Making The First Impression: Filling Out The Job Application

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By: Human Resources Professional Laz Watkins
Have you ever heard the saying, “a first impression is a lasting impression”? Well in the world of work this saying certainly rings true. Any employers first initial impression of you can be seen in how you complete a job application for employment. It is essential to know how to complete an application as well as what to do and not to do when initially applying for employment. This is a quick introduction into the very first introduction you make about yourself.

• First things first, have a resume. Most employers expect to see in conjunction with filling out a job application a resume. A resume is a record of your educational history as well as any previous employment you may have had. As most employers will require that you complete a formal application having a resume is a good reference in helping you to complete an application.

• Second, when completing any job application, legibility is key. As a human resource professional who has seen a lot of applications if I cannot read what you wrote, you will be overlooked. Printing in neat, clear penmanship will allow the employer to correctly assess your eligibility for the job as well as lend itself to that first initial impression. If you have not so good handwriting you might want to try typing it. But you will still have to handwrite your signature at the end. NEVER type your signature!

• Third, do not omit any information asked on the application. Make sure you provide a correct way to reach you should the employer be interested. You would be surprised as to how many people forget to write their number or email or both down. This could lead up to a lost opportunity on your part.

• Fourth, when completing the section on previous work history complete it in full and be accurate in all dates that you were employed. Also, do not leave this blank just because you have a resume. The employer uses the application often to investigate and correlate what you wrote against your resume and of any background check is administered. If I see this left blank I will most likely put that applicant at the bottom of the pile, as we require a completed document. Not good.

• Fifth, make sure you sign and date your application. This ensures that you are asserting that what you have written is correct. Also make sure you always read the fine print at the end BEFORE signing. The fine print usually states that what you have written is true to the best of your knowledge and if there are any questionable or false things written that this could be grounds for further action, which often leads to job offers not being made or taken back after they have been made, if you are not truthful on your application. Very important.

Hopefully this will give you a good start into applying for employment. The next segment coming up will discuss the resume and cover letter and why it is important in the employment process; and what makes a good resume stand out from the rest.

Happy Job hunting!!!!

Questions???

One thought on “Making The First Impression: Filling Out The Job Application

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