It is so easy to sit down to complete an application and suddenly your mind blanks. You can't remember dates or names or telephone numbers. If you have a varied work history, you can't recall which job came first. If you have worked for the same employer for years, you forget when your duties changed or when you received a promotion.
Do your research on work-related paperwork at home and make up a list of everything you might need. List every job for the past 10 years including the company name, address, telephone number and the contact person to call, usually your immediate supervisor. Have a list of education, both formal college and any special courses, seminars, or in-house trainings you completed, with dates. Have a list of five personal references with names, addresses and telephone numbers.
Carry the sheet with you so you are prepared at all times. Not only will it make completing applications a breeze but it will ensure that the information you provide is accurate and consistent. That will avoid the embarrassment and negative reaction in an interview when you realize there are errors on the application the interviewer is using as a guide and you have to make quick verbal corrections.
Virginia Bola operated a rehabilitation company for 20 years, developing innovative job search techniques for disabled workers, while serving as a Vocational Expert in Administrative, Civil and Workers’ Compensation Courts. Author of an interactive and supportive workbook, The Wolf at the Door: An Unemployment Survival Manual, and a monthly ezine, The Worker's Edge, she can be reached at http://www.unemploymentblues.com