Just like everything else in the job search process, the application is an important component. An employer will learn a lot about you from your application and how you complete it. Make sure you take the time to project a positive and professional image.

Use common sense when completing the application. By not following directions, you are telling a potential employer that you won’t follow them on the job either. A messy application shows that you don’t have respect for your work or for other people’s time; vague information and spelling errors prove that you can’t pay attention to details and follow through an entire project; and listing specific salary requirements tells them you are rigid and inflexible – all things most employers want to avoid.

Guidelines for Completing Applications

  • Make copies of the application and practice filling it out.
  • Use a typewriter to complete the final version.
  • Answer every question and fill in every blank. If it doesn’t pertain to you, use NA for not applicable.
  • Answer all questions thoroughly, while also being concise.
  • Remember to use key words and action verbs just as you did on your resume.
  • Give complete names and address when they are requested.
  • Proofread, proofread, and proofread. Then have two or three other people proofread it also.
  • Sign the application where requested.
  • Use one color of ink if you hand write the information
  • Stay positive in all information given.

Things to Avoid

  • Using pencil and/or writing illegibly
  • Leaving empty spaces
  • Using the phrase, “See resume.”
  • Abbreviating items/terms and/or vagueness
  • Ignoring directions
  • Scribbling out mistakes
  • Making spelling errors
  • Listing very specific salary requirements
  • Making negative comments about current/past jobs, employers, or co-workers
  • Falsifying information

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