Preparing the Application

Even when you submit a résumé to show your interest in a job, your prospective employer might require that you also complete a job application. This is the employer’s way of obtaining a copy of your work history, signed and verified by you. With so many potential applicants for dental assistant jobs, employers could want a way to standardize all the information they’ll be required to process from their applicant pool. “Your goal is to complete the application as completely and honestly as you can—all the time remembering that the application is a key marketing tool for you in the job-hunting process,” Quintessential Careers has explained.

As with any step of a job search, there are good strategies to follow, even when filling out an application.

  • First and foremost, get organized. “It does not create a business-like impression when a job seeker needs to borrow the employer’s pens or telephone books to complete an application,” the State of California WorkSmart website has advised.
  • If you are going to an office to fill out an application, dress for the occasion. The employer could want to interview you right away, and you’ll want to look the part.
  • Have a copy of your résumé on hand, blue or black pens to fill out paperwork, and a copy of all relevant information you might need, including names, addresses and phone numbers of personal references, an accurate employment history, and other pertinent facts about yourself, such as your education history and social security number.

Although it’s important to ensure your job application is factually accurate, you should take care that the application itself looks orderly. Don’t turn in paperwork that is wrinkled or messy. Use a dictionary if you aren’t the strongest speller, and don’t turn in an application with words crossed out. Beware of other common mistakes job applicants make, such as forgetting to sign your paperwork or failing to follow the directions on the application exactly.

Like your résumé, your job application should include only the work pertinent to the job for which you are applying. Show the skills you have that make you a prime candidate for a position, and remember not to provide negative information about yourself. You are required to be truthful about facts such as those regarding your criminal record. If you simply didn’t like your last boss and decided to quit, that’s not the type of thing you want to report on your application.

Remember, the job application is one of the earliest impressions an employer will have of you. If you take the time to prepare a neat job application and be sure to fill out all the information required, you’ll greatly boost your chances of getting a job interview.

Last Updated: 05/05/2014

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