The Write Way to Get a Job: how to fill in a job application form

 

The Write Way to Get a JobFilling in a job application form isn’t as easy as it looks, if you want to get an interview. Here’s how to do it right…

It’s increasingly hard to get a job – and a good one – these days, and although there is a lot to consider when you’re looking to get a job, effective business writing plays a major part in helping you succeed. In this series, HTWB columnist Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential explains the best ways to express your career information in your CV/résumé.

And if you want to catch up on all the earlier articles in the series, just check out the sidebar to the the right > > > > and they’re all there for you to help yourself.

Here’s Lynn…

Application forms run from one to eight (or more) pages in length.  They are particularly prevalent in, though not unique to, the public sector, and are used for two main reasons:

  1. Employers want to comply with current legislation and therefore because every candidate needs to be considered in the same way, completion of the form makes it easier to compare numbers of different people
  2. An application form can ensure that the organisation obtains information which is often omitted from CVs, such as health, reasons for leaving earlier jobs, etc.

Application forms can often be badly compiled, with the layout and amount of space given to different items poorly thought out.  They can also take a long time to complete.  However, it is important that if you are requested to complete an application form, you do so to the highest possible standard. In order to achieve this you should:

  • Read it through carefully from beginning to end before you begin to write
  • Copy the blank form and practise on the copy; draft all answers until you are satisfied with them, before you put them on the original
  • Complete the form neatly, according to the specific instructions (e.g. block capitals/black ink)
  • If you run out of space on the form, insert additional pages, clearly marked with your name, position applied for, and the question you are answering
  • Keep in mind, and use, key words and phrases which appeared in the advertisement
  • Answer all the questions on the form
  • Ensure you use any sections for free-format additional information to your advantage, by justifying why you are right for the job
  • If you are asked to name referees, ask their permission first
  • Keep a copy of the completed form for your own reference
  • Use a covering letter to restate how your skills and experience meet the employer’s requirements

Now, here are things you must avoid at all costs on job application forms!

Most CV reviewers would find the following unacceptable on an application form:

  • Illegible handwriting
  • Stains and finger marks
  • Colours other than blue or black ink
  • Too many mistakes and crossings-out
  • Spelling mistakes
  • Unanswered questions
  • Answering questions with “Refer to CV”
  • Not signing forms
  • Inadequate supporting information
  • Thoughtless, careless covering letters
  • Omission of reference numbers
  • Not following clearly stated instructions
  • Using too small an envelope
  • Forgetting stamps
  • Writing over the boxes or columns that are for official use only

Let us know of your experiences in filling in job application forms … which approaches you’ve used and how they changed your chances!

The write way to get a job

Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential

Watch out for more of Lynn’s tips next week…

Now: let’s make sure you get that job…

“Get That Job” by Lynn Tulip … The art of successful job hunting (print, Kindle)
“Can’t Get That Job?” by Lynn Tulip … Seven killer CV mistakes that destroy your chance of job success (print, Kindle)
“How To Write About Yourself” by Suzan St Maur … how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write INSTANT DOWNLOAD now available!

The Write Way to Get a Job: how to apply to a job advertisement

 

The Write Way to Get a JobThere’s an art to responding to job ads – here is how to perfect it!

It’s increasingly hard to get a job – and a good one – these days, and although there is a lot to consider when you’re looking to get a job, effective business writing plays a major part in helping you succeed. In this series, HTWB columnist Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential explains the best ways to express your career information in your CV/résumé.

And if you want to catch up on all the earlier articles in the series, just check out the sidebar to the the right > > > >  and they’re all there for you to help yourself.

Here’s Lynn…

Getting noticed in the world of job ads

Remember that because this is a fairly easy way of finding vacancies, there will be a significant amount of competition for each job. A national advertisement can attract hundreds of responses. Only those who make it obvious that they are good matches will survive the CV screening process. When responding to an advertisement, you must meet most of the requirements mentioned and be able to demonstrate how well you meet the specifications to stand a chance of being invited for interview.

Web and Internet advertising is the most popular form of publicising opportunities and as Internet recruitment is a fast–moving process, the speed of your response will make a difference to your success. Make sure you know when the job was posted or when the posting was updated to avoid disappointment.

