With the popularity of online platforms such as LinkedIn, it is easier than ever to apply for jobs. Typically for any opening, employers have to sift through a plethora of job applications, some of which they might even reject due to minor errors in the resume or application.
If you’re applying for jobs, odds are the application process doesn’t simply involve you submitting a resume via email or on a job portal anymore. Employers tend to add a level of complexity to the process to ensure only serious candidates submit their details by filling out their online applications.
The applications typically require details about the applicant’s contact information, academic achievements, employment history, and other relevant areas of interest. Of course, the application letter is an integral part of any submission.
Some employers even take the application one step further by including questions that require you to prove your interest and explain why you’re the perfect fit for the job.
It can often seem overwhelming when going through the application process, but we have some writing tips that can make writing a job application easier and increase your chances of landing the job.
What Is A Job Application?
A job application is a formal document required by employers to facilitate the hiring process. It acts as a statement for why you are the ideal candidate for the position as it consists of relevant personal and professional information that the employer can use to maintain a personnel file.
While some jobs might expect you to apply with a resume and cover letter, other employers expect an online, paper, or email application for shortlisting candidates during the hiring process.
Sending a well-written application is important when applying for any job as it is maintained in the employer’s records, and even if you don’t make it in the cut for the particular job you apply for, it might lead your application to be considered for future job openings.
Job Application Writing Tips
1. Research the Organization
Never start writing an application before you have a thorough understanding of the organization you’re applying to. Initial research is important to evaluate the expectations of the employer and also help you get the upper hand by familiarizing yourself with the employer’s values, vision, and mission to understand their mindset and use them in your application to emphasize how you’d be a great fit for their company culture.
The company’s website can also help you familiarise yourself with the organization’s main products and services. We would also encourage conducting a broader search engine or social media search to understand the factors that are driving the changes in the organization.
Information is power, and the more you know about your organization, the better you’ll know what type of answers they expect in a job application which will subsequently increase the chances of you landing the job.
2. Take a Step Back
The key to acing a job application is to understand exactly what the employer is asking for. The best way to do that is by thoroughly reading the application form first before you even start writing.
While most job applications follow a standard format that requires submitting your personal details first, followed by academic details and professional information, you should still be on the lookout for different patterns as companies tend to tailor the application to suit their job requirements.
Taking a rough overview of the application form can help you understand what you’re in for and help you better tackle the application, so don’t miss out on this step.
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3. Anticipate the Requirements
As a job application is meant to provide comprehensive information about your contact details, academic achievements, employment history, and other awards or certifications you might have amassed during the years, you should have the relevant documents in your possession when filling out the application.
The applications can often ask for scans or images of certain documents, so be sure to have soft copies of important documents such as your university degrees, employment letters, and reference letters. You never know what detail they might ask for, so it’s better to be prepared to get the formalities done as soon as possible so you can spend more time on the descriptive question sections.
4. Provide Accurate Information
Sharing inaccurate information on your job application can become grounds for termination if your employer discovers it. At times at the end of an application, there is even a tick box that you need to check next to a statement of acknowledgment that states the information you have shared on the application is accurate and true, making it legally binding.
Even if the employer discovers the discrepancies in the initial documents after being employed, they can still terminate your contract and ask companies to verify information through background checks. Therefore, it is important to stay one step ahead of the employer and submit details that are valid in your application.
5. Customize Your Application
A good rule of thumb for being shortlisted is tailoring the application to the job requirements to make it seem like you are the perfect fit for the position and possess the relevant qualifications in line with their specified criteria.
“Tailoring” the application does not involve copy-pasting the job requirements; instead, focus on deriving examples from your work experiences that can suit the requirements. For example, if the job description states the applicant should possess strong communication skills, it would be beneficial to include examples of how you maintained effective communication streams in projects during your previous employment experiences.
6. Focus on Tone and Language
Another important thing to be considered is keeping the general tone of your application formal and staying away from slang or conversational terms as it is a professional document, and the tone should reflect the seriousness of the applicant.
When writing a job application, you also need to be very conscious of the language and terminology being used.
In addition to ensuring your document is free from grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors, you need to ensure the application language is set to the country you’re applying to. For example, if you’re applying from the United States to a job in the United Kingdom, you need to ensure your spellings are in line with the dialect of British English.
7. Word Selection Is Key
It is important to select your words carefully when crafting your job application. Don’t assume the employer will know what you’re talking about as they won’t spend a second more on your application than they do on other applications, nor will they spend time trying to decipher what you mean, which is why the application should be clear and concise.
In the spirit of being clear, be sure to stay away from complex words that can overcomplicate the meaning of your text, and while you might think flowery language can make your achievements seem more impressive, there is a possibility the employer might not understand exactly what you’re trying to say.
Additionally, always be sure to state full forms if you’re using acronyms as your employer won’t spend a lot of time trying to figure out whether CDC stands for the Centers for Disease Control or the Central Depository Company.
8. Understand the Different Forms of Information Required
The job application won’t ask you for one type of information only. There will be a section to fill outstandard information, including your biodata, yes or no questions for legal purposes, and there will also be in-depth sections that might ask you questions such as”Why do you think you’re the right fit for this job,””Why do you want to work in this department/organization” or “Give an example of a time when you displayed leadership when working on a team.”
These questions don’t have a right or wrong answer, but they are golden opportunities for you to be more descriptive and provide the employer an insight into your interests and personality as you can elaborate upon your achievements and add a human element to the facts you’d typically present on a resume.
9. Navigating A Free-Form Job Application
While most job applications are typically structured, there is a more challenging application that allows you to showcase whichever qualities and qualifications you believe are relevant to the position.
A job application letter can be used to provide details about your academic and professional background and explain why you have an interest in the position. There is no clear pattern specified by employers for this type of application, but generally, the application highlights qualities that should set you apart from other potential candidates for the position in the eyes of the employer.
This type of job application should contain information that is relevant and to the point, as employers are typically pressed for time and always be sure to back anything you are saying with appropriate data information that supports your claims.
Employers don’t typically specify a format for application, but there are a range of professional formats and templates available online for writing job applications, and you can choose any format that appeals to you as long as it is consistent and states relevant information clearly and concisely.
These application letters are normally sent via email. They should include professional salutations and greetings addressed to the hiring manager with a formal sign-off on the letter’s conclusion. The first and last impressions are exceptionally important in these types of applications as a professional and memorable application letter can often lead to the old job application proceeding to the next stages of the hiring process.
There is an art to writing a successful application; however, if you are struggling to paint your achievements and the best light possible, you can always hire an organization to provide application writing services as they can help you write your application from scratch or create a cohesive letter with the information you share that can increase your chances of getting a job interview.
10. Don’t Forget to Edit and Proofread
After writing any document, it is a good habit to proofread your work as the first draft is never as good as we think it is. The first draft should focus on ensuring all the important points are included in the application regardless of whether they relate to personal or professional information. The draft should be revised multiple times and spellchecked to ensure there are no blatant are minor errors that can be off-putting to the employer.
When editing your document, you need to take a look at it from the perspective of a person who has no prior knowledge about you and your qualifications, as this helps you determine if the text is easy to comprehend for someone who is reading it for the first time.
We do understand that it is difficult to maintain an unbiased perspective when reviewing your work, which is why it can be beneficial to avail a professional editing and proofreading service for an outsider’s perspective to achieve maximum clarity before you’re on your way to submitting an application for a job you deserve.