An employer may ask you to fill in an application form instead of sending a CV. The form could be on paper or online.
Follow our guide on how to fill out an application form.
Gather together all the details you’ll need to fill in the application form, for example:
Read the job description and instructions on the application form to understand what the employer wants. Research the employer to find out who they are and what they do. Using this information, you can start to plan what you're going to add to your form.
You may have to fill out an application form using a computer. If you do not have access to a computer, you can book time on one at your local library.
You'll usually need to include your:
Depending on the job, you may also need to add your:
Fill in your education history, starting with the most recent first.
You'll need to list:
You'll add your employment history here, starting with the most recent. You can include work experience and volunteering activities. It's usual to go back about 10 years, though earlier if you have relevant experience beyond this.
You will need to include:
The application form may also ask what your main tasks were. You should prepare 3 to 5 bullet points to describe what you did in each job role.
When you have a gap in your work history you should give a brief explanation and say what you did during that time. You can also add more detail in your cover letter.
State why you took time off from work. The employer can ask for more information in the interview. Reasons might include:
On your application form you can state, 'made redundant between [insert the dates]'.
Employers will understand redundancy is a business decision. If they want more details, they'll ask in your interview.
If you have a gap because of a conviction, you need to check whether your conviction is spent.
If it is spent:
If it is not spent:
It is better to explain a dismissal in your cover letter. When talking about a dismissal, explain briefly:
Application forms often include this section where you give examples to show that you have the skills and knowledge the employer is looking for.
You may be asked questions on the form set by the employer, or have to explain how you meet the job requirements laid out in the person specification that comes with the form.
You can use examples from the workplace, from home, social activities or volunteering, as long as you highlight skills relevant to the job.
Use the STAR method to help structure your examples.
You'll usually need a work-related reference and a personal one. Make sure you check with people first that they’re happy to provide one.
You should include the person's:
If you do not have any work experience or do not want to use your last employer, you can ask other people to give a reference, including:
Once you have completed your application form, make sure you: