When looking for a job, the first document you need to send to a company is called an entry sheet. Companies ask for this document to get a deeper understanding of the candidates applying for positions. Once you submit this document, the selection process has officially started. Writing a good entry sheet is the first challenge in the job hunting process. It is also one of the most important documents you have to submit, so making sure you fill it out carefully is important if you want to have a successful outcome. Here is an overview and some important information about writing an effective entry sheet.
What is an entry sheet?
An entry sheet (ES) is one of the first documents you will be asked to submit when applying for a position at a company. Some companies use this document as reference material, and then conduct interviews based on what the candidate has written. The format of the entry sheet and type of questions vary from company to company. In recent years, companies have often been asking for information such as your reasons for applying to that company, a space where you can talk up your skills and experience, and other things like your most rewarding university experience. This is in addition to basic information such as your name, alma mater and contact details.
How do you get an entry sheet and how do you submit it?
You can obtain the entry sheet in various ways, depending on the company, either downloading it from the company website, filling it in online, collecting it at a job fair, or receiving it by post after submitting an initial online application.
Likewise, there are various different ways you have to submit a completed entry sheet. You might be asked to send it to them by email, or perhaps send it to them in the post. Make sure you follow the instructions laid out by the company.
How to write an entry sheet?
While the format of entry sheets differs from company to company, you would often find these three questions below, along with some instructions on how to write good answers.
- Reason for applying to the company
- Personal summary
- Your most rewarding university experience
Reason for application
The reason for applying to the company is the question that corporate recruiters value the most. To write a strong reason, you need to do some detailed research into the company beforehand, and then write a convincing statement.
Before putting pen to paper, do thorough research on the company first so that you learn about them and the industry in depth. If you have very limited or incorrect knowledge about the company and their field, corporate recruiters might not be able to infer your seriousness from your entry sheet because your statement would be irrelevant to what they are looking for in their candidates.
You also need a convincing statement to back up your reason for application. It is important to give a solid reason for choosing this particular industry and why you chose this particular company. Also, your statement has to be supported by your personal experience or interest.
To write an attractive personal summary, where you should sell yourself as a good candidate, follow the following two points. Firstly, get an idea of the ideal candidate for the company that you are applying for, and secondly highlight your strengths, skills and experience.
You cannot, however, just fill your personal summary with self-promotion. Get a picture of the ideal candidate that corporate recruiters are looking for, so that you know how to promote yourself in your personal summary. To learn about what kind of candidates they would hire, you can look at the corporate website, talk to senior alumni from your alma mater and research recent industry trends.
After this process, try to think of one good quality about yourself that matches the profile of ideal candidates. The first thing is to start your personal summary with a compelling description of yourself based on your qualities.
The second thing is to give a specific example from your experience that illustrates your claim. To make your story sound more persuasive, it is important to go into detail by including specific names or concrete numbers. Finally, close your summary by stating how your quality relates to the position you are applying for.
Your most rewarding university experience
When you are asked about your most rewarding university experience, you can elaborate about anything that you put your energy into, such as your studies, part-time job, club activities and even trips you went on. Take your time to do a self-analysis first, so that you organize your achievements carefully before writing about one.
Just like the personal summary, here you should also only focus on one experience. One way to structure your personal experience is to state what exactly you did first, then provide detailed information such as your motivation, the outcome and impact you gained from the experience. When you talk about the outcome, try to give as much specific information as possible, like the name of an award you received, and concrete figures and information.
Entry sheet do’s and don’ts
Remember to follow these rules when writing an entry sheet.
- Pay attention to your handwriting and write as neatly as possible (if applicable)
- Avoid typographical errors
- Fill out all the sections
- Make a photocopy of all final entry sheets when you finish
- Submit well in advance of the deadline
When you are required to handwrite the entry sheet, pay attention to your handwriting and write as neatly as possible. Make sure you carefully prepare and make a draft first. Do not attempt to cross out any mistakes or use whiteout. Scrutinize the entry sheet to make sure there are no typographical errors when you finish filling out all the sections. Even when you find some questions difficult to answer, avoid leaving blank spaces and make sure you write something, otherwise corporate recruiters may think you are not committed.
Moreover, make a photocopy of all final entry sheets so that you can check what you wrote before the interview. Lastly, submit the document well in advance of the deadline.
Entry sheets are one of the most important documents, and what you write could strongly influence your chance of getting invited to an interview. It is also advisable to ask your friends, family or mentor to proofread your entry sheets to get some opinions from a neutral perspective. Write an attractive entry sheet and you’ll overcome the first hurdle of job hunting!
Read articles of Job Hunting Guide for International Students
- Features of job-hunting in Japan
- Japanese hiring culture
- Job-hunting schedule in Japan
- The advantages and disadvantages of working at different types of companies
- Finding employment for international students
- Why do Japanese firms employ international students?
- Industry research
- How to write a good resume
- Entry sheets
- Written exams
- The steps for receiving a job offer and joining a company
- The procedure to change a visa status
- About job hunting after graduation