Although many employers look for a CV as the first stage of the recruitment process, a number will invite applicants to complete an application form. Usually, the application form is completed and submitted online. More often than not, employers that use application forms in their selection process are likely to be in the public rather than the private sector.
The benefits of using an application form are that the employer can ask specific questions of the applicant rather than having to scan through a CV trying to find information relevant to the advertised role. These questions might be something like “Please provide an example of when you have worked with a team to deliver a result”. You would then provide your answer to that question demonstrating your skills and experience, often in a space on the form which limits the amount of words that you can use.
The reason that employers use application forms as a means of applying for jobs is that it helps the prospective employer to more tightly control the information that it receives and allows it to score the written information (‘evidence’) provided.
In turn, scoring the information submitted in response to each question -perhaps using a scoring system similar to 1 ‘not at the required standard’ up to 5 ‘exceptional’- also allows them to protect themselves against allegations of unfairness within the selection process.
This is because the evidence is read, graded and the scores totalled. Those above a certain score get invited to the next stage of the recruitment process, those below the mark progress no further. These days, the reading may be done by a computer programme to sift out any unsuitable candidates and cut down the involvement by humans, because time equals money when you are paying staff.
As with much of the recruitment process, there are a variety of tips and techniques that, if learnt and practised, will allow you to progress much further in the selection process than most people and will more frequently result in a job offer for the desired role although, of course, this cannot be guaranteed.
Our role is to use our skills and experience of writing – and assessing – application forms to increase your chances of getting the role you desire. Our experience is provided by Peter Kelleher MSc., a UK police service veteran and former promotion assessor, and Dawn Moss MCIPD, a former in-house recruiter who has vast experience of recruitment and selection processes at all levels. Together, we form a formidable team to have on your side as you challenge for your next role.
Although this service relies on you providing adequate examples and realistic timescales for us to work our magic, we will do our very best to help you succeed. So don’t waste your time and effort to deliver a half-hearted application, missing the opportunity in play. Come to the professionals and let us deliver a high-scoring application that presents you in the very best light to give you the highest chances of progressing to the next round in the application process!