Employment Application Forms:
Most employers require prospective employees to provide at least basic information about themselves (full name, address, age, sex, education, work experience, etc.) by completing Application Forms. In some cases, such forms may be completed just before or during an interview, but in other cases a prospective employee asks by letter or telephone call for a blank form to be sent to him/her, or may call to collect one, and is then expected to complete it and return it personally or by post to the employer concerned. Application Forms may also be filled online or downloaded.
Application forms used differ greatly from organization to organization, and frequently one organization may issue different forms for different categories or types of jobs; those for more senior or ‘technical’ posts may be longer and require more information than those for more junior posts. However, a good, well designed form (and unfortunately not all are) should request the required information in a logical sequence, providing adequate spaces in which the information can be typed or written by applicants.
The First Step
When you receive an application form to complete, your first step (wherever possible) should be to read right through it to see the type of information required, and the style and order in which it is required; also read carefully any notes provided for guidance in completing the form. If you start filling in the first piece of information required without reading the whole form and any notes, you might find later that you are not doing so in the required or correct way – and if you start erasing, crossing-out or re-writing information, the form will become untidy, create a bad impression and may not even be read.
For example, at the bottom of the form it may be stated: ‘COMPLETE THIS FORM IN BLOCK (CAPITAL) LETTERS.’ If you have started filling in the form in ordinary, upper and lower-case writing/typing before spotting the instruction, you may have difficulty in rectifying the error(s).
When you are ready to start completing the form, read the first piece of information required carefully. Make sure you understand what is required and give exactly what is required. If your age is asked for, then give it (to the nearest full year, unless otherwise stated); do not write your date of birth instead, or “over 21” – accurate, easy to assess information is what is required.
If separate spaces or lines are not provided for (a) surname / family name and (b) Forenames, and your full name has to be written on one line, continuously, do emphasize your surname or family name, perhaps by underlining it.
For example, in the name ‘Norman Russell Grant’, ‘Norman’, ‘Russell’, and ‘Grant’ could all be either the surname or the forename. To avoid embarrassing or concerning a person who might have to decide how to address a letter or whom to ask for on the telephone, the name should be written as: –
NORMAN RUSSELL GRANT or as
GRANT – NORMAN RUSSELL or as
GRANT Norman Russell
I personally prefer the third one. So, I normally write my name as RAMDIANEE Mohammad Ibrahim
Tips for Completing Application Forms
When completing an application form, always bear in mind the people who are going to read what you have written/typed. Firstly, you are unlikely to be the only one submitting a completed form, so the person who will go through them first will be looking for (a) ‘probably’ suitable candidates, (b) ‘possibly’ suitable candidates, and (c) ‘unsuitable candidates. As the returned, completed forms are read, they are likely to be sorted into the three categories or piles. You want your form to be placed in category (a) – the probables. This can only happen if:-
1. Your form is neatly completed, so that it attracts favorable attention – and stands out from the rest – so that it will be read fully;
2. You have provided the right and relevant information in the right order;
3. You have provided sufficient information – but not too much;
4. The information you have provided is easy to read – if your handwriting is difficult to read, or if there are crossings-out and/or corrections, or if the reader has to struggle to ‘pick out’ the facts, your form will not be read, and will probably be placed in pile (c);
(Of course, it the information you have provide makes it apparent that you do not have the qualifications or experience or attributes, etc., required, your form will definitely have to be placed in pile (c)).
If after the ‘sort’ there are too many forms in pile (a), a second reading of them will be necessary to reduce the number. Conversely, if there are too few forms in pile (a), a second reading of those in pile (b) and may be even those in pile (c) will have to take place to see whether any can be transferred to pile (a). (Where possible, the number of people called for interviews is often limited to six). So, points 1 to 4, above, are important at all times.
It is quite possible that a different person (or persons) will conduct your interview, and he/she may well read through your form before your even enter the interview room. If the interviewer(s) is attracted by the way your form has been completed, you will create a good impression even before you are seen!
But if, on the other hand, the presentation of your form does not appeal, you will have to struggle hard during the interview to overcome the bad impression created by the form.
Always bear in mind points 2 and 3 when deciding what information to give. You need to provide sufficient to persuade the reader that you do have the right qualities etc., being looked for. But you must not give so much information that the reader will become bored ‘wading’ through it. The information must be relevant, that is, be related to the questions asked or to the facts required.
For example, if you are asked to give details of any ‘overseas experience’, there is no point in giving details of foreign holidays you have taken – information about any overseas ‘work’ experience is what is required!