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Thread: Job applications: "Non-fillable" forms

  1. #1

    Job applications: "Non-fillable" forms

    I just completed a government job application which was "available" on-line, but could not be completed or filled-in on-line. I called and asked if there were any way I could complete this application using the computer and was told no, or in government speak, "This option is not currently available." My options were hand writing the responses or finding a typewriter. I called the library, but our libraries only have computers now and the person I talked to couldn't think of any of the local libraries which still had a typewriter available. I went down to the local job service office where the person at the help desk apologized, but told me that they didn't have a typewriter either. Fortunately, this turned out to be incorrect, and someone else in the office ended up showing both me and the help person where the typewriter was located. Of course then we had to search further to find someone who could figure out both how to turn the typewriter on and how to adjust the margins.

    So, both job applicants and hiring individuals, what do you do when the job applcation can't be completed online? How do you view "hand completed" applications. I would think they would be very hard to read and reflect negatively on the applciant. But, I don't want to have to go through the typewriter scenario again. It was incrediably time consuming. I guess I could type the job description on the computer and then set the fonts and margins to fit in the boxes, but then that still leaves the rest of the application information to complete.

    What are peoples thoughts?

  2. #2
    I tend to find applications like that a farce. If the whole point of making things available online is ease and saving paper, then making the applicant print it out and hand-write the damned thing is inexcusable. That said, if one (meant in the general singular third person, not "I") needs a job, one fills them in regardless.

    And my hand-writing is terrible as I type more often than I practice hand-writing, so I always feel at a disadvantage if I have to write something for someone else to read.
    Last edited by Tranplanner; 05 Jul 2005 at 11:06 AM. Reason: double reply, spelling corrected for user
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian GeogPlanner's avatar
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    Sometimes I make the form typeable if its an Adobe pdf. You need to have a full version of Adobe. I'm in the midst of making a state form typeable in fact. In today's world, there is no reason that pdfs are not fillable forms.

    So I guess it depends on your conviction...
    Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after and only after the design is complete. (Often called the 'Now They Tell Us' Law) - Fyfe's First Law of Revision

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  4. #4
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    I have filled applications in by hand and in some cases have still got an interview. Who knows if I was denied other interviews because of my poor printing.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally posted by GeogPlanner
    Sometimes I make the form typeable if its an Adobe pdf. You need to have a full version of Adobe. I'm in the midst of making a state form typeable in fact. In today's world, there is no reason that pdfs are not fillable forms.

    So I guess it depends on your conviction...
    I had forgotten about the Adobe pdf conversion option. We had hoped to purchase this software at my last office as we had a fair number of federal pdf forms which had to be completed on a regular basis. Unfortunately, I worked for a non-profit agency and the cost of the software (I think it was about $500) was too steep for the agency's budget.

    GeogPlanner, do you perhaps have access to this Adobe software by working at a government office? If I had access, I would certainly use it, however this option makes me even more frustrated. Why would governments only supply applicants the option of non-fillable pdf job applications, and then only their own employees have a way to complete them by computer while the rest of us poor dweebs worry about how a hand-completed application is going to be viewed? This is what gives governments a BAD NAME.

    Are there any government employers out there who can comment on how they view handwritten vs. typed applications, and what form of application their community uses?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Never assume that a city is tech savvy. In fact, you can safely think the opposite. Where I worked in Wisconsin, I doubt that more than two of the administrative staff could have developed a form that could be filled out online, or even downloaded and filled out on a home computer. They did not have the skill. Somebody probably explained to them how to convert a Word file into a PDF with an online utility, and that is all they know how to do. Not only small towns are like that. The "planning utopia" I worked in was little better.
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  7. #7
    Scansoft has a great conversion tool for PDF files. I have used it a great deal and it gives pretty much full conversion of both text and graphics. For only about 100.00 it is much cheaper than Adobe.

  8. #8
    Off-topic:
    There is also the freely available OpenOffice (google it) that can create pdfs, but it can't edit them.
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian andreplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by GeogPlanner
    Sometimes I make the form typeable if its an Adobe pdf. You need to have a full version of Adobe. I'm in the midst of making a state form typeable in fact. In today's world, there is no reason that pdfs are not fillable forms.

    So I guess it depends on your conviction...
    How do you make a form typeable on Adobe full version. I have tried and I can't do it. I have the same problem with an application that doesn't allow me to type on it rather write it. I would want avoid it at all costs.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian GeogPlanner's avatar
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    Turn it into a form if you are using full Adobe or use free text. Does not work if the document is secure with a password that you do not know.
    Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after and only after the design is complete. (Often called the 'Now They Tell Us' Law) - Fyfe's First Law of Revision

    We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans. -- George W. Bush , Scranton, PA -- 09/06/2000

  11. #11
    Cyburbian andreplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by GeogPlanner
    Turn it into a form if you are using full Adobe or use free text. Does not work if the document is secure with a password that you do not know.
    I have Acrobat Standard 6.0 and realized and couldn't do it. Professional probably would. So I downloaded ScanSoft PDF professional. It works OK but i guess when you convert from one program to another it's not going to do it properly.

  12. #12
    I've also used Photoshop Elements and Paint Shop Pro to fill out apps, for un-fillable PDF's, and scanned paper. It's a pain, but I think it puts the app ahead of hand-written, at least on first glance.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    Create the form from scratch, or scan it and go from there. Scan it and use strategically positioned text boxes.

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