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How to Fill Out a Job Application: What to Expect, Mistakes to Avoid
How to fill out a job application: know what to expect and what qualities recruiters are looking for when applying for a job. Also avoid the mistakes that are common in the application process.
Applying for a job can be stressful
, but no matter what the circumstance is, almost everyone will have to go through the process of filling out a job application at some point in their professional life.
That is why it is so important to be properly prepared and understand every component of how to fill out a job application, free of mistakes.
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What to Expect On a Job Application and the Mistakes to Avoid
How to Fill Out a Job Application
There are certain pieces of information as well as personal documents that you may need to have access to during this process.
Several questions are bound to appear on an application, so for convenience, here are a few of the most prevalent ones listed below; you should familiarize yourself with them.
- What is your name, address, telephone number, and social security number?
Answering these questions is easy, just be sure to put a telephone number that you can be reached at most of the time.
As for your social security number, it would be a good idea to keep your social security card handy throughout the hiring process as many companies like to see and/or make copies of your personal documents.
- Have you ever been convicted of a felony?
You must always answer this question honestly no matter the situation because recruiters most likely already have or can find this information.
- Do you require any special accommodations to work?
Make sure that if you need to have any special conditions in your work environment that you make them clear. It is the employer's job to make sure their workers' needs are tended to.
- Where did you work previously?
Enter the businesses and their locations that you have worked at in the past. Typically your most recent job is what they are expecting here.
- What position(s) did you hold?
At this point you may delve into your day-to-day duties and responsibilities at your prior workplaces. Let them know of any skills and/or promotions that you have received while working.
Make note of any enhancements or improvements you created or contributed to at your previous position.
- Why did you leave?
Try your best to never write anything negative in this section, neither about people nor the mistakes you have made. Sometimes this can be a difficult task, but always stay positive and avoid speaking poorly of the people you are not fond of. Present yourself as a team player.
Skills and Qualifications
- Where did you attend school?
Let the recruiter know about your highest level of schooling here. If you attended college and graduated, then it is assumed that you also graduated from high school, so there is no need to list it.
- Did you graduate? Did you obtain a degree or certificate?
Once again, this question is pretty self-explanatory. Be honest and let them know what your exact qualifications and job titles are.
Can you list two references?
- Do you have any certifications?
List any officially recognized certifications here. Even if the certificate doesn't relate to the job in which you are applying you should still list it, you never know, it may help you.
- What equipment or software can you use?
If you have special training for any machinery or computer software make sure you list the specific brand and model of whatever you are qualified to handle.
- Can you speak any languages?
Again, BE HONEST. It is easy to say that your one semester of Spanish in the seventh grade makes you "conversational" but you don't want to be embarrassed when they ask you to translate and you cannot.
Make sure you pick two relevant and legitimate people as they will represent your professional image and character to the company. Click the link if you need assistance on how to choose references
At this point, there will be a legal disclaimer at the end of the application. It just asks you to verify that you are who you say you are and you have been entirely truthful on your application.
Just sign and date the application and you have successfully completed it!
Job Application Mistakes to Avoid
While knowing the questions ahead of time and understanding how to answer them correctly is an immense help in this tedious process, being aware of the frequent mistakes that a majority of people make will help you to stand out and look good.
- Not Reading Carefully: If you are rushing through and don't read a question cautiously enough you may misread it, answer it incorrectly and appear uneducated or shady.
- Forgetting to Proofread: Having grammatical and spelling errors on any official document or form that you submit makes you seem lazy and unqualified for the job.
There is nothing worse than having a word misspelled when we have the convenience of spellcheck!
- Having an Unprofessional Email: No one is going to take you seriously if you have a childish or inappropriate email address. Create a business email and make it something simple like your name or profession.
Also, a good rule of thumb is to avoid using slang terms in you email and during your entire application process.
- Mismatched Resume: Be sure that the information you are filling in on the application exactly matches what you have on your resume. That makes you appear to be up-to-date and on top of your game. Questions could be raised if there are inconsistencies.
With all of these tips you should now know how to fill out a job application and feel confident that you know what a recruiter is expecting from you. The goal is to get that interview
. Good luck in your employment search!
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