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Helpful Hints for Job Applications

Even with a top notch resume, you can expect to complete an application for the position for which you are applying. Accept that it is a matter of company policy for many places and is a legal document. The job application is also another screening tool! When picking up or returning an application, make sure you are dressed and groomed appropriately for an interview. The employer may interview you "on the spot" or may later ask the receptionist's impression of your appearance.

  • Use black or blue pen and print the application neatly.
  • Do not leave blank spaces. If a questions does not pertain to you, draw a line or write N/A in the space.
  • In the Salary Desired block, ask for a salary that will match your experience, training, and education. Salary must also match what the employer is willing to pay.
  • Know specific jobs within that company that you are seeking. Many applications that say "anything" are often thrown away.
  • Use only positive information. Avoid negative words, such as, "Fired" or "Quit." If it is suitable, use positive phrases such as "better opportunity" or "potential for advancement." If these phrases are not suitable, write "will discuss."
  • Always be completely honest on the application. Misrepresenting yourself can result in being fired later.
  • Give descriptions of duties at former jobs, not just a job title.
  • If appropriate, you may ask if you may take the application home to complete.
  • Always be polite to the receptionist. The employer may ask the receptionist of his/her impression of the applicant.
  • Do not fold the application. Keep the application spotless.
  • When giving an address and/or phone number, make sure it is the one where you can be reached for several months.
  • Always list your jobs in reverse chronological order. Know addresses, telephone numbers, supervisors' names, dates of employment.
  • A resume may be attached, but always complete the application. DO NOT SAY "SEE RESUME."
  • After completing the application, RE-READ it twice before giving it to the employer. Did you complete everything? Does it reflect you and your abilities?
  • Sign and date the application and take or mail the application to the employer immediately.

Below are the reasons that many people are screened out based upon their applications:

  • Did not write legibly
  • Did not complete the application fully
  • Requested higher salary than that on the job announcement
  • Gaps or instability in work history
  • Coffee or other stains on application
  • Under the category, "position," listed "ANYTHING"
  • Did not sign and date the application