Producing a Winning Application for Employment

By C.E. Pelc

Often the first step in the screening/hiring process, the application may be the employer’s first impression of you. To ensure that it isn’t the last, keep the following tips in mind:

• Create a master application. Put the effort into compiling a complete, correctly spelled application. Carry it with you to use as a master form in filling out other applications.

• Ask for two copies of the application so that you have a backup if you make an error. You might call the personnel department and ask to have these applications sent to your home address, thus saving on travel time and expense. However, a trip to a potential employer is always valuable.

Look over the application before filling it out. Many applications have instructions or comments you should be aware of before answering. Read the fine print carefully. By complying with instructions, you indicate to your prospective employer your ability to follow directions and your attention to detail.

• Fill out the application neatly and carefully. Whether you’re printing legibly or typing, take the time to copy the information carefully from your master application. Filling out the application at home might enable you to feel more relaxed and less rushed.

• Address all of the questions, leaving nothing blank. If there is a question to which you do not wish to respond, or which you think is inappropriate, then you can either write N/A (not applicable) or use a dash (-).

• Review your completed application carefully (even if you think there are no mistakes).

• Make a photocopy of it to keep for your files.

Return to: That First Summer Job

Corrie Pelc is Special Sections editor of Bay Area Parent.
From United Parenting Publications, 2003.