Applications forms are the most common method of applying for a job, so it's important that you complete them to the best of your ability.
Employers usually receive lots of applications, so yours needs to stand-out and make a good impression.
Application forms make it easy for an employer to compare applicants because the layout and format of the forms is the same for each candidate (unlike CVs which can look very different).
Information you may be asked to provide
An application form may ask for information on your sexual orientation, religion or belief, disabilities, age, race or gender. Employers are entitled to ask for this kind of information for statistical purposes but cannot make a decision in the selection process based on this.
It is against European law to discriminate against a person applying for a job based on any of these details.
Right to work in the United Kingdom
At some stage you may be asked for proof that you are able to work in the UK. It would be a good idea to use your National Insurance card if you have one.
Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Disclosure
Criminal Records Bureau forms are usually given out with applications forms for jobs that require you to work with or near children or vulnerable adults.
Tips on filling in application forms
- read the form in full, as well as any accompanying guidance notes, before you start filling it in
- find out as much as you can about the employer - their website is the best place to start
- photocopy the form a few times in case you make a mistake; or fill it in pencil first
- follow the instructions carefully; for online forms make a note of any passwords or confirmation numbers
- if you are intending to include your CV with the application form avoid writing 'see CV' - you must include all information on the form itself
- if you are filling in an online application, type up your answers in a Word document first to make sure that there are no spelling mistakes and to avoid losing unsaved answers
- make sure that you fill in all the necessary boxes and answer every question. If the question does not apply to you, write 'not applicable' or 'N/A'.
- try to keep your answers relevant to the job description
- all answers should be brief, to-the-point and factual. Be honest.
- if possible, ask someone to read through your practice form before you send off the final version or before you submit it online
- check with your chosen referees if it's OK to put their names down before including them on the form
- send a covering letter with the form
- put your name on any extra pieces of paper that you are sending
- keep a copy of your completed form so that you can refer to it if you're invited for interview
- use an envelope that's big enough for the form to fit in without folding
- make sure the form arives before the closing date!