Creating an Application: Hints to a Successful Job Application

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Creating an Application: Hints to a Successful Job Application

Some employers only require a résumé and cover letter to be considered for a position. However, some employers require a completed job application as well. Here are some pointers to aid in a successful job application:

Arrive prepared with the information you need.

It is better to have more information then not enough. If you have a resume, you have most of the information you will need. However, you may also need your social security card, driver’s license, addresses and phone number of previous employers as well as starting and ending salaried for each previous job.

Read and follow directions carefully.

Consider this your first test in following directions and how you complete a task. Read through the entire application to make sure you understand what is being asked and where you are expected to answer each question.

Complete the application as neatly as possible.

Neatness and legibility counts, so utilize your best penmanship. Your application is a reflection of you, so take your time. Consider using a typewriter if available; otherwise, use a blue or black pen (erasable if possible) and have white-out to correct minor errors. Do not bend, fold, or mar the application.

Tailor your answers to the job you are seeking.

Treat your application with the same thought and preparation you gave your résumé. Focus your education and experience to the job for which you are applying. Show why you are more experienced than other applicants. Don’t overlook experience by focusing solely on past employment. Be sure to include examples from volunteer work, organizations or clubs, and school.

Don’t leave any blanks.

Employers ask applicants the same specific questions across the board in order to gather the same information. If the question does not apply to you, use “not applicable.” Never answer “See attached résumé” questions, but you are always welcome to attach it.

Don’t provide any negative information.

The object of the application is to get an interview. Providing negative information could hinder a positive outcome.

Always answer truthfully.

While you may be tempted to embellish when applying for a job, you will want to honestly answer any question asked. In some cases, an incomplete answer is best. For example, if you were fired due to down-sizing or budget cuts, simply write “job ended” as your reason for living and leave further explanation for the interview.

Do not put specific salary requirements.

It is too early in the game to start salary negotiations. Instead, respond with “negotiable” or “open.”

Provide references.

Employers want to get an objective perspective on your performance and character. Pick your references carefully, but make sure you have checked with them first.

Keep your applications consistent with your résumé.

Make sure that all of the dates, titles, and information on your application coincide with your résumé.

Proofread your application before submission.

Take a minute to look over your application.


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We know getting the perfect job can be one tough nut to crack. Luckily, the secret to your success is right here in Troup County, where you’ll find a wide range of career opportunities. And we’re here to serve you with a large helping of job openings, tips and resources. Stay positive - there are plenty of employers out there looking for one smart cookie just like you!


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