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Application Forms - Are you doing them right?

9th Oct 2017

Application Forms and how to get them right

More and more employers are using application forms instead of asking for a CV and Cover letter.  These can be difficult to fill in as often the length of them and the way they are worded can be over whelming.  Don’t worry though as here at e-Placement Scotland we have compiled some information to help you fill in application forms with ease.


  • Before you start filling in the application form, research the company, know what they are looking for in terms of skills and personal attributes and be clear on why you are interested in them as an employer and the role.
  • Be specific most application forms will not provide a great deal of space for you to give your answers for example in the section that asks about your education and qualifications there may not be enough room for you to write everything.   You should put only the qualifications specific to the role in this section. If you have the option to add additional sheets of paper or there is an additional information box you can add the rest of your qualifications.   For non-UK qualifications, you may need to state their UK equivalent. T
  • When it comes to your employment history always list your positions in reverse chronological order and always start with relevant (if you have any) work experience first.  Make sure you always include the following information when listing your previous work experience. 
  • Job title
  • The name of the organisation
  • Dates of employment (ideally month as well as year)
  • Again, you are likely to have limited space so you should prioritise the skills and duties you want to talk about to those that are beneficial to the placement you are applying to.
  • Not all application forms will ask about your hobbies but some may, you should be honest but where possible link them to skills that are asked for in the job advert. 
  • If you are asked for a personal statement don’t ramble on and if you are given a word count don’t go over it. Make sure you back up any bold statements with evidence and again try and link your skills and personal attributes to things that they have asked for in the job advert.
  • Always provide the number of references they have asked for and ideally these should be previous employers. If you have no previous work history then you should try to use academic references before using personal referees.   Before you provide the details of your referees make sure you speak to them first and have their permission.


Checking your application over before you send it.

  • Make sure you print it out and read it over, keep a copy for yourself and ask someone else to read it over for you. 
  • Make sure there are no spelling or grammar issues, poor English is a common reason for applications being rejected.
  • Try to keep information short and easy to read.  It should flow well.
  • Try not to repeat yourself, your personal statement should not be the same as your work experience for example.
  • Try to ensure that all the information that the application contains is relevant to the position you are applying to 


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