General rules for answering advertisements

Respond immediately. If for some reason your response has been delayed, telephone to enquire whether applications are still being accepted.

Always send a brief one page covering letter that responds to qualifications called for in the advertisement, especially if they are not included in your CV. Format your letter so that it is easy for the CV reviewer to see where your skills and experience meet their requirements.

Be careful to follow the instructions detailed in the advertisement. For example if the advertisement requests you to state your salary, then it is chancy to omit it. If there is a gap between your salary and that of the new job, take this opportunity to explain, in your letter, why you are prepared to take a drop or feel that an increase is justified.

If appropriate, telephone before sending your application to enquire about the compensation package, location or anything else relevant. This may give you an opportunity for a discussion to which you can refer in your covering letter.

If you receive no acknowledgement of your application within ten days, telephone to enquire whether your letter and CV have been received. This may also provide some opportunity for discussion.

Let us know of your experiences in responding to job advertisements … which approaches you’ve used and how they changed your chances!

The write way to get a job

Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential

Watch out for more of Lynn’s tips next week…

Now: let’s make sure  you get that job…

“Get That Job” by Lynn Tulip … The art of successful job hunting (print, Kindle)

“Can’t Get That Job?” by Lynn Tulip … Seven killer CV mistakes that destroy your chance of job success (print, Kindle)

“How To Write About Yourself” by Suzan St Maur … how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write (PDF download)

The Write Way to Get a Job: how to be found online

 

The Write Way to Get a JobAn essential part of your job search: making sure your online presence is perfect…

It’s increasingly hard to get a job – and a good one – these days, and although there is a lot to consider when you’re looking to get a job, effective business writing plays a major part in helping you succeed. In this series, HTWB columnist Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential explains the best ways to express your career information in your CV/résumé.

And if you want to catch up on all the earlier articles in the series, just check out the sidebar to the the right > > > >  and they’re all there for you to help yourself.

Here’s Lynn…

CV Keywords are essential for all job hunters

Keywords are not just for websites. They are essential for job hunters and their CV too. Your CV needs to include keywords that are relevant to the role you want and the experience you have. Uploading your CV so recruiters can find you is one of the key actions for job hunters, but making sure it is found by recruiters is another important tactic.

For job seekers, the keywords that matter are the words and phrases a recruiter uses whilst searching, like the words you type into Google or other search engines  when you are looking for something.

So what keywords should you use?

The answer to that challenging question has to be “use keywords that apply to you and your experience.”

Initially your priority is to prepare an internet-compatible CV, which can also be used on your profile on LinkedIn (see later in this series of articles).

To do this you need to ensure you have included keywords throughout your CV.

Revisit the CV you are going to use for online submissions. Remember to tailor the CV if you are responding to a specific role.  If you are uploading your CV to job sites then this section is equally relevant.

Top Tips – Keywords on your CV:

Use nouns with their descriptive adjectives – don’t sidestep or omit the action words and power language. However you now need to focus on the job title and roles that the recruiter will be searching for.

Pick up job descriptions of job roles that you want and identify the keywords of nouns and noun phrases that are relevant and make sure that you are able to include them in your own CV.

Brainstorm keywords for your CV by developing a long list of possibles.

Ideas for Keywords for your CV

  • Your next job title, standard job titles and non-standard job titles
  • Names of job specific, industry specific and profession specific tools that you can use because of your education and experience
  • Software and hardware resources and unique techniques that you are qualified to use
  • Professional and technical acronyms
  • Include your qualifications, education establishments and certifications
  • ‘Name drop’ about conferences and publications where you have demonstrated your expertise
  • Include both the acronym and the phrase in your CV to increase probability of keywords being found

Be inconsistent – yes, don’t worry about language to the same extent as you would if you were presenting your CV in person.  Example: MBA; M.B.A.; Master of Business Administration; Masters in Bus. Admin. This is all about keywords for your CV and being found on line. You do not know what exact term the recruiter will use.

Add a section at the top of your CV entitled Key Skills (or similar) and include the best collection of keywords that are phrases that sum up your experience, job history and expertise.

