Writing an effective application form is essential for any recruiter, organisation, or institution. Applications that are too long, boring, or demanding can make even the most ambitious candidate snooze. Completing an application form should be simple, painless, and get the applicants excited about the opportunity that awaits them.

Here are six essential elements that can make any application form great:

  1. Personalised question responses: The form should be responsive, branching in a logical way so that a candidate’s response to a question can be used as part of a subsequent question. Personalising the responses gives an application form more than just a personal touch—it shows that the applicant has been carefully considered.
  2. Multiple format responses: Modern forms give applicants the option to respond to questions in the way that’s best for them. Rather than forcing multiple-choice or character-limited answers, a great form allows candidates to respond with a short or long text answer.
  3. Upload supplementary information: Candidates should be able to easily upload any supporting document required in the application process. A great application form makes the process as easy as possible, allowing candidates to upload their documents from within the form itself.
  4. Friendly, timely reminders: Email remains the top choice for workplace communication, and almost a third of us respond to important emails within 15 minutes. Automated email reminders can help candidates stay on track by reminding them before deadlines, when tasks or stages are incomplete, when a candidate becomes inactive, or if there are missing documents to be uploaded.
  5. Branded, distinct forms: Your brand identity is the face of your organization, and if created properly, your application form can stand alone as an excellent marketing tool. A form that’s on-brand helps build trust and credibility with your applicants, and it provides the foundation for your marketing strategy.
  6. Multi-phase applications: A long-form application doesn’t need to be a boring one. By implementing a phased approach, it can separate sections of the form, and it can also help candidates feel that they are progressing through the application.

Nobody likes lengthy, complicated application forms. Therefore, it’s important to send the right message with powerful, on-brand smart forms. Smart forms can help organizations streamline their application process, save time and effort, and increase the number of qualified candidates.

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