When searching for employment, it’s highly likely that you’ll be faced with many different job application forms, especially if you’re applying for graduate programmes and schemes.

Job application forms are used by employers to streamline the whole recruitment process and to give them greater insight into a candidates than is possible with just CV. Due to the range of questions included, application forms often offer applicants the chance to showcase their talents, skills and experience whilst also highlighting their personality.

The application should give the employer an insight into you as a person and encourage them to want to meet you to find out more. All of the candidates will be asked to fill out the same form, but you can use sections to show how you have developed relevant skills and gained valuable experience through your personal, work and academic life.

Nothing beats preparation

Before you even start to think about filling out the application form it is vital that you prepare yourself fully and do your research. Employers want to see evidence that you have made effort to understand the company and importantly, the job you are applying for.

Use the job description to highlight areas where you think you can find more information and begin your research. The company’s website can be a great place to start, but you should also think about the market the organisation is in and take a look at their competitors.

It can also help to print out the application form so you know the questions you are going to have answer so you can build the appropriate information. There might be a question asking about a certain skill or qualification requirement for the industry for instance – the more information you have at your disposal, the easier it will be to work out how your strengths and skills can benefit the employer.

Follow the instructions

It may sound simple but an employer will receive numerous job applications that have not followed the instructions carefully. Certain questions will set a word limit, whilst others may require two responses not just one.

Failing to read the instructions carefully shows a lack of attention to detail, which is one of the last things you want to be highlighting to a prospective employer. Given the amount of competition for openings, it is also the perfect excuse for them to reject your application.

Prepare your answers in a word processing document, where you can edit them until you feel they are perfect, and then you can copy and paste them across. Before you move on, make sure you are confident and have fully answered the question.

If you’re a graduate looking to kick-start your career, have a chat with Discovery Graduates and see how they can help get you started