Job applications showcase your skills and accomplishments to employers, but they can be tedious to fill out. When you're applying for many jobs, you might even worry about repetitive stress injuries from filling in all of those blanks. But don't be in a hurry to complete those forms -- or you risk submitting a weak application that will have hiring managers tossing yours in the reject pile. Include all relevant information about your experience, education, awards and professional associations, and complete the resume in its entirety.
It's tempting to complete job applications as quickly as possible before job interviews. Perhaps you don't want to waste your valuable interview time filling in the blanks on an application. A sloppy and illegible resume, however, gets you nowhere and might reflect negatively on your level of professionalism. Take your time completing the job application. Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early so you don't feel rushed. Or ask the interviewer whether you can take the application home and return it a day or two later.
An incomplete application is a weak application. Do what you can to avoid turning in an application that is missing information. Bring a list of previous employers, addresses and phone numbers with you on interviews. Include the names and numbers of supervisors, because many employers request this information. Read through the application first so you know how many pages are included, and ensure that you complete every page. Sign and date the resume at the bottom of the page, and proofread it before turning it in.
Short on Specifics
Tailor your job application to the job for which you are applying, or it might get tossed out by a quick-scanning hiring manager. Locate key words listed in the company's job description and explain how your accomplishments address those key attributes, according to "U.S. News & World Report." For example, if you know that supervisory experience and performance reviews are essential to the job, describe how you performed similar duties in your jobs. Key words are particularly crucial when you submit online applications. Screening programs search for them in the pre-screening process.
Failing to list references on an application is a mistake, but so is listing outdated references. References for bosses or coworkers you haven't seen or heard from in years are unacceptable, and possibly incorrect. Always contact your references first and get their permission before listing them on a job application. If you are interviewing for a job in the food industry, include references who also work in that industry. Update your list of references periodically so you have them available when filling out applications.