There are important rules to follow when completing job application forms in the UK. Here, we highlight the most important and common conventions to adhere to improve the effectiveness of your document.
If you are handwriting your application form, use legible, clear style and complete in BLACK INK. Many employers photocopy the form for Interviewing Panels or to hold as records. If you are typing the form, always use a standard font such as Times Roman or Arial, and never set the size less than eleven points.
Always practise filling the form with a copy. When you are happy with your submission, you can then complete the original form.
Always insert the allocated Job Reference Number for the vacancy at the appropriate space on the form. Employers will normally issue a number to you along with the recruitment pack. Inserting the number makes it easier for the form to be processed. Also, if you have not heard from the employer after a significantly long period of time, you may need to quote the reference number when making an inquiry about the progress of your application.
Be sure to write in clear, proper sentences, using the third person and eliminating waffle. The same style adopted on your CV should be used in application forms... "responsible for"... "undertook duties"...You may use the first person when you submit "supporting statements". These are only submitted when the employer offers you that additional option. If you do submit supporting statements, make sure they are no longer than two A4 pages in length.
Always make sure to complete any accompanying documents such as Equal Opportunities monitoring or health history forms, if the employer has requested them. Failure to do might eliminate your application straightaway.
Finally, always retain a photocopy of your application form for yourself after you submit it to the employer.