Always ensure that your uploaded CV is named appropriately. Example: CV Lynn Tulip Career Management Resumé.doc

Finally make sure that your CV is aligned with your LinkedIn profile. Keywords are equally vital on social media sites to ensure that you are discovered and you create your best opportunities.

Let us know of any keywords you find work well for you … which ones you’ve used and how they changed your chances!

The write way to get a job

Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential

Watch out for more of Lynn’s tips next week…

Now: let’s make sure  you get that job…

“Get That Job” by Lynn Tulip … The art of successful job hunting (print, Kindle)

“Can’t Get That Job?” by Lynn Tulip … Seven killer CV mistakes that destroy your chance of job success (print, Kindle)

“How To Write About Yourself” by Suzan St Maur … how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write (PDF download)

The Write Way to Get a Job: phrases to focus your next employer on YOU

 

The Write Way to Get a JobHere are the most powerful words and phrases to use in your CV when describing your key skills and activities…

It’s increasingly hard to get a job – and a good one – these days, and although there is a lot to consider when you’re looking to get a job, effective business writing plays a major part in helping you succeed. In this series, HTWB columnist Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential explains the best ways to express your career information in your CV/résumé.

And if you want to catch up on all the earlier articles in the series, just check out the sidebar to the the right > > > >  they’re all there, so help yourself.

Here’s Lynn…

Words and phrases that will ring positive bells with an employer or recruiter reading your CV/résumé

Take careful note of these and use them sensibly …

Achieving
Actioning
Advising individuals
Analysing
Arranging social events
Assembling

Building

Calculating numerical data
Checking for accuracy
Classifying records
Coaching individuals
Commissioning
Communicating
Compiling figures
Contacting
Co-ordinating
Corresponding with customers
Counselling

Data gathering
Decision making
Delegating
Designing
Developing
Directing
Dispensing information
Documenting
Drafting reports
Driving

Editing documents
Encouraging
Establishing

Fact-finding
Fitting

Handling complaints

Influencing
Initiating
Inspecting
Instructing
Interpreting data
Interviewing
Investigating

Leading
Liaising
Listening

Machining
Maintaining records
Making
Managing
Mediating between people
Mentoring
Monitoring
Motivating others

Negotiating

Observing
Obtaining
Operating equipment
Optimising
Organising people and work

Perfecting
Persuading others
Planning Agendas
Preparing charts or diagrams
Presenting
Problem solving
Programming Computers
Promoting events
Protecting Property

Raising funds
Recording data
Rectifying
Repairing
Researching
Reviewing
Running meetings

Selling
Serving the public
Setting up demonstrations
Shaping
Speaking in public
Summarising
Supervising staff

Teaching
Telephoning
Testing
Training
Trouble shooting

Visualising

Writing

Let us know of any more powerful words and phrases that work well for you … which ones you’ve used and how they changed your chances!

The write way to get a job

Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential

Watch out for more of Lynn’s tips next week…

Now: let’s make sure  you get that job…

“Get That Job” by Lynn Tulip … The art of successful job hunting (print, Kindle)

“Can’t Get That Job?” by Lynn Tulip … Seven killer CV mistakes that destroy your chance of job success (print, Kindle)

“How To Write About Yourself” by Suzan St Maur … how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write (PDF download)

The Write Way to Get a Job: phrases to focus you

 

The Write Way to Get a JobNow for some kick-butt phrases to focus you on your best points…

It’s increasingly hard to get a job – and a good one – these days, and although there is a lot to consider when you’re looking to get a job, effective business writing plays a major part in helping you succeed. In this series, HTWB columnist Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential explains the best ways to express your career information in your CV/résumé.

And if you want to catch up on all the earlier articles in the series, just check out the sidebar to the the right > > > >  and they’re all there for you to help yourself.

Here’s Lynn…

Phrases that will make you sit up and think the best of yourself!

Here are some words or phrases that could be useful in triggering your memory and collating information for your CV and interview preparation. They may help you identify some of your achievements and activities in your previous/current jobs. However don’t use the exact phrases in your CV / résumé.

Cost cutting – the cost cutting measures you introduced, and how they worked

Making something look better – the enhancements you made to the company’s products, services, working environment, and how those resulted

Improving appearance – what you did to make the company’s literature, website, etc., look and read better, and how that helped marketing/sales

Increasing sales/profit/turnover – easy one … think hard!

