Filling in your application form is probably the most important part of the recruitment process, as this is the first time the Fire and Rescue Service receives any information about who you are. But did you know that 90% of applicants fail at the first hurdle?
The following tips will help you:
- Make photocopies of the application form to practice on*. Make sure you keep the original form for your final copy though!
- Read through the form slowly and make sure you understand it. It’s easy to make silly mistakes from rushing or not paying proper attention.
- Draft your answers in rough first. Think carefully about your examples and how they prove what sort of person you are.
- Instructions on the form will tell you how to fill it in. Block capitals, black ink and so on; make sure you follow these instructions.
- Do not leave blank spaces, If it asks you to supply a postcode or telephone number make sure you do it, and put it in the right box!
- Check spelling and punctuation, then get a friend or colleague to double check it for you, then write out your final copy carefully.
- Make sure you get it sent before the closing date and allow extra time for slow postage and delays.
Application forms are designed to screen you out rather than in. Because of this you need to put a lot of thought and effort into answering each question, to be competitive in your application. The application form must impress, if you don’t make the effort to fill it in correctly, don’t expect any Fire and Rescue Service to make the effort to read it or invite you for the next stage. Remember this is the only chance you have of getting to the next stage, so take your time and do the best you can.
Candidates are required to provide examples of where they feel they meet the essential requirements of the role; these are called Person Qualities and Attributes (PQAs). Candidates who meet the essential requirements are short listed and invited to the next stage of the selection process.
It is important to be 100% honest in your application. Make a copy of your completed application before submitting, it is invaluable to have a record of exactly what you said on the form for when you get called for an interview.