How to Apply for a Job In-Person

By Sky Ariella - Nov. 12, 2020

Find a Job You Really Want In

Applying for a position in-person can be a little more nerve-wracking than sending your resume via email. Employers in certain fields, like hospitality, prefer their applicants to apply in-person because it demonstrates your interpersonal skills that are key to success in the role.

Applying for a job in-person requires more preparation than filling out an application online. Your success depends on a clear understanding of the things you’ll need to bring and the information you’ll need to fill out an application in full.

10 Tips for Filling Out a Job Application In-Person

Filling out a job application may seem straightforward when you’re doing it from the comfort of your home. However, when you’re filling out a job application in person, it leaves more room for stress and possible error.

Consider the following tips for filling out a job application beforehand to avoid being caught off-guard by the pressure of applying in person.

  1. Read over the application before filling anything out. Before even filling out your name on an application, you should read it over. A lot of applications are standard, but it’s always best to double-check. An employer will usually be able to tell if you haven’t read through the application thoroughly, and it will get you eliminated as a candidate.

    Scanning an application before you begin filling it out reduces the chance you’ll make a mistake by missing details.

  2. Research typical job applications for the position. The internet is a fantastic resource to use during a job search. Gathering information about what a typical job application for the position you’re pursuing looks for can help you prepare all the information you’ll need.

    Fill out an example job application from the internet for practice. You can use this as a manual for when the time comes to make an application in person.

  3. Create a professional resume. Having a resume is a standard part of the job application process for most industries. Your resume should be an honest, concise presentation of your professional experience and skills.

    Submitting a resume with your job application displays qualities that employers look for in potential hires. A candidate who submits a well-made resume with their job application gives the impression of professionalism.

    Do some research into the proper format, how to tailor it for any job opportunity you’re seeking, and create a resume that will make you a stand-out applicant.

  4. Write a cover letter. A cover letter is a document tailored to your desired position that’s used to explain further why you’re an ideal candidate for the job. It gives a more personal feel to your application and can attract a hiring manager to call you for an interview.

    A cover letter is a valuable element that you can include with your application to make you come across as more qualified for the position and passionate about the job.

  5. Dress the part. Applying for a job in-person presents a similar question of attire that an interview does. You should begin the application process by making a good initial impression, starting with what you wear.

    Your outfit for an in-person application should be business-casual unless your field requires a more formal approach. Consider what outfit would be most appropriate for the position you’re hoping to get.

    Examples of Business-Casual Clothes Include:

    • Khakis

    • Dress Shirt

    • Sweater

    • Satin Blouse

    • Knee-Length Skirt

    • Conservative Dress

    • Loafers

    • Short heels

  6. Be prepared to interview that day. Employers usually reach out to promising applicants to complete an interview at a later date. When completing an application in-person, there’s always the possibility that the employer will give you an interview right then and there. This can leave a lot of applicants unprepared for the interview process.

    You should go into an in-person application with the mindset that it could turn into an interview. Look into common questions and interview etiquette to get ready for this possibility.

  7. Know your availability. Even if an employer doesn’t initiate an immediate interview when applying in-person, they will most likely ask about your availability. Consider your answer to this question prior.

    You should be able to articulate your schedule, start date, and availability succinctly. If there’s a set amount of hours you can work per week, or certain days you aren’t available to work, have them on hand. Employers are much more willing to be flexible with potential employees about scheduling if they’re direct with what they need at the start of the hiring process.

  8. Bring any additional materials you may need. Different positions have varying requirements on what you should bring to an in-person interview. Some positions may just need a resume and job application. Others may ask for more information. Think about your field and if alternative materials will be relevant to your application.

    It’s always better to bring things you don’t end up needing rather than be unprepared.

    Examples of Materials You May Need Include:

    • A Cover Letter

    • An Extra Copy of Your Resume

    • List of References

    • Samples of Prior Work or Projects

    • A Portfolio

  9. Build rapport with the company representative you meet. Applying in person gives you the chance to meet a manager or current employee from the company you’re hoping to work for. This is an advantage of in-person applications because it allows you to build a connection. It can be helpful later when you consider reaching out with a follow-up email.

  10. Conduct a follow-up. After an appropriate amount of time, follow up with an employer with whom you applied in-person. The job market is competitive right now, and companies receive many job applications daily. Following-up after submitting your application demonstrates a strong interest in the position, and that’s an enticing quality for an employer.

    Applying in person provides you with the unique opportunity to meet a member of the organization personally. Use this connection to reach out with a professional follow-up.

Where to Find Job Applications

  • Online database for company applications

    Many large corporations or chains that are usually hiring all year typically have their applications posted on databases. They can help applicants who are new to the workforce and unsure of the information they’ll need.

    Example: is a website where you can download copies of printable applications for many different major companies. They provide a list of employers, specific positions, and the actual application for you to print and fill out. You can search for applications based on the company name, field, or salary requirements.

    Here are some examples of industries provides job applications for:

    • Automotive

    • Retail

    • Hospitality

    • Mechanic Positions

    • Banking

    And some examples of employers featured on

    • Safeway

    • Sears

    • Wendy’s

    • Autozone

    • JetBlue Airways

    Using a website like allows applicants to fill out their application and bring it to the employer in-person. It’s usually best to use this method when applying to large chain corporations who are consistently hiring.

  • Online job-search websites

    Online job-search websites show applicants what positions and companies are hiring and provide them with the resources to fill out an application. Turning in an application for a job that you know needs to fill a position has a greater chance of landing you a job.

    Examples of Job-Board Sites Include:

    1. Indeed. Indeed is a free resource for job-seekers who are looking for open positions in their industry. They cater to any applicant, from entry-level graduates to management candidates. There is a wide range of companies, positions, and fields available that are updated daily, at a minimum.

    2. Monster. Monster is one of the most well-known and oldest job-board websites to help applicants land their next job. They also provide you with other features, such as upgrading your resume or LinkedIn profile for a fee.

    3. FlexJobs. Flexjobs is a job-search tool that has become abundantly more valuable to job-seekers in 2020. They primarily cater to remote jobs and flexible jobs in a variety of fields.

      Unlike the previous job-board sites, Flexjobs does charge a fee for their services. However, they provide a bounty of work-from-home opportunities, which is a hot commodity.

    4. LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that is known by virtually all job-seekers in the modern market. In addition to providing a place for you to upload a professional profile and resume to catch recruiters’ interest, LinkedIn also includes a list of job opportunities.

    5. Scouted. Scouted follows the format of applicants creating a professional profile page and using this to find job opportunities. Scouted will curate what open positions would be best suited for you based on your resume and job searches. Candidates can use this service or browse available jobs on their website.

      While the initial services are free, they also give candidates the option of pursuing career coaching for a fee.

  • Paper applications

    If all else fails, you always have the old-school method of walking into employers and requesting a paper application to fill out in-person. While this is becoming less popular in the internet era, it’s still a viable option for getting a job application. Especially for candidates with less professional experience.

    Walking into an establishment and requesting a paper application may only be possible in specific industries. For example, this approach is prevalent in restaurant jobs. It can even be seen as positively proactive for this type of role. However, in other industries like business administration, this may be inappropriate.

    An in-person application is your first chance to make an impression on a potential employer, and you want it to be a good one. Consider the kind of job that you’re trying to get and what the best way to go about getting an application would be.

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Sky Ariella

Sky Ariella is a professional freelance writer, originally from New York. She has been featured on websites and online magazines covering topics in career, travel, and lifestyle. She received her BA in psychology from Hunter College.

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