December 28th, 2012 - Once the holidays are over, I promise I'll get to work on the foster section for those of you who have been asking!
November 5th, 2012 - I've been insanely busy! But I'm working on adding to the site!
October 8th, 2012 - The new layout is here!
September 13th, 2012 - The page was started.

Greetings Applicant!

If you're reading this section, you must here to get tips on how to be a good applicant.
If you're looking for tips on how to be a good foster, see further down the page.


Introduction

Considering you're here, I'd assume you already have your eye on a lovely pet you wish to apply for- but you just need some help developing an application that'll wow the owner. Although this guide is mostly geared towards petpage applications, feel free to try to apply it to neomail applications as well. Use the navigation if you're looking for specific help, or by all means read through the whole thing. If something isn't covered here or you need extra assistance, my neomail is ALWAYS open! My goal here is to give you the best, non sugar-coated advice I can so you get the best results. And with that, let's begin.


What to do BEFORE applying

Many people think applying for a pet is the whole thing, but to be honest there are many steps you should take before even thinking of applying. This section will give you insight as to what fosters look for OUTSIDE of the application.

1. Take care of your CURRENT pets! - I cannot stress this enough. Let's be honest, do you think any sane owner would adopt their pet out to a person with crying pets with no lookups/petpets/effort put into them at all? I know I wouldn't. Let's begin with lookups. There are many premade layouts for petlookups you can use for your pet, and tweek them to make it suit your pet better. I do this myself. It doesn't require much effort, but it goes a long ways when others are viewing your accounts. Write a little about your pet in the description- whether it's about how you got the pet, or a bit about your pet's characters. Whether you're an amazing writer or not, the fact that you put effort into your pets is better than no effort at all. Add a drawing that's drawn yourself, or by another user, it brightens up the lookup and is honestly much nicer to the eye. Give your pet a petpet, even a petpetpet! There are many petpet's that cost lest than 1,000 NP, so you can easily buy one for your pet- or save up for one that nicely matches your pet. As for petpetpet's, they aren't all that cheap but I feel they are nice to have there on the lookup. Regarding petpages, they ARE a nice touch and a lot of foster's prefer seeing used petpages rather than unused ones, so you should at least begin working on your current pet's petpages. Last but not least, I believe customization is an important factor. Even if you can't afford to buy Neocash items, there are plenty of Neopoint items that can be bought to customize your pet. Frankly I can say if you won't spend any Neopoints to even buy your pet a 200 NP background- it doesn't seem like you care all that much. Poke around shops to try to find your pet some wearables.

2. Put some effort into your ACCOUNT! - Your account needs to look like it's had some effort instilled into it. A lot of user's have accounts with bare lookups and crying pets, hardly where a foster wants to see their pets. It isn't hard at all to spruce up your account, actually. Begin by getting a simple premade userlookup code- as even a simple pre-coded userlookup looks so much better than an empty white one. After doing so, write about yourself. Doing so will give the viewer an idea of what kind of personality you have and what kind of person you are- which is very important to a foster. If you have side accounts, put links on your lookup to these side accounts. That being said, you should consider putting effort into those accounts too. It's not important to only have a spruced up main account, as you should have decently worked on side accounts as well. Moving on- another way to make your account seem more appealing is your avatar count/trophies. Here is an easy guide to getting 250 avatars, most of them only require clicking a link! As for getting trophies, here is a guide on how to get quite a few trophies with very little effort. Although you can take it upon yourself to work on other aspects of your account (gallery, guild, shop, etc), I feel what I have explained is a very good start on brightening up the appearance of your account.


The Pet & The Rules

You've found the pet you want to apply for, great! But now what? Where do you start? This section is considerably short because at this point in time there is only two things you REALLY need to do:

3. READ THE RULES. - Not following this rule itself can rule out any chance of you adopting the pet. I truly suggest you read the foster's rules page from top to bottom, CAREFULLY, until you understand every word of it. In fact, I even recommend bookmarking the page or writing it down so you can refer back to it often. Crucial information will be contained wherever this rules page may be held, and often foster's will periodically put updates on said page as well. If you do not understand something on this page, or have a question, neomail the foster in a respective manor with your question. DO NOT REPEATEDLY MESSAGE THEM. Fosters are very busy people, and they are easily annoyed with people who tend to mail them frequently. They will get back to you when they can. Also- if there is an FAQ section on the rules page, thoroughly read that to assure to aren't asking a question that has already been answered. They have an FAQ section for a reason.

