In order to land your next job, whether it’s your dream job or not, you’re going to have to fill out a job application.
For a lot of people, especially new job seekers, this can be a somewhat daunting task. Picking up your first job application can be overwhelming. There are a lot of questions, and it can often look a lot like a tax form, which is enough to make most of us break out in hives.
But job applications aren’t scary. Or at least they don’t have to be.
Most job applications are going to ask for the same standard information. Make sure you know it, or can access it easily:
• Your Name
• Your Social Security Number (most companies will want to do a background check)
• Your Address
• Your Phone Number
They will also ask for information about your salary requirements, shift availability, and when you can start working.
Some other questions you’ll probably see will be about your level of education (do you have a high school diploma or not) and whether or not you’ve ever been convicted of a crime. DO NOT LIE on these questions. Not having a high school diploma, or having certain types of criminal background will not necessarily keep you from getting the job, but lying about them definitely will.
You might be asked for detailed information about your education, and any special skills you might have relevant to the job, and you will most likely be asked for some references. These references will need to be professional references if possible, and if you don’t have any work history, they will need to be personal references who are NOT related to you (like a teacher).
Some other things you’ll want to remember when completing a job application:
• If you’re planning to complete it in person, dress as if you were going for an interview.
• If you’re completing a paper copy, use a blue or black ink pen, and write legibly (this means other people can read it).
• If you make a mistake, get a new copy so you can return a cleanly written application.
• If you know that you have poor handwriting, see if the company has an online job application available.
• If you are going to apply online, use your computer to check your spelling. Also make sure you use proper capitalization and punctuation where applicable. Listing your name as “john smith” instead of “John Smith” doesn’t look very professional and may take you out of the running for the job before you even get started.
Completing a job application isn’t as scary as you might think. You can do it!