheet with the relevant information to complete an application like names of previous employers, employment dates, addresses, telephone numbers, etc. Use it to fill the application.

  • Most applications will ask for references. Provide details of your previous employer, manager, co-worker, supervisor, advisor or teacher along with suitable time to contact them in a proper chronology in which you want the prospective employer to contact them. Also, ensure that you make concerned people aware of getting a call.
  • Do not use abbreviations, except for “n/a” (not applicable). Never use auto-fill if you ever refer back to the information loaded into your application when using auto-fill, you may have seen that it amends the alignment. Your “Position” answer might instead say which college you attended or prior employment dates might just show start dates. Auto-fill may also format the details of your job history in a strange or confusing way. Instead of leaving this to chance, fill in the details one at a time, double-checking as you move.
  • It might seem redundant to upload your resume and then type in your work history manually, so the temptation can be to leave that section blank.
  • Respond to all questions. If a question does not apply to you, use “n/a” to indicate that it is not applicable. This sends a message to the employer that you did not overlook anything.

If you are filling out a paper application:

  • Make a rough draft. Write out responses on a separate sheet of paper before completing the real application. Or get two copies and use the first one as a rough draft.
  • Write clearly. Use a black, erasable pen, and print clearly.
  • Proofread it. Make sure that you have no grammar or spelling errors. If possible, have someone else review the application to catch errors you might miss.
  • Keep it neat. Use correction fluid (“white out”) to fix minor errors, but use it sparingly.

Always list your “position desired”

Do not leave this question blank or use “any” or “open.”

  • If you’re answering a job ad or looking for a specific position, enter that job title.
  • If you are not applying for a specific position, enter the name of the department in which you wish to work.
  • Fill out more than one application if you are interested in more than one job.

See: Career Path

Give a range for your salary requirements

Employers may use this question to screen out applicants. It is best to give a salary range or list “negotiable”, even if you know the wage. This leaves you room to negotiate a higher salary.

Give positive reasons for leaving past jobs

Choose your words carefully with this question. Avoid using the words “fired”, “quit”, “illness”, or “personal reasons”. Always use positive statements. Here are some possible ways to handle this question.

If you were fired:

  • Do not use the terms “fired” or “terminated”. Consider using “involuntary separation.”
  • You may want to call past employers to find out what they will say in response to reference checks. When doing so, reintroduce yourself and explain that you’re looking for a new job. Be honest that your termination hurts your chances of getting another job. Past employers will usually agree to use the term “resigned.” This response saves them potential headaches and even lawsuits.

If you quit your job, use the term “resigned” or “voluntarily separated.” These responses indicate that you followed proper procedures in leaving the job. If the application asks for a reason (or if you are asked in the job interview), you can respond as follows:

  • For a better opportunity-This response includes leaving for advancement potential, to work closer to home, for a better work environment, or for a career change. If you quit for a better job, there should not be a long break in employment. Your employment history should support the statement.
  • Shift of residential location.
  • For completion of an educational skill – If you use this reason, the education listed on your application and/or resume must reflect the same.
  • Such as took an extended vacation/sabbatical, did volunteer work, started own business, or raised family.

See: NurturingLearners™ Training Services

If you were laid off from a job due to no fault of your own, indicate the reason for the layoff. Here are some possible phrases to use:

  • Lack of work
  • Shortage of operating funds
  • Temporary employment
  • Seasonal employment
  • Company closed
  • Plant closing
  • Company downsized
  • Corporate merger

Watch for illegal questions

Applications may contain questions that are illegal to ask before a conditional offer of employment. These include questions about:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Creed
  • National origin
  • Receiving public assistance
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Age
  • Disability

You need to decide how you will respond. If the question does not bother you, answer it. If it does, you can use “n/a.” But be aware that you may get screened out by having too many of these responses.

Present a positive, honest picture

The information that you provide is likely to become part of your permanent employment record. False information can be the basis for dismissal. Answer all questions honestly. Provide only the information that the employer wants, or that is needed to sell your qualifications. Avoid any negative information.

Target your qualifications

Include only those that meet the specific needs of the job. Many applications have limited space to record your skills, experience, and accomplishments. To decide what information to include, research the company, its products or services, and the skills needed for the job. Attach a resume that details your skills, experience, and accomplishments.

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