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Application forms that annoy the candidate

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by David Getling, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Have you ever decided not to bother because the application form looked as if it had been designed by a retarded monkey? Schools, if you want to cut down on the number of applications, here are a few pointers.

    Application forms that are only supplied in PDF format. Most applications are filled in and submitted electronically, and most people don't have the very expensive programs required to edit PDFs. So make your application form available in Word or Open Office format.
    University qualifications are fine, but do you really need to know what secondary schools I attended and what A-levels I got. Some schools even want to know about O-levels.
    Exact dates. Most schools are happy with month/year, but some some insist on the day too. Is this a trick question to sift out the anal retentives - sorry, but most people don't keep such detailed records.
    Now we come to the pièce de résistance, the employment section. Sometimes there is only a quarter of a page provided, but the entire history is wanted - so it's to be continued on a separate sheet. Well, my CV could be that separate sheet, so why aren't you prepared to accept it in lieu of this section. Then we have something like a 2cm wide column for the complete name and address of the company, which might have moved, gone out of business or been taken over. 1cm to give a reason for leaving (do you honestly think someone is going to put down rogered the chairman's wife, or similar). Why do you want to know how much I earned - once again, why would I keep such information, and surely what you are prepared to pay me shouldn't be based on that. And then there's a form that asked who I reported to. If it's a school you will want to speak to the head teacher or head of department. If not then, for legal reasons, most companies forbid employees from giving references.

    Have a little think about your application form. If designing it had been a homework task, in many instances the student would have got an F!
  2. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    It's all in the name of "child protection", though it's clearly nonsense.
    Many of the companies I worked for long ago no longer exist so if I had been fired for suspicions I was up to something with the chairman's daughter, there's nothing the school could do to find out.
    And what's the point of having my date of birth on a separate sheet (so there's no age bias in the selection process!) and then have me give the exact dates I took my O levels and having me write a 3 page career history that has clearly spanned the sort of time that means I must be on the "wrong side" of 40?
    Oh, and while we're on this child protection stuff - do you, new school, really think my ITT provider and my current employer were totally incompetent when they took me on? That they did no checks whatsoever and just took my word for it that I hadn't been inside for the last 15 years? And that somehow I'd managed to keep that of my CRB disclosure?
    (And what about overseas candidates? No chance whatsoever of checking CVs from them, yet my past of, say, working in a bar post graduation because I couldn't find a job that required my degree, could well be used against me!)
  3. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    With the more paranoid schools, I'm sure these would go straight in the bin, even if the candidate had a Ph.D. and commendations for outstanding teaching.
  4. .....and it appears to be even worse with application forms produced by schools overseas. Many have had at least one of the items you describe, but then there is my other pet peeve which stops me in my tracks when I'm applying........asking for copies of documents, but not just any old document......your passport!! I think checking the application form and the documents they require is far more insightful than reading through the "mission statement" which......oh don't even get me started on that.

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