Careers advice

Filling in application forms

Some employers prefer you to fill in an application for their jobs, rather than sending them your Curriculum Vitae (CV). This makes it easier for the employer to compare applications as every application is in the same format.

Always make sure you read and following any instructions or guidance provided carefully.

Keep a copy of your application so you can read it before going to your interview.

Many employers ask you to complete an equal opportunities declaration, on which you would tell them your ethnic background and whether you are disabled. This is not to discriminate against you but to help employers manage their equal opportunities policies.

Paper application forms

You only get one chance with a printed form, so make sure you:

  • write as neatly as possible
  • write in black ink and capital letters, if the form asks you to
  • practice filling in the form using photocopies
  • take care of the original form – don't spill anything on it or let it get creased

Online application forms

Draft your application using a word processing package and make sure you save a copy as backup. This way you'll be able check spelling before cutting and pasting into the online form. Some online forms will let you save your application before submitting, allowing you to return later to finish it.

Remember, once you press submit or send, it's too late to change anything.

More help and advice

If you are aged 16 to 19 years-old, or up to 25 years-old with special educational needs, go to pages on career support for young people.

If you are 20 years-old or older, contact the National Careers Service.