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Category Archives: How to Complete an Application Effectively

How to Complete a Job Application

A lot of companies are going high-tech these days and offer an on-line application process.  If you do have to fill out an application manually, be sure to use either black or blue pen (preferable black) and print your information clearly.  We can’t emphasize this enough.  You will be surprised how some people will scribble their information on a job application and expect he prospective employer to read the writing.  Follow the below rules and you might get your application on the top of the stack instead of in the garbage can.
REVIEW THE APPLICATION FIRST Read over the application thoroughly before you fill it out.  Make sure you understand all of the questions and give yourself some time to think things through before you start filling it out. If you can take your application home and fill it out later, GREAT!  However, if you have to fill it out on the spot, come prepared with your resume, blank pieces of paper and a good black ink pen.  Also, be well dressed.  You never know if you will be interviewed on the spot!

PRACTICE FIRST On a separate piece of paper, list all of the jobs that are RELEVANT to the job you are applying for.  Then list your duties at each job.  Once you have a draft of your application written out on a piece of paper, look at the job announcement and study the key words that they are looking for.  Do you have any of those key words in your prior employment history?  Don’t put them in if you haven’t actually done them, but be mindful that what you may have called something in a past job isn’t what it’s called today, but the task is similar or the same.  Government job announcements typically use jargon for job duties that aren’t used in the private sector.

HOW TO LIST YOUR JOBS List your most current job first and list the most important tasks that you performed.  Space will be limited so make sure you put your most impressive duties first.

For Example:

Secretary to the Director:
Duties included:  Arranged conferences and meetings with foreign dignitaries
Drafted all complex correspondence to outside entities
Managed all time-keeping duties for office personnel
Managed all travel and expense accounts and petty cash
Opened all incoming correspondence
Answered all incoming telephone calls

As you can see a secretary can do a multitude of tasks.  Put the most complex impressive tasks first and tasks like opening the mail and answering the phone last, even though you most likely answered the phone fifty times a day!

EDUCATION List your education.  Don’t forget to list any special certifications or short term courses that could help show that you have the expertise in certain situations that they are looking for.

TOOT YOUR HORN List awards and honors, community involvement or club membership that could be relevant to the job you are applying for..

REFERENCES Get prior permission from your references before you list them on your application.  Your references are preferably prior bosses but can also include teachers, professors, mentors, and important public figures that you may know such as a judge, or prominent business person in town.

PROOF READ If you completed your application online, print it out before you hit the SEND button.  Read your draft and have someone else read it as well.  You want to fix any typos or things that might not be clear to your reader.   If you filled out your application using a pen, use white out to make corrections.  Do not scribble out mistakes.

Your Life Story on One Piece of Paper

6432107_mThere are many rules of thought on what to put on your resume and how to properly format it.  Its been a long rule of thought that your resume should be on only one piece of paper.  However, if you have a lengthy professional career this might not be feasible.  So, go ahead and break the rule and put it on two pieces of paper.  HOWEVER, make sure that you aren’t being to “wordy.”  As a person who has had to scour over many resumes and applications, I can tell you that most people don’t have time to read every single paragraph of your resume.  They only want to see the highlights.  So if you must use two pieces of paper, make it appealing to the reader.  Use big bold headings that draw attention.  Tell your story in an interesting way that really sucks them into reading the rest.  There are many professionals who write articles and give tips on different types of resumes as no two are alike.  You may need a couple of different resumes that are geared to different job types.     It’s always a good idea to have someone else read your resume to make sure they understand what you are saying and that there are no typos!  Here is a link to a GREAT resume that you may want to use as a guideline!  You might also want to watch this video of what NOT to put on your resume! Also, check out this short article on what recruiters look for in the first 6 seconds!

Here is another rule.  If you are submitting an official application with your resume, make sure you application says the same thing and is TYPED!  Never, ever hand write an application if you can help it.  If you must hand write it, PRINT!  You want the prospective employer to be able to read your writing!  I can’t tell you how many applications I have seen that were literally scribbled.  Guess what?  The application went immediately to the bottom of the stack and I didn’t give it any further consideration.

Good Luck!

The Team at Rocket Rosie!