How Do You Create a Good Application Form?

Published: | By POWR

Great application forms can make all the difference in collecting high-quality information. If you are hiring for a position at your firm, knowing what type of job application form can be extremely helpful, as can using a tool to create free job application forms. However, it can also be highly beneficial to know what makes a good application form yourself and how to create one. 

Here, we look to answer those questions in addition to what should be included in an application form. Knowing the answers to these queries can also be very helpful to those wanting to know how to create a website for a job application. Knowing what other companies are looking for in their application forms can help you decide what details you should include on your site. 

What Makes a Good Application Form? 

A good application form will do more than extract essential information from a person, like names, dates of birth, and addresses. Instead, a well-designed application will make it easy for applicants to divulge information like their experience and qualifications. 

Crucially, however, you need to do more than provide the space for applicants to write this information down. You need to ensure that they have the right amount of space, as well as ask questions in a way that gives you the information you require. Suppose the questions and format of your application form are not correct or well-optimized. In that case, applicants risk misunderstanding what you are asking and writing down information that is useless to anyone. 

A well-designed application form will also ensure that the best talent completes your application. The best talent has the luxury of only applying for jobs that interest them. Having a positive experience with a job application is the first step in the hiring process. If their experience with your firm is negative due to an ill-designed application form, you risk they do not apply for your role. 

How Do You Create an Application Form? 

Application forms need to be direct and concise. If your form is too long, you may find that applicants either complete it with scant detail or do not complete it at all. Another way to ensure that your application form is well designed is to get the basics right. Ensure that you leave an appropriate amount of space for the answers you want. Also, ensure that you explain anything that you believe could be confusing or misconstrued. 

It can also be highly beneficial to alert applicants on how long a form will take to complete. Doing so ensures they know how much time to set aside to complete their application. That’s crucial as you do not want applicants to stop completing a form due to insufficient time to finish it. Additionally, you do not want applicants to complete it with only a very superficial amount of detail as you did not alert them to how long it should take. 

What Should Be Included in an Application Form? 

Answering this question is tricky as it depends on you and what you are designing a form for. However, a good rule of thumb is only to include fields to which you want the answer. If you don’t need to know a person’s date of birth, don’t include it. It frees up your time and your applicants. 

In short, therefore, be honest and open with yourself before you design an application form. Ask yourself what the form's purpose is and what you need to know from the information. Knowing that can help you create an application form that only ever asks for the information you need, with nothing extra added.

How Can I Improve My Application Form? 

Improving your application form can be done by making your instructions direct and ensuring the format of your application be as straightforward as possible. If you can, use technology to your advantage, as it will also help you gather high-quality data. For example, can any fields be self-populated or have information pulled in from other websites - such as a person’s LinkedIn profile? You can also consider a way to provide the opportunity for an applicant to check on the status of their application. 

Additionally, though, informing applicants of the following steps is also crucial. Once they have completed the application form, it is a good idea for you to explain what will happen to that information and what you intend to do. If it's a job application form, for example, you could explain to them when they can expect to hear from you. 

Creating Good Application Forms

There is a bit of fine art to designing a good application form. Yet, once you have cracked it, you will find that you never look back. Collecting high-quality data is fundamental to improving the information you extract from people, making it more reliable and valuable for your needs. Don’t be afraid to use tools to help create your application forms. They can speed the process up, ensure that you include everything you need, and, significantly, leave out all that is superfluous to your requirements.

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