We’ve all had this experience; you spend time searching for a job in your field of interest, research the company, and craft a quality resume and cover letter. You’re sure that, when you actually apply for the position, a quick click of a button will be all that you need to send your materials for consideration. However, once you click that button, you’re required to fill out ten pages of information that’s already on your resume!
Job applications can be a daunting task for new job applicants. To make sure you are successful in landing a job, following a strategy for your application process is important – including a strategy for the job application form. Make sure you fill in the application form correctly, trustfully, error free, and completely.
There are many common applicant tracking systems (ATS) that collect your data for the employers once you have filled out an application. The upside is that your application information is saved and you do not have to fill it out every time you apply for a different job that uses that same system. However, the downside is that because there are so many job application systems, companies choose whichever one is best for them, meaning you may need to fill slightly different applications out multiple times.
Here’s how to keep it all organized. Create one folder in your computer with all your materials – resumes, cover letters, references, test scores, transcripts, and a document that has all the application questions filled out. This will make it easier for you to Copy/Paste your information into the application form.
Common things that are asked in an application form include:
- Personal Information – Name, Address, city, state, zip code, Phone number, Email address, Social security number (You do not have to add it in your application unless marked as mandatory). Are you eligible to work in the United States? This is important information that international students might need to know about. (If you are an international student and have applied for or received your OPT EAD – Employment Authorization Document, then and only then are you eligible to work in the United States). If you are under age eighteen, do you have an employment certificate? Have you been convicted of a felony? (This differs in different states and may not be legal in the state you are applying to.)
- Education and Experience – School(s) attended, degrees, graduation date, Certifications, Skills and qualifications, Grade Point Average (G.P.A.), Extracurricular activities where you held a leadership role, Honor societies.
- Employment History – Make sure you write down ALL of your employers, Employer company, Address, phone, email, Supervisor, Job title and responsibilities, Salary (you do not need to fill this unless marked as mandatory), Starting and ending dates of employment (month, day, year), Reason for leaving, Permission to contact the previous employer
- References – Name, Job title, Company, Address, phone, email
To successfully complete and get through the ATS make sure you follow all the instructions mentioned before your application, use formatting mentioned in the system, and use keywords mentioned in the job description.
By following these steps, you’ll give your application the best chance of being favorably considered the moment you hit that SUBMIT button!