4. Know the PET. - This is plain and simple. Know how to spell the pet's name correctly and know the proper gender of the pet. Nothing irks an owner more than to have their pet called by the wrong name, or to have their pet called 'it'/by the wrong gender.


How to Act

The foster (or even other applicants) of the pet you are applying for will often host chat pages to for a chance to get to know the applicants/advertise the pet UFA. Many owners appreciate getting to know the potential owners of their pets, which is why it is a good idea to often make an appearance at these boards so the foster may get a feel of your character. Often observing these boards though, I've observed a good deal of things you SHOULD do and things you SHOULD NOT do. This section is not a section telling you to act like someone you are not, but rather a section to advise you on things you should refrain from doing on these chat boards or when talking to the owner.

5. Be YOURSELF. - As cliched as you may find this to be, applicants seem to lose themselves during the application process. They try to make themselves something their not in order to impress the foster and the other applicants, which you should NOT do. You may believe you are making yourself more appealing but in reality fosters are very talented at selecting the people who aren't acting as themselves- which they consider fake. A foster does not want all their applicants to act like perfect little robots, as it does not show any true personality and makes each and every person seem the same. In summary, just be yourself. Talk the way you would normally talk, talk about things you would normally talk about, and be friendly.

6. Do NOT kiss up! - This is the most bothersome thing a foster can come in contact with. What is kissing up you may be asking? A foster would consider "kissing up" when you basically try to be so nice and sweet, that it comes across as fake and over-bearing. Kissing up also includes sweet-talking the foster, and acting over-invested in them. Fosters understand you are only talking to them because of the pet they have UFA, which is perfectly okay- but be yourself and don't take it too far. Kissing up is very frowned upon.

7. Don't be a sore loser. - When saying this, I mean always maintain a good attitude and be confident. Upon talking to the owner or others, don't go on and on about how you're terrible at applications and have no chance. Be confident in yourself and try, because whining as such is only annoying and doesn't even get you a chance. Regarding being a good sport, even if you aren't chosen to adopt the pet- be kind to the foster/whoever was chosen to adopt the pet. No, this isn't mandatory, but wouldn't you want others to be happy for you?

The Application's Appearance

This section will explain to you on how you want your application to LOOK. Regardless of what many may say, the way an application appeals to the eye is very important when having someone read the application. The content of the application will be explained in a later section.

8. Finding the PERFECT layout. - The layout can either make your application look neat and organized, or like a huge mess the foster may not even read. Many of us are not good coders, or do not have friends who can code layouts for us- which is OK. Fosters are often understanding (or at least they should be) that we all have different talent in different areas, which is why many fosters are totally fine with premade layouts... to an extent though. Although premade layouts aren't frowned upon, you should take the time and put in the effort to find a layout best suited for the pet. For instance, why would you use a bright pink Valentine's day themed layout for a darigan pet with a dark character? Being frank, that's just being lazy and shows the foster you didn't even take the time to change the layouts colors or add in a more fitting image. Here is a very simple guide to coding up your own layout, or if you don't want to do that you can easily find many premade coding pages. All and all, just pick a layout that actually makes sense to go with the pet. It's not only about you and your tastes though. Ask yourself when picking a layout- Is is organized? Is it easy to read/will it be easy to read to others? Does it have the required room/sections needed for an application? If it isn't good as is, will you be able to fix it yourself in order for it to be usable? These things are very important, because a foster often has a great amount of applications to read- so upon finding one that is difficult to read it is likely they won't read it at all. Some may ask you to change the font/layout so they can read it, but they aren't required to so they may just disregard the application itself. Like most premade codes, you are free to edit it until it's right for you- ALTHOUGH, you still have to leave credit, no matter how much you edit it. Not doing so will get you frozen. Also, leaving credit on images/layouts you use WITHOUT having permission to use them is also considered theft and will get you frozen. Basically in summary, make sure you are allowed to use the code you are using and always leave credit!

9. Break up your text with IMAGES. - Not only does your layout need to appeal to the eye, so does the content of the layout. The last thing you want is a giant brick of text, because it truthfully scares people away. You can have a lengthy application, but be sure to put art/little images throughout the text (when appropriate) to break it up a little. When I say this, I do not mean random images. For example, use custom art for the pet or little Neo-images that relate to things your pet likes. Another fantastic way to go about this in my opinion is creating dividers for each section of your application. Not only do these look very nice, they neatly break up the text.

