Job application forms may seem time consuming, and in some cases, daunting – depending on the questions – but if completed well it can be the first step towards an employer taking your application forward.

The most important thing to remember is that everyone has a different set of skills and strengths that they can bring to a job, so you need to work out where and how to highlight yours.

List your strengths

Throughout your time in education and work experience, you will have developed numerous skills and attributes that will appeal to an employer. Knowing your own strengths can be a big help when it comes to working out how to answer specific questions and tailor them to your own expertise.

Most candidates fail to understand how to talk about their skills well, and many can tent to just list them off. Remember that employers like to see evidence, so if you are going to talk about how good your organisational skills are, then make sure you have an example of when they were used and how you benefited from them.

Anyone can make bold statements on an application, but understanding what strengths are relevant to a specific job and knowing when to use them can set you apart from other candidates. It’s also hugely attractive to employers as it shows thought has gone into the application.

Triple check everything

It may be the simplest advice, but so many candidates will fail to impress on their job application through basic errors, such as poor grammar and spelling mistakes. It is the part of an application where you really have no excuses – while not everyone will have the ideal qualifications, experience or skills, all have the ability to go over their work and ensure there are no silly errors.

If you have the ability to save your work and come back to it (some sites will require everything to be completed in one go), take a 10 to 15 minute break and then look again – you will find that you are much more likely to spot mistakes with a fresh perspective.

If you are still not 100% confident, you can print it out and ask a family member or friend to take a look at it for you. They may be able to highlight areas that you have missed or that could require a little reworking.

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