Providing extra information – how research you did on your own helped improve the company/customer experience

Providing service above your job description – how that extra effort you put it benefitted your employer

Gaining the commitment and support of others – how good you are at motivating others and how this improved performance

Turning a bad situation around – damage limitation is a valuable skill. How you’ve helped your team and/or your company out of potential trouble

Preserving competitive advantage – what you have done to make sure your company’s product or service looked and performed better than the competition

Having initiative – how using your common sense and intelligence to lead, not just follow, made a positive difference

Presenting solutions to problems – looking beyond the questions and finding realistic answers

Introducing new systems – how any new system you introduced, however small, made a positive difference

Improving team work and relations – how your people skills helped bring your team together

Working well under pressure – what you did to make sure deadlines were met, no matter what

Having new, workable ideas – what ideas of yours really made a useful difference, and why

Paying attention to details – how this helped you and the company avoid overlooking potentially expensive issues

Avoiding potential problems – how your forward planning anticipated potential problems and how to overcome them

Organising – how being well organised and encouraging others to be so, improved productivity

Using old things in a new way – how your ability to adapt older systems to new circumstances helped save money and improve performance

Meeting deadlines easily – how your careful planning and other skills ensured deadlines were not missed

Reducing inventories – how your ability to economise while still delivering first class performance helped

Developing staff performance – what your leadership and enthusiasm achieved in helping others to deliver a higher standard

Let us know of any more convincing building words and phrases that work well for you … which ones you’ve used and how they changed your chances!

The write way to get a job

Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential

Watch out for more of Lynn’s tips next week…

Now: let’s make sure  you get that job…

“Get That Job” by Lynn Tulip … The art of successful job hunting (print, Kindle)

“Can’t Get That Job?” by Lynn Tulip … Seven killer CV mistakes that destroy your chance of job success (print, Kindle)

“How To Write About Yourself” by Suzan St Maur … how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write (PDF download)

The Write Way to Get a Job: strong keywords = success!

The Write Way to Get a JobWelcome back after the Holidays break.

It’s increasingly hard to get a job – and a good one – these days, and although there is a lot to consider when you’re looking to get a job, effective business writing plays a major part in helping you succeed. In this series, HTWB columnist Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential explains the best ways to express your career information in your CV/résumé.

If you want to catch up on all the earlier articles in the series, just check out the sidebar to the the right > > > >  and they’re all there for you to help yourself.

Here’s Lynn…

Some strong, positive keywords to describe you in your CV / Résumé

Ably
accurate
achievement-driven
adaptable
adventurous
analytical
approach
articulate
assertive
astute

Business-like

Capable
caring
cautious
committed
communicative
competitive
concise
confident
conscientious
consistently
constructive
continually
contribute
conversant
courageous
creative

Decisive
dedicated
dependable
determined
diligent
diplomatic
discreet

Effective
efficient
energetic
enterprising
enthusiastic

flexible
focused
friendly

Gentle

Hardworking
helpful
honest

The Write Way to Get a Job

Use strong, positive keywords
to describe yourself

Imaginative
incentive
independent
insightful
intelligent
intuitive

Justify

Keen
key
loyal

Methodical

Notably

Optimistic
outgoing

Perceptive
possessive
potential
practical
precise
productive
professional

Quiet

Rational
resilient
resourceful
responsible

Self-assured
self-starter
sensitive
significantly
skilful
solid
strong
substantially
successfully
superficial
supportive

Tactful
team player
thorough
trustworthy

Versatile

Willing
witty

Let us know of any more keywords you think work well for you … which ones you’ve used and how they changed your chances!

The write way to get a job

Lynn Tulip from Assessment4Potential

Watch out for more of Lynn’s tips next week…

Now: let’s make sure  you get that job…

“Get That Job” by Lynn Tulip … The art of successful job hunting (print, Kindle)

“Can’t Get That Job?” by Lynn Tulip … Seven killer CV mistakes that destroy your chance of job success (print, Kindle)

“How To Write About Yourself” by Suzan St Maur … how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write (PDF download)

photo credit: Victor1558 via photopin cc

css.php