Neatness counts when filling out paperwork, and make sure all your information is correct
During the summer, many students and job seekers will be turning in job applications across the state.
Submitting a successful job application is the first step toward finding the job you want and making a good impression. A prospective employer may use job applications to pre-screen candidates before they even begin looking at résumés, so you want to ensure that your application is neat and filled out correctly.
When picking up or dropping off an application, be sure that your appearance is appropriate. Dress as though you are going to an interview. Bring your information, résumé, pens, and something to write on in case they would like to you fill out the application on site. Do not forget important identification and information such as your driver’s license and Social Security number.
Most employers use their own tailored job application forms, and applications can vary greatly from business to business. Look over the blank application before you start filling in your information. Read the instructions carefully, and see what information is required that you may need to gather or research. Double-check the job application deadline or closing date.
If something happens to your application before you turn it in, consider going back and asking for a new application. Coffee stains, crumpled paper, and torn applications are not the way to make a good first impression with an employer.
Fill out your application in a neat, professional manner. Always use black or blue pens, and do not use pencil. Print neatly and clearly. Check for misspellings before you turn it in. Whiteout small mistakes rather than crossing them out or scribbling over them.
Instead of leaving areas blank, write “Does not apply” or N/A in spaces where appropriate. For the job experience and employer information sections, do not simply write “See résumé.” Complete these sections with all of your past employment history and then attach your résumé. Make sure that your application is consistent with your résumé, especially when it comes to employers’ names, employment dates and job titles.
Always tell the truth on a job application. Just as you do not want to embellish or exaggerate on your résumé or in an interview, your job application needs to accurately represent your experience, knowledge, and skills.
Greet everyone politely in the office when dropping off your application, including the receptionist and anyone who assists you. You never know when you may make a great impression on some of the office staff who may then mention their encounter with you to an interviewer or supervisor.
There is a lot of detailed information that goes into a job application, and it can be tedious if you are filling out several at a time. You will need a range of information including addresses and phone numbers of previous employers, as well as salaries for each previous job.
To be better prepared to fill out job applications, you can take your information with you on a “Pocket Résumé.” NMDWS provides a free copy of the “Pocket Resume” that you can use for quick reference at www.dws.state.nm.us, under the “Job Seeker” heading. It’s always better to have too much information with you and be really prepared than to not have enough information and miss out on a job opportunity.
This is a regular column written by the N.M. Department of Workforce Solutions. For more information, go to www.dws.state.nm.us.