What if I am applying for more than one vacancy from the same employer and have received two recruitment packs. Should I complete just one application form and send a copy for the other vacancy to save time?
Do not try to "save time" this way. If the employer has sent you two recruitment packs with different Job Descriptions (JDs) and Person Specifications ("Person Specs"), you are expected to complete both application forms, with information relevant to each vacancy. By not completing a form, you risk not highlighting adequate information relevant for the vacancy.
How much information must I provide on previous employment?
There are no "hard and fast" rules on how far back you can go in charting your employment history. Normally, you state the last ten years of your work experience, giving details of your job titles, responsibilities etc. In some instances, jobs more than ten years might have been far more relevant than more recent ones. Summarise more recent ones, and elaborate on relevant jobs.
What if I do not wish to reveal past salary details or health issues, as some employers demand?
These are not trick questions! Firstly, employers who require full details on health, past convictions or even origins of birth, are usually governed by legislation and have to ask these questions. Many employers do require personal information such as these. If you believe the employer is being unnecessarily intrusive or contravening normal Equal Opportunities policies, contact them for further explanations as to the requirements. Based on their feedback, you can decide if you want to apply.
What if the form does not have enough space to write my answers and the employer states that I should not submit additional pages?
You will have to follow the employer's instructions and ensure the answers are contained in the space provided. This is an extremely annoying factor, and you might believe you are losing vital information if you follow instructions. Firstly, remember that you are writing your application in rough, photocopied from the original and filled in as an initial exercise. Try to edit your answers painstakingly, providing only vital information and not waffling with unnecessary words. Secondly, if that does not work, select key elements you want to highlight in relation to the Person Specification / Job Descriptions and try again.
If you have no luck whatsoever in containing your information in the prescribed spaces, try contacting the employer and explaining your difficulty. Sometimes it is mere oversight on an employer's part in designing the form with such limited space.
Must I submit additional information with my application?
Only if the employer requires you to do so. The application form is normally in a book form and many employers design the form to contain necessary information without submission of additional documents. If the employer gives you the option to submit a supporting statement, make sure it is no more than two - three A4 pages, typed and labelled according to the employer's instructions. If the employer requires evidence of professional training or education, send photocopied documents, not your originals.
Must I enclose a cover letter with the application form?
More often than not, you will submit a cover letter, even if the employer does not request one. This is normal recruitment protocol. Your cover letter should simply quote the reference number, details of the position you are applying for with the usual salutations. Some employers might request more information, such as reasons you are applying, or salary expectations. Read the advertisement of instructions in your Recruitment Pack carefully to construct the appropriate cover letter. Alternatively, if the employer does not require a cover letter, it is not detrimental if you choose not to submit one. See cover letter protocol.