Anyone that has been job hunting is likely to be familiar with the tedious process of filling out job applications. Filling out form after form for each position you apply to certainly isn’t fun. However, job applications remain a crucial part of the employment process. These applications provide employers with vital information about candidates and help them screen for the most suitable ones. As a result, job applications could be considered just as important as resumes when it comes to landing an interview. Many people fill out job applications much like they would fill out any other type of form. However, this mindset could prevent you from presenting yourself to employers as best as possible. So check out our job application checklist below if you’d like to start filling out job applications in the way that professionals with established careers do.   A photo showing a silver laptop resting on a wooden table.

1. Review the Job Application’s Instructions

Job applications from large companies often feature a list of instructions to follow. These could be instructions related to the format in which information should be presented, the word limit for a section, or instructions on what kind of information to include. It’s important to read these instructions carefully and follow them while filling out your application. Failing to follow instructions could lead to the company’s application review system rejecting your application, even if you possess the right qualifications for the position. This is one of the primary tips that people using job search assistance programs are taught to follow, so be sure to understand the application form’s instructions before proceeding.

2. Include a Detailed Work History

The main section in each job application focuses on the applicant’s work history. This section includes numerous slots or boxes where you can mention your past roles, job starting and ending dates, and duties. Filling out your job title, company name, and start and end is relatively straightforward. However, the portion where you list your duties is trickier and far more important. This is because it’s possible to make a simple duty or activity seem far more valuable with the right wording. We’ve previously discussed the importance of quantifying your achievements in our resume writing guidance blog. You should do the same when you fill out your work history in job applications.

3. Explain Work History Gaps

If you have long gaps in your work history, you should provide a satisfactory explanation to the employer. This could be time taken off to pursue a degree, help with a family business, or the recovery period following an illness or severe injury. Explaining these gaps is important because it offers the employer more insight into who you are and how committed you’ve been to building your skillset. Your explanation can also showcase some transferable skills that may be useful to the company. For example, if you quit a job to focus on fundraising for a charity organization, mentioning this on your job application form can convey that you possess sales skills.   A photo showing a person in a brown sweater using a laptop at a table.  

4. Double-Check Your Contact Information

Including the correct contact information sounds like a no-brainer. However, it’s always possible for someone filling out multiple application forms each day to rush through this section and make mistakes. If you’re filling out a job application form online, your web browser may have already saved your contact information. In this case, you simply need to click a single button to have it autofill your contact details in each field in the application’s contact section. However, this approach can still lead to some mistakes, such as your phone number being entered into the zip code field or vice-versa. Including the wrong email address or contact number could lead to you missing out on an interview opportunity, so be sure to double-check your contact information and ensure it is complete and accurate.

5. Use Keywords

In the digital era, companies sort job applications using computerized systems. These systems can scan and analyze hundreds of applications in a matter of minutes by looking for specific keywords. They then forward the applications that contain a high number of matching keywords to the employer. For this reason, you should consider including these keywords in your work history or other sections of the job application. You should note that employers don’t publicly list the keywords they ask their systems to check for. However, you can read through the job description carefully and try matching some of the terms used in it. Alternatively, you can reach out to a career guidance counselor who has experience with keyword research. This professional can help you fill out your job applications with the right keywords and offer additional career guidance for adults.   A photo showing a person using a laptop computer at a round table.

Why Choose Resu Consulting?

Filling out job applications might not be fun, but the process does get easier with time. With enough practice, you’ll be able to breeze through these forms and present your information in a manner that gets the system to select you. Once you’re done with your job application, you’ll be required to include your resume before submitting it to the employer. You should ensure your resume is optimized and up-to-date. If you’d like to have your resume reviewed by an expert, consider contacting Resu Consulting. Our consultants offer resume review services for free and can offer valuable advice on how you can improve yours. As the best site for career guidance, we take pride in offering numerous services designed to help professionals. This includes career coaching, resume writing, cover letter writing, and LinkedIn profile writing. Get in touch with us and book an appointment with our consultants today.
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