Application forms – can I be bothered?

Sometimes our clients ask applicants to complete their standard application forms instead of supplying a CV and covering letter. It’s a fair and equal way to ensure candidates are assessed on the same information, listing skills, achievements and experience.

I’ve worked on a couple of roles recently with application forms and I wonder if the form has put people off applying for the job. It could be true to say that only people who are really serious about a role will take the time to fill in an application form. But what if the perfect candidate comes along and has other commitments, thus being unable to fill in the form? Should there be flexibility on the time allowed beyond the allotted closing date? Or should it be a strict deadline and rigid process?

Have you ever been put off applying for a job as a result of an unwieldy form?

2 comments to this post

  •  :  I have been put off applying for jobs in the past with application forms as I have such terrible handwriting. No matter how much time I take, I simply can't make my handwriting look neat so the form never looks well presented. However, now you can fill many application forms in online so I guess it's more of a level playing field for the scripturally-challenged.
  •  :  I would be (and think, in the past, have been) put off by what is clearly a 'one size fits all' application form, not tailored to the specific job, or at least department, that you're applying for. Expecting candidates to fill in an application form is one thing, but when it's very much a general type of form with seeminly irrelevant questions, I do wonder how much help it can be in sifting candidates. It also does no favours to the organisation - I think it makes them appear uncommitted to *really* finding the right person! As we all know, they take a hell of a long time to fill in; it would be nice to think that the organisation spent even half as much time considering the questions as we devote to the answers!

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