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Mistakes To Avoid When Filling In A Job Application Form
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The job market has never been as competitive as it is at the moment, so if your applying for jobs and filling in job application forms you want to ensure that you give yourself every chance of being shortlisted. There are some common mistakes to avoid when completing job applications that could easily see your application being sent to the shredder rather than you being invited for a job interview.

1. Not reading: Most organisations provide instructions on how to fill out a job application, job description, person specification, equality and diversity monitoring form and any other relevant company information. Don’t start filling in a job application without reading through this information thoroughly. It’s there for a reason.

2. Ignoring instructions: It’s surprising how many job applicants decide to ignore some of the instructions that come in the pack. If the instructions say complete the form in black ink, don’t get smart and fill it out in blue. If it says that you can only add 2 additional pages – then don’t make the mistake of adding 4. Ignoring instructions when filling in a job application is likely to irritate the people shortlisting and could easily lead to what otherwise would be a good application being sent to the shredder.

3. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors: Even if you’re a good proof reader with high level writing skills, it’s easy to read through your own errors. If possible get someone (who has the right skills) to proofread your job application checking for any spelling mistakes and obvious grammatical errors.

4. Incorrect level of language: It may sound obvious, but some job applicants make the mistake of using the correct level of formal language when filling in a job application form. You’re talking to a potential employer not a friend or colleague.

5. Leaving gaps: When filling in a job application don’t leave any gaps. Even if it’s not picked up at the shortlisting stage, it could be later. I know of someone who once left out a couple of jobs when filling in a form, was interviewed and offered the job, but before she could take it up had the offer withdrawn. The company had found out about the jobs and thought that she was trying to deceive them.

6. Too much information: Although you must give an accurate picture of your working life, don’t fall into the trap of putting too much information in the form and making it look cluttered.

7. Poor structure: Make sure that you structure all your information in logical manner. This is particularly important when filling in the personal statement section of the form. Don’t jump all over the place, it makes it difficult for anyone reading it to follow.

8. Being inaccurate: Don’t make the mistake of being inaccurate when filling in a job application. You clearly want to present yourself in the best light as possible, but lying is foolish. I know you hear lots of people say that they do it – but it’s a risky strategy that could ultimately cost you your ideal job. Don’t do it.

9. Not giving examples: In the personal statement, it’s no good saying something like “I’m a good team player” , if you don’t give an example with the benefits. Too often job applicants make bland statements without any further information to back them up.

10. Being critical: Being critical of employers or colleagues is an absolute no no when filling in a job application. It is only you who will look bad if you make this mistake.

Filling in a job application accurately, is the first stage in getting shortlisted for a job and it’s worth investing the time to do it properly. Don’t run the risk of missing out on your ideal job by making easily avoidable mistakes.

Street Talk

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