Step-by-step guide to filling in an application form
Most job applications kick off by gathering personal details. These include your name, date of birth, and contact details such as your email address. If the job has a requirement to drive a vehicle, you may need to give details of your driving licence.
In some cases you might need to provide additional information, such as proof that you’re entitled to work in the UK. Or you may need to provide certain permissions. These might include letting your data be processed, or some basic security vetting to work on a nuclear site such as Hinkley Point C.
When providing job history, a school leaver or recent graduate is usually expected to list every position they’ve held. This should certainly include any permanent roles and industry placements, but it might also include summer jobs or temporary contracts.
While a summer job working at a theme park may not seem relevant to an apprenticeship in welding, for instance, all work experience shows initiative and a willingness to work. It’s likely temp jobs will also have helped you develop some of the core skills and behaviours employers are looking for in new employees.
DON’T PANIC if you don't have any work history to include here! You could always mention any volunteering or extra-curricular activities you’ve been involved in. For instance, if you’ve taken part in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. Or you helped to launch a school campaign during Anti-Bullying Week, for example.
If you’ve been in work for a while, list your employment history covering at least the past 10 years, and any other positions that are particularly relevant.
Give your work in date order, starting with the most recent. For every role you list, include:
- The name of the organisation
- What your job title was
- The start and end dates of your employment
The form may ask you to give other information, such as your main responsibilities, or the relevant skills or experience you gained. Try to condense each job into a few bullet points. These might describe the role, the skills or experience you developed, or any major achievements you received, such as a prize or promotion.
Don’t forget to link everything back to the role you’re applying for now. Make sure you’ve read the job description carefully and you pull out any relevant skills or experience from your past work history to demonstrate you have the qualities an employer is looking for.
If you’ve been made redundant, state this in your work history and give the dates during which you were unemployed.
You should list all of your academic history and achievements, starting with the most recent. Give the name of where you studied, the dates you attended, and any qualifications or certifications you gained.
Some employers may focus only on the core qualifications you’ve achieved. For example, Wessex Water only asks about the grades you achieved in GCSE Maths and English. Always read the questions fully, because these will make it clear how much detail they want to know about your educational history. If an application form doesn’t specify, give them the full history.
Making your case
Many application forms include more open-ended questions too, such as:
- Why do you want to work for us?
- How do your skills and experience make you suited to this job?
- What are your hobbies?
These questions are your chance to show that you have what the employer is looking for. It’s also a chance to show that you understand what the job requires, and how you might deliver it. There’s usually a word limit for your replies, so you’ll need to be concise.
If you’re applying for a job on the Hinkley Point C project, it’s definitely worth mentioning if you’ve been involved with Young HPC. You might only have signed up to the programme – or you might have been to one of our events. Whatever your involvement, it’s definitely worth flagging this in your application form as it shows your interest in the project and that you’ve carried out some basic research.