Very. The best way to understand how important application forms are is to look at the selection process from the point of view of the employer. Most jobs adverts attract dozens if not hundreds of applications, and dealing with them is all about elimination. Today’s application forms are a key tool for separating the good from the bad and the ugly early on. Employers may only spend a few seconds skimming each application before deciding whether it’s worth a second look. With limited time available, they’re looking for any excuse to reject an application and whittle a mountain of forms down to a manageable pile of ‘maybes’.
Many employers in fact set more store by application forms than CVs. Forms are easier to compare because, unlike CVs, they follow an identical format. Employers shape the structure and content of their application forms carefully, prompting specific responses which will tell them about an applicant’s suitability for the role more quickly and directly than their CV will.