By Courtney Federoff
A job application is a form that someone is required to fill out when he or she is looking for employment. Some employers use the application for paperwork purposes after an applicant has come in for an interview. But for other jobs, especially part-time ones, applications are the first impression a potential worker can make.
If you are applying for a job that requires filling out an application, it’s important to remember that, in many cases, the application is the first impression you will be making with the potential employer. With that in mind, I advise my clients to put their best foot forward and do everything possible to improve their chance of getting noticed.
In the application world, you are judged by what you write. Therefore, it’s important to take steps to make sure that writing is neat, accurate and free of spelling errors or typos. Here are some other things to consider when filling out a job application:
- Be positive. Always answer application and assessment questions in a positive way. You want to portray yourself as an employee they want to hire, someone with excellent customer service skills. Prove to them that you’re in it for the long haul. Think of what would you want out of an employee then be that person. You would want someone who provides excellent customer service and most employers would too.
- Be able to explain gaps in employment. Have a legitimate reason why you left your previous job and why there was a portion of time you were not working. Volunteer in between jobs to fill those openings and sharpen your skills at the same time.
- Make yourself available. I am surprised by how many people tend to say they have limited availability to work even though they aren’t working and have plenty of availability. Employers prefer someone who can work anytime as opposed to someone who only says they are free for a limited number of hours every other day.
- Do your homework before your start. Online career development websites like Quintessential Careers are great resources for getting you prepared.
Obtaining employment is a challenge. Knowing what the employer is looking for can be difficult. But if you shine yourself in the best light possible and sell your skills, you have a better chance at landing a job. Be open to salary and schedule. By putting too many restraints on your application you are giving the employer fewer options. Open yourself up. Be the ‘you’ that you would hire.
By Courtney Federoff, JCS Career Center Coach
The JCS Career Center offers comprehensive employment assistance that helps job seekers of all abilities and skill levels find and maintain employment. Services include career coaching, career assessments, resume and cover letter services, interview preparation, job readiness training, vocational rehabilitation and job placement assistance.