The Application's Content

In the process of applying for a pet, wouldn't you agree the application is the most important part? If you said yes, you're correct! In this section I'll take you step by step through some very important sections to include in your application. Keep in mind you don't HAVE to include all of the following and you are not limited to only including the following sections- these are just very good suggestions.

10. The Introduction. - Although this is most likely going to be the shortest section in your application, it is still important. Much like the first page of a book, it needs to be good and draw the reader in so they feel the urge to keep reading. In this section you should greet the reader, and welcome them to your application. It is common to include the pet you're applying for in this section (for example: Hello and welcome to my application for PET NAME the PET COLOR / PET SPECIES), and maybe even thank the foster for putting the pet UFA. If you have any side-notes about your application you wish to make, it should be stated here. It is also important to include a disclaimer in this section that the choice to make a petpage application was your sole choice, and was not implied/forced by the foster.

11. The Pet's Character. - This section isn't a mandatory section, but it is basically expected in most petpage applications. In this section you will describe the character you have for the pet. You may do this by giving character traits, explaining the pet's likes/dislikes, giving basic information about the pet (name, nicknames, age, height, weight, gender, etc.) and describing the pet's appearance. Honestly the more information you give about the character, the more the reader/foster will understand the concept of the character- thus bringing it more to life.

12. The Pet's Story. - It's common to include a story (or a bit of a story) after describing the pet's character. I can't advise you much on this section, except you should always use proper grammar and keep the reader wanting more!

13. Why This Pet? - Fosters often find it very important as to why you want their pet. This section is basically for you to tell all the reasons you chose to apply for this particular pet, and basically express your feelings towards the pet. The reason can be as small as the name, or as big as the name/color/specie is perfect to you. This section is entirely up to you, but honesty is key. Being quite frank, I also recommend not including the term "dreamie" or "dream pet". Fosters tend to hate this overused term, and it truthfully seems like a way to get out of giving any actual reason for wanting the pet.

14. Future Plans for the Pet. - This section basically revolves around your talents, and how you wish to apply them to said pet. Fosters are often very curious as to what you have in store for their pet (if of course, you are chosen as the pet's new owner). The things you can list here are endless. Some examples are a pet-lookup, a petpage, a petpet, writing, art, roleplaying, and so forth. But don't just be talk, you need to back up what you include here! Include examples of what you include in your future plans, otherwise it comes across as just being "talk". In other words, the owner will believe you're just saying what they want to hear and you won't actually do it- and that's no way to impress a foster!

15. About Yourself. - I, as well as many others, find it to be a very good idea to tell the foster about yourself. Where some people may argue that the application is about the pet and this section should be kept minimal, I beg to differ. This foster knows NOTHING about you and you want to adopt their pet... don't you think you should let them get to know you the best they can? I believe this section should be broken up into two parts: about you on Neopets, and about you off Neopets. Regarding off-site you, you can tell the foster about your hobbies, personality, likes, dislikes, etc. Regarding on-site you, this is basically where you can tell the foster all about how you spend your time on Neopets, whether it be roaming boards or writing stories, just be honest. The length of this section is up to you. As I said, some argue it should be a short section, where as others believe letting the foster get to know you the best they can is a more favorable option.

Meet the Family. - This section is definitely optional, but I feel it's a very good one to include. The major point of this section is to introduce your other pets to the foster. Perhaps give a glimpse at their character, or just tell how you came to get said pet(s). When many people include this section, they choose to include the pet they're applying for in this section- sort of as a gesture to show how well the pet would fit into the family. IF all of your pets are not permanent (They are UFT, UFA or to be gifted) I absolutely advise you to still include them. If they are UFT, explain what you are hoping to trade them up to. If they are UFA, explain why you have them UFA.




Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When asked to do either a petpage or a neomail application, which do you recommend?
A: Honestly, my vote always go for petpage. Unless the owner specifically requests for a one neomail application, putting your application on a petpage makes things easier for everyone. Plus, the more you tell the foster, the better!

In Conclusion

Text and stuff going here!

Greetings Fosters!

If you're reading this section, you must here to get tips on how to be a good foster.
If you're looking for tips on how to be a good applicant, see further up the page.


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