Id (technomonkey) wrote,

Tips for filling out job applications

I just found this file floating around in my My Documents, and don't remember if I posted it or not.  It's from when I was working at Choicepoint, doing data entry for job application data verification.

Some tips on filling out a job application:

Spelling counts.  Writing 'career inhancement' as your reason for leaving will not enhance your career.

Take care with your abbreviations.  'Associate' should not be shortened beyond 'assoc.'

Be consistent.  If you list an employment as 'present,' don't give a reason for leaving.

If you see a question that asks something to the extent of, "May we contact this employer," be aware that this will ONLY be taken seriously for your present employer.  That's the one that, if contacted, could conceivably get you fired - and subsequently could lead to a lawsuit.  Every employer prior to the current one has no obvious legal repercussions, and is therefore fair game.  If you say "no" to that question for a former employer, it makes the person reading it curious as to why, and they're almost guaranteed to make that phone call.

If you are filling out an application for employment and a question is on the application, consider that a request for the information.  Writing "available on request" on an app is nothing more than being difficult with someone that you hope is going to hire you.

Show you care.  Every character you write on the application is a reflection on you - shouldn't every one of 'em be legible?  Use a pen that's not so thick that you can't tell characters apart, but not so thin that it becomes invisible after it's been faxed two or three times (as they almost all are).  Similarly, typing your application is appreciated, but using 6 point fonts so you can  fit everything on one page is not.  Use a separate sheet if you have to: that's MUCH better than having to use a magnifying glass to even guess what's on the page.

Be aware of certain terms.  "Alternate" springs to mind - if you're asked for an alternate phone number and don't have one, go ahead and leave it blank.  Not every field is required.

If you worked at two places in the same time period, list them separately, fer cryin' out loud!  Conversely, if you worked at one place over multiple separate time periods, you're allowed to list that only once, with all the time frames listed.  (This becomes debatable when you've held different job titles in those times, so use your best judgement.)

Avoid using symbols if you can.  There may be a perfect icon for your former job title, but if the person entering the information into the computer doesn't know it, it does more harm to you than the benefits of saving characters while filling out the application are worth.

Know the bridges you may be burning.  If you write the reason for leaving a job as "my manager was an idiotic a-hole," my company will copy that into our system word for word, then try to verify it, sometimes both verbally and by fax.  Chances are, the idiotic a-hole will see it.

If you are asked for your Date of Birth, include all three components as applicable to the day you were born: Month, Day of Month, Year.  Putting down August 13, 2004 doesn't answer the question you were asked.

Watch your spelling.  Misplacing a single letter can change your job title from "Caregiver" to "Cargiver."
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