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Everything you need to know about job applications

Fill out an application form with confidence and get the job you want.

What is an application form?

This is a form an employer may ask you to fill out when you’re applying for a job. Employers like them because each person applying answers the same structured questions.  

Then, employers can easily look at everyone’s backstory and see who’d be best for the job. An application form is a great chance to stand out from others – use this to your advantage.  

Listen, we know it can feel repetitive and time-consuming to fill out lots of job applications. But that’s why our tips and example questions are here to help you power through and get that job.

Here are our top tips for filling out an application form 

Online applications are more popular than ever! Although, there are some things you should keep in mind about them. Here’s our tips for tackling an online application form.

  1. Do your homework. Before you start your application, make sure you understand what the employer does and how you’d fit in. Show you know about the company in your answers and it’ll be clear to them that you really want the job. 
  2. Save as you go. Online applications will sometimes log you out if you’ve not been active for a while. So, make sure you save regularly to avoid losing your work. Once you’re finished, save a copy of your answers so you’ve got some ready to tweak for the next time you do an application form. 
  3. Check, check and check again. Go back through the form once you’ve finished and make sure you’ve answered everything you need to. It’s also a good idea to use an online spelling and grammar checker. 
  4. Shout about your skills. You’ve done lots of great things, so make them work for you! Mention any qualifications, achievements and work experience you’ve got. It’s important to tailor these to the job you’re applying for. Again, use this is a chance to stand out from other candidates.

And here's what employers are saying about applications

Show you have a deep understanding of the role you're applying for. When answering questions, pay attention to the prompts. They'll usually steer you towards the key job criteria they're looking for and you should weave that into your answers. Focus on you as a person if given the opportunity, as an employer wants to get a sense of what you'd be like to work with.John DuffinLearning and Development Advisor, NHS Scotland