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Be Careful with the Job Application

There is a ton of free job search advice on how to find the right job in tough times. However, not much of the information is addressing one of the places where our students could fail in the job search – the job application.

You may not believe this, but the job application helps employers make decisions about you.

If your job applicantion is sloppy, incomplete or unreadable, the employer might think the same of you. Remember, your job application can give insight into your:

– writing skills

– grammar and communication skills

– understanding of the job search process

– experience

– skills and abilities

Do not blow off the job application. It is an important step in the job search process that should not be ignored.

Here are some job search tips to do well with the job application:

1. Get two copies or make a copy of the one you receive. Use one as a first draft and make sure the second copy is clean, free of errors and wrinkle free.

2. Fill out the form completely. If you are missing information such as names and contact information for references, take the form home and bring it back.

3. Pay attention to dates and places. Most job applications require that job seekers list everything in reverse chronological order.

4. Use the word “negotiable” or the abbreviation ‘neg” on the application where salary information is required.

5. Some applications will ask for a writing sample. Prepare a draft on another sheet of paper, before writing directly on the job application.

6. If using an online job application kiosk or creating a job board profile, where a number is required in the “salary desired area”, do the salary research first. Don’t guess.

7. Visit your HBCU Career Center for help if you do not understand a specific question. Many career centers will work with you to complete a sample application.

8. Watch for the box that asks if the potential employer can call existing employers. If you have a job right now, and your employer does not know you are looking, you can select “No”.
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