10 Job Application Tips for Career Success

As I’ve mentioned recently, I’ve been very fortunate to receive several requests from authors to do guest posts on this career advice blog. 

Today, I have a guest post written by Elizabeth Cutten.  She’s currently running a project called MyJobApps, a resource dedicated to job seekers, helping them find salary information, job descriptions and so much more.  Check it out.

I focus on professional jobs.  Elizabeth focuses on the retail, restaurant and service industries. I think her advice on job applications applies is valuable.  That’s why I’ve chosen to post it here.  Here’s what she has to say…

When looking for a job in the retail, restaurant, or a service based industry, there is a good chance that you’re going to have to fill out a job application.  Sure, while many companies are going to make you fill out an application on a computer or even on their website, there are many things that you need to know before filling it out.  The last thing that you want to do is make a mistake, and find that the company just throws your application in the trash.  Here are ten bits of advice for filling out a job application to get that job that you want.

#1 Watch your spelling – Be sure that the information on your application is spelled correctly.    Yes, some people spell their street name wrong and even forget how to spell their High School name.  Ensure that everything is spelled correctly.

#2 Accuracy is key – One of the most important things on a job application is the accuracy itself.  If you put down the wrong information, it can come back to haunt you.  If you don’t know something such as a school address, don’t leave it blank!  You’re going to want to go back and put in the right info.

#3 Be honest – Yes, you’re going to have to write down your references, your criminal history and your past jobs.  Be sure to tell the truth here; as many of the larger companies will do a background check on you.  The best thing to do here is to just be honest.

#4 Practice first – If you bring home a paper application, be sure to ask for two.  The reason you want to do this is so that you can practice.  There is a good chance that you may make a mistake.  The last thing you want to do is put white out on the paper, or even scribble out some parts that aren’t correct.

#5 Fill it out at home – Don’t take the application and fill it out right in front of the manager.  This is probably the most unprofessional thing that you can do.  Not only are you not going to think straight, there’s a good chance you’ll screw up.  Take the application home and take your time to fill it out.

#6 Fill in the blanks – If there is a blank on the application, be sure to show the employer that you saw it.  Instead of leaving it back, just fill in a, “N/A.”  This is going to show the employer that you can’t add anything to that field.

#7 Flip over the application – I used to work in retail as a manager and I can’t tell you how many people came in to give me an application, and they didn’t fill out the back!  Be sure to flip over the back to ensure that you have completed the entire application.

#8 Hand it to a manager – Do your best to hand your application to the hiring manager.  You want to do this to make sure it gets to the correct person.  If you give your application to a worker, there’s a good chance that it can get lost.

#9 Follow the directions – Most applications work the same.  But just to be sure, read the directions.  For example, some applications may state not to use a red pen, etc.  While it may sound silly, it never hurts to read!

#10 Be neat – When filling out a paper application, it’s essential to write nicely, as well as not cram everything in a small box.  Obviously, you don’t have to worry about this on a computer, but be sure to take your time writing.  If you can’t write great, be sure to have someone help you.

Elizabeth presents some great common sense ideas to make sure your application gets the consideration it deserves and puts you on life road to career success.  Take your time, do it at home, and if you follow these mistake tips, there’s a good chance you can get hired!  Good luck.

That’s Elizabeth Cutten’s career advice on completing a job application in a manner that will get you noticed – and hired.  What do you think?  What job application horror stories do you have?  How did you deal with them?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success.  I value and appreciate you.


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