How to Fill Out Application Forms

Updated April 17, 2017

An application form is an important tool, whether you are applying for a passport, filling out a rental application or attempting to gain employment. Take the time to make sure your application form is as good as it can be, as it is most likely the way an organisation will initially screen you. Your application form needs to be complete and tidy and must stand out in order to get noticed. If you are applying for a job, a neat and complete application can get you an interview. No matter what the form is for, use these steps to make sure your application is as complete as possible.

Look over the application form completely before filling in any information. Understand the type of information you need and gather that beforehand. This could include your driver's license, resumeĀ“ information, social security number and contact details for your references.

Read the "instructions'' section, if there is one, to understand particulars about filling out the form. This might include the type of pen you should use and whether you should write in capital letters. Many organisations will ask you to use a blue or black pen.

Fill in basic information first. Start at the top and write in the information very neatly. A sloppy application form will look like you rushed through the form and didn't put thought into it. This is not the impression you want to leave.

Write out the answers to essay questions beforehand on scratch paper, before you transfer them to the form. This allows you to get the wording just right.

Double check that the form is filled out completely before submitting it -- don't leave any blank spaces. Write N/A if there are sections that are not applicable.


Fill essay spaces out completely. A short answer in a large space looks like you didn't give enough thought to the question. Be honest in your answers. For job applications, make sure your content in the application form matches what is in your resumeĀ“. Employers often require you to submit both. If you can, type information into the application form instead of printing.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pen
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About the Author

Based in Seattle, Francie Kay has been writing professionally since 2005. She has extensive experience writing for health-care publications and websites and her articles have appeared in the "Bellevue Reporter." Kay graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from Gonzaga University.