What information should I include on an application form?
Updated: Feb 11
The application form should make the employer want to meet you to find out more and demonstrate your skills. Typical sections of an application form include:
Personal information - give basic details, such as name and email address.
Educational background - provide information on your academic achievements, including the institutions you've attended, courses taken and qualifications gained.
Work experience - list your employment history and describe your main duties and responsibilities in each role, emphasising those most closely related to the job you're applying for.
Competency-based questions - give specific examples of times when you've demonstrated the skills required for the role. Avoid being vague, and don't waste space writing about skills you have that aren't relevant - see example questions and answers for help.
Personal statement - write a well-structured, well-argued case that you are the right person for the job, again referring to the person specification set out in the advert.
Don't be afraid to sell yourself. Demonstrate your passion for the company or job and any past achievements you can relate to the role. When writing your answers, always consider what skills employers want and how you can show that you have them.
Most application forms will also require you to provide details of at least two people who can provide references. You may sometimes be asked to attach a CV and cover letter as well.
Never lie on your job application form. Not only is this dishonest, but there can be more serious consequences - for example, altering your classification from a 2:2 to a 2:1 is considered degree fraud.
Do I need to disclose personal information in a job application?
marriage and civil partnerships
pregnancy and maternity
When making an application it's important to remember that you're not obliged to give details of any of the above characteristics and that it's unlawful for recruiters to discriminate against applicants on these grounds. You might be asked to provide these details on a confidential equal opportunities form, usually the last page of an application, or on a separate form. This is used solely for monitoring the employer's commitment to equality and diversity. It shouldn't be seen by people involved in recruitment or used in the selection process. If you'd prefer not to answer some or all of these questions there is usually a 'prefer not to say' option that you can select.
While there's no legal obligation for you to disclose personal information to your employer it's entirely up to you if you choose to do so. If you don't feel comfortable disclosing on an application form there will be other opportunities to do so, such as during an interview, after a job offer has been made or once you're in the workplace.