What goes on an application form?

The information employers ask for varies greatly. It depends on the company or organisation, and on the type of job you are applying for.

Main headings

The following are usually included on all application forms:

  • Personal details: your name, address, telephone numbers, and email address
  • Job applied for
  • Qualifications and training: exams you have taken, further education and training at college or university, and any other training courses you have done – usually you put the most recent ones first. See an example qualifications and training section.
  • Employment history: employers, dates, job titles, and duties – you can include work experience or part-time work too. See an example employment history section.
  • Referees: someone the employer can contact to find out about your education or work
  • Other standard questions may be included. For example: whether you have a driving licence, whether you have any criminal convictions, your gender or age (only if special rules apply to the job), and so on.

Extra information

Many application forms ask for extra information. Often this is to find out more about you: how your experience, skills, and personal characteristics will be useful in the job you are applying for. Questions and headings might include the following:

  • Why have you applied for this job?
  • Please give examples of skills and achievement that are relevant for this job
  • Supporting statement/additional information to support your application

To fill in these sections, you need to think about the job and what it involves. What is the employer looking for from an applicant? And how can you show that you have what they are looking for? Make sure that what you say links to the job details.

Tip

Always make sure that what you say links to the job details.

Think creatively. Many skills can be transferred from one job to another. For example, if you have organised sports activities at school, you can apply your organisational skills in all sorts of different jobs:

  • You could organise office team meetings.
  • You could plan and organise events and outings for groups of people.
  • You could plan a programme of classes in a sports centre.
  • and so on…

To complete this part of an application, you can use information you have put together about your career aims and skills. If you have not done this yet, visit you and your career, career action plan, and your CV on this website.

Useful websites

Prospects – Job application example questions
This site is aimed at graduates but has useful general information about filling in application forms. This page lists example questions and gives tips on how to answer them. Also visit the link “What skills do employers want?” to find out more on linking your skills to the job you are applying for.
UCAS – Your personal statement
If you need to write a personal statement for a college or university application, start by looking at the UCAS website.

Last updated 7 June, 2017