Overcoming Common Job Application Problems

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When people are looking for a job, they tend to spend a lot of time writing and revising their resumes and preparing to answer job interview questions. However, even employers who accept resumes from applicants are going to ask job candidates to fill out an application prior to making an offer.

Unfortunately, many people overlook getting prepared to fill out a job application form. Too often, people with excellent skills, great resumes and professional interviewing techniques disqualify themselves from jobs because they do not fill out job applications correctly. Filling out job applications is an important part of getting a new job, and it is necessary to make sure that you are just as prepared to fill out these forms as you are to answer tough job interview questions.

One of the most common job application problems is leaving sections of the application blank, or only partially filled out. Keep in mind that each question on a job application is there for a particular reason. If the question is on the form, the employer wants it to be answered. If you provide incomplete information on a job application, the message you are sending the employer is that you cannot follow instructions. No one wants to hire an employee that can’t fill out a simple form.

One of the most common omissions on job applications is the last names of the individuals listed as references. This is a red flag to employers, who are really have to wonder about your suitability for employment if you don’ t know the last names of your references. How well can someone speak for you if you don’t know the person’s last name?

Another common problem with job applications comes in when applicants think that writing the phrase “see resume" is sufficient for the work history section. You should always fill out the work history section on an employment application in its entirety. Many companies have very specific hiring and reference checking procedures that are based solely on the application form.

It is also important to think about how you are going to list your reasons for leaving your prior positions on job application forms. It is important to be truthful, but there are tactful ways to be truthful and there are ways to be truthful that can keep you from being considered for a new job. You might not have liked your last boss, but you certainly shouldn’t list that as your reason for leaving your last job.

Before you start applying for jobs, you should get a standard job application form and fill it out completely. Get someone that you know and trust to review the form to make sure that the form is complete and that the content is well written, spelled properly, and makes sense as written. That way, every time you go on a job interview, you will have all of the information you are likely to need with you already.


Careers and Job Hunting
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