From many years of experience and working with numerous candidates you may find something useful below.
Allow sufficient time and schedule your writing of the form in bite size chunks. Typically, from scratch, a good form can take up to 16 hours of your time.
Seek advice from successful candidates from previous competitions and ask to look at their forms. Review your previous forms. Check out tips and advice on websites.
Keep a copy of the competencies – qualities and abilities in front of you at all times.
Consider who could be your referees – only go for referees who will give you outstanding references. Be wary of approaching popular referees unless you know you are their top rated candidate.
Relax and think back over the past few years for examples that demonstrate those competencies – make brief notes.
If you have been keeping them review notes, ideas, stories and examples you have been keeping over the past couple of years.
Give specific examples – that demonstrate your skills, abilities or experiences – ask yourself whether they will differentiate you from your competition.
Don’t use truisms or simply restate the question.
Tell stories – sizzle not sausage – write in a punchy style and convey emotions.
Don’t draft in the actual form, check spelling, grammar and word count then copy and paste into your application.
Don’t be long winded, white space sells – less is more.
Get someone to read it for you and give you feedback – get someone else to read the next draft and keep repeating this process. Ideally include someone who doesn’t know lots about you – so they have to form their opinion on the content of the form and not on their knowledge of you.
When you are satisfied put it down and leave it for 24-48 hours and look at it afresh.
Competition is fierce and your form may be good enough to get you to an interview but it will also be considered as part of any final decision.
Give yourself an edge and invest your time wisely in preparing your application form.
Make sure you can see that your application is confirmed as having been sent/submitted from your JAC account page and save a copy of this.
If you would like some help or advice with your application please either call me on 0796 999 7335 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Some Client Feedback:
“I’m very grateful Tim. Thanks. I’ll let you know how I get on and will definitely seek your advice again if I proceed through to selection day.”
“Thank you for going through my application form with me on Friday. I found it extremely useful and quite reassuring”
“Once again, I want to thank you for your help. I felt I was floundering a little, so you helped boost my confidence”
“Just had another read through my application. I am very happy with it. Thank you for your invaluable help”