An essential part of the job hunting process is the act of filling out employment application forms. Often, this task is repeated multiple times before you can get a preliminary interview or even be hired. To help address the growing concerns of both new graduates and those just looking for new jobs, the internet is littered with various self-help articles on ways to help improve one’s employment applications and increase their chances of hired.

On this article, we focus more on actionable ways that you can follow through right now to help improve your employment application/s.

Rewrite your resume. Yes, you heard that right. Most of us just follow standard resumes or employment form templates we find online. Undoubtedly, some of them might be good enough for employers to peruse. But, if you want some oomph in your employee application forms to help differentiate it among hundreds others in the pile, you need to rewrite your resume incorporating a few things that will be discussed on this article.

When rewriting your resume, carefully consider the format of your resume. The most effective resumes are the ones that are concise and looks neat since employers will usually just skim through it. Also remember that a resume may be required in addition to or in lieu of a formal employment application form. Whatever the employer’s preference is, you should follow it.

Take training programs or certifications relevant to your field. Whether you are just out of university or already had prior jobs, investing in yourself by taking training programs and skills certification tests will help make your application more relevant. These training programs shows to an employer your interest in continuing education and in improving yourself.

Get good references. Employment forms will often require you to write character references. When filling out this portion of the form, make sure to include individuals who can personally attest to your competencies and skills since they have worked with you in the past. It also helps if your references are able to articulate well since they can express/talk about your work ethic in positive terms.

Fill out the application form accurately. As with any application form, you need to enter only accurate data regarding your past employment, educational background, and personal background if required. Employers consider an employment application form as an official company document so you should be truthful when filling one out.

List your strengths and/or good habits. Employment application forms will often include a portion for self-assessment and you will be asked about your strengths and weaknesses. Examples of character strengths that you may include are: being a people personal, being able to work well with others, being able to work without being told.

Leverage people skills and other soft skills. This item is an addendum to the previous tip. It deserves a separate spot on this list due to its importance. Across different industries and job levels, most employers will look for indicators of people skills in a prospective employee’s application form. Employers want new hires who can work well with others and those who are not easily intimidated by others/superiors.

Include other skills or hobbies like typing, learning another language, etc. In addition to a list of soft skills, employers also pay attention to the list of hobbies or random skills that employees include in their application forms. Human resource personnel see this as a sign of a health work-life balance. This is especially important in high-stress jobs where there is a high attrition rate.

Know someone in the company. As archaic as it may sound, knowing someone who is working for a company that you are applying for can still affect your chances of being hired. A caveat: You need to know the right person and this person should have a say or can put a good word about you to the management or hiring team. Knowing someone from the inside used to work well in the old days; but now, its effect has been decreased due to fair hiring processes.

Submit application forms on time. Companies typically follow a hiring timeline and will set deadlines for the submission of forms. Make sure to submit your application forms on or before the deadline. Some companies will have more time to evaluate applications sent in the beginning of the application period. And if you submit your application towards the deadline, chances are, your application will be lumped with other applications.

Practice interview skills. Submitting an job application form is not the finish line of the job hunting process. If you have successfully passed the application form hurdle, your next challenge will be the interview. Therefore, you should practice your interview skills. To do this, take note of all the information you listed in your application form since your interviewee will use this as reference. Be confident and truthful when answering the employer’s questions.

Study the company. If employers can do background checks on their employees by using employment verification forms, you can do the same thing for any employer. Google an employer’s history, its founders, its work environment, and read through their website. This allows you to get an idea of the company culture and will help you determining what a company wants in an employee.

Include your portfolio. For those applying for positions in the creative field, you may need to submit a portfolio on top of your application. Doing this will help your employer accurately gauge your skills and hire you accordingly when they see what you can do.

Leave your previous jobs properly. Employers conduct background checks on any prospective employee. They do this through employment verification or tax verification. That is why it is essential that when you leave a previous company, you do so by following proper resignation process. This way, your previous employer will be amicable if they asked to verify employing you in the past.

So there you have it – more than ten ways to help improve your employment application forms! Now, you know what is lacking in your employment application form and how to address that issue/s. For other employment application form examples, you can also search through this site.

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