Job Application Tips

February 13, 2024

Job application forms ask for information about education, work history, skills and abilities, and references. It’s easiest to collect this information before you start filling out applications.

Your application is just as important as your résumé and cover letter. It is another opportunity to demonstrate your communication and organization skills. Some specific things to keep in mind as you fill out applications include:

  • Follow directions carefully. Employers will notice if you do not.
  • Review your application before you submit it. Check your spelling and grammar, and make sure you answered all of the questions.
  • Don’t leave blank spaces on the application. If a space does not apply to you, simply write “Not Applicable.”
  • If the application asks what days or hours you can work, be as flexible as possible.
  • When writing down your work history, focus on aspects of each job that relate to the job you are applying for. Emphasize duties or accomplishments.
  • Where appropriate, list all of the computer operating systems, software, equipment, and tools you are able to use.
  • If asked which position you are applying for, be specific and list each one by name. Don’t just write “anything.”
  • If asked for a salary range, make sure the range you list is within the range being offered for the position.
  • When listing references, list three people that have known you for at least a year and are willing to be listed. Previous supervisors or former customers are often the best references. They should have some knowledge of your work. Do not list relatives.
  • If applying in person, treat the application process as you would a job interview.

You may be required to present certain documents during the application process. Make sure you have these with you:

  • Social Security card
  • Proof of citizenship or Permanent Resident Card (green card)
  • Driver's license or state-issued ID card
  • Birth certificate or passport
  • High School or GED diploma
  • College diploma and transcripts
  • DD214 (if you have served in the military)

Source: Excerpted from Oregon Career Information System, ©2023, University of Oregon, All Rights Reserved.

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