* the applicant's handbook by rawrimmakitty

Section i. Preface

Welcome to Dorothy's Handbook for Applicants, otherwise known as The Applicant's Handbook. On this page, you will find that I have written everything that I know about applications and the application process based on my personal experience as an applicant (and foster) for you to reference. Nothing I say should be used as the word of law, but rather as advice for your own application.

This guide was written in mid-late 2014 and contains information detailing what an application is, the application process, content for an application, and how to interact with other users while applying. It also includes information on applying to trade, which is new content not present in my previous guide (written around 2010).

I am writing this guide under the assumption that you have basic knowledge about applications and what they are. However, if you are completely new to applications, I will be more than happy to answer any questions you have if you neomail me.

This is a very in-depth guide, and you are, by no means, obligated to read all of it. You can jump to any of the sections using the circles floating to the right of this page at your convenience.

Please note that even though you referenced this guide and have done everything that I've suggested, there is still a chance that you may not adopt the pet you apply for. By applying for a pet, you acknowledge that the pet isn't yours until it is on your account. You may think that your application is the best one out there, but it's up to the foster to decide who they want to choose to adopt their pet. Please do not blame me or your foster if you aren't chosen for the pet you apply for. Everyone has different preferences, and your foster might not like the same things you do.

11/16/14 A new bonus content box has been added under "Your Attitude and Others." Click here to read it.

Section One. Introduction

What is an Application?

On Neopets, the term application generally refers to a pet application made in order to try and adopt a pet that is up for adoption. Pet applications come in many forms, but the most common three are board applications, neomail applications, and petpage applications.

Board applications are the least common form of apps because of how temporary they are. These are applications posted on the neoboards when a foster is advertising their pets. Since boards are cleared after a certain amount of time, the only efficient way to track and record board apps is if the foster saves them. However, doing this is inconvenient to the foster, and it is uncommon for them to do so.

Neomail applications are applications that contain only text sent through neomail. They can range from one to three neomails per application and are commonly requested when a foster does not want their applicants to spend much time on apps. These applications are a quick and simple way to collect specific information that the foster wants and are usually used for quick adoptions.

Petpage applications are the longest and most common form of apps. These applications allow for the most creativity and can range from simple text on a page to an elaborate petpage with graphics, coding, and unlimited character space for writing. These applications are most prominent for formal application processes but can appear for quick adoptions as well.

More information on these types of applications and how to write them can be found in section three of this guide.

What Types of Adoption Processes Are There?

Throughout this page, I will be using the phrase adoption process as a blanket term for the entire time span from when a pet is put up for adoption to when it's adopted out. There are two types of adoption processes: formal adoptions and quick adoptions.

Formal adoptions are processes that normally take four or more weeks to complete. A pet is usually put up for adoption for about at least a month before the deadline, and applicants are given ample time to finish their applications and turn it in. Petpage and neomail applications are mainly made for formal adoptions because board apps are almost always lost during the process.

Quick adoption processes can range from a few hours to a few weeks. During this time, an applicant is usually given the opportunity to write a neomail application or a quick petpage application for the pet they want to apply for. Quick adoptions are more common these days because users don't have as much time to dedicate towards all-out formal adoption processes.

Are Applications for You?

Before you decide to apply for a pet, you need to consider if applications are for you. Applying for a pet takes some risk because so many factors come into play when a pet is being adopted out. The biggest risk when applying for a pet is you might not get to adopt it in the end. The likelihood of this happening is greater than the likelihood of you being chosen to adopt the pet. This is because there's a chance that someone else might be chosen, but it can also be because the foster disappears or chooses to keep their pet instead.

Another thing to consider is that applications are dominated primarily by artists/creative users. A majority of them will create a character for the pet and give it a story or background. While there are a number of ways to love your pets on this site, creating a character seems to be the most successful way to appeal to a foster. However, that is to say that not all fosters will disregard applications that don't include characters. It is just something to keep in mind.

Regardless of these factors, people still choose to apply for pets. Some people can't stand trading, while others have nothing to trade. To some, applying for pets is the only chance they'll get at adopting their dream pet. The decision of whether or not applying for a pet is right for you depends on you.

Bonus Material: Applying to Retrade

For the first few years of the PC, applying to retrade was highly looked down upon as taking advantage of the foster and considered greedy by most users. However, due to the rapidly increasing value gap between pet trading tiers, many people have turned to applications to try and trade for their dream pet. This practice is more widely accepted by the PC, and it is considered "normal" for someone to apply for a pet with the purpose of retrading.

If you are someone looking to apply to retrade, there are a few things you need to consider first:

Is the pet you're applying for of similar or equal value to your dream pet? Try not to apply for a pet that is too high in value compared to your dream pet. Stick with pets that are in the same tier (or one above or below) range so that other applicants get a chance to apply who actually need the pet for its value (or simply because they want to keep).

Can you handle the competition that said pet will have? If you're looking to apply for a high-end UC pet, you have to think about your competition. If you're someone who doesn't make apps often, chances are, you might be in over your head for this one. If that's the case, try applying for a lower valued pet and trade up. UC tier skipping requires a lot of patience and luck, but it is more secure than you applying for a pet that might be out of your league.

Does the foster allow applying to retrade? While applying to retrade is more accepted with the PC, not all fosters will allow it. Always make sure that your foster is okay with retrading before you apply for their pet.

It is important that you always ask these questions to yourself when you're considering applying to retrade. In some cases, applying to retrade is even riskier than applying to keep, simply because even if you do win the pet, there's a chance you might not find your dream pet UFT or you might get rejected from the ones that are.

Section Two. The Basics

Picking a Pet

The first thing to consider when choosing a pet to apply for is to think about whether you actually want the pet. Many users are initially inspired by pets but lose interest later on in the process. Before making the decision to apply for a certain pet, be sure that you like the pet enough to commit to your application and turn it in. Otherwise, the app would be a waste of time.

When looking for a pet, you need to think about several things. Think about what you want in the pet. Is it a pet you want to keep as a permanent pet? Is it one you want to trade for your dream pet? All fosters have different specifications, so make sure you read all of their rules first. Some fosters will allow applying to trade, while others do not. If you want to apply to trade, check to see that the foster is alright with it first.

A good place to search for UFA pets is the Pound Chat. Fosters will usually advertise their pets there, but you can also try asking the App Chat if they've seen any pets UFA. App Chatters are usually well-informed with the pets that are up for adoption and can be a good source of information. If you can't find what you're looking for, try posting again at a different time to see if someone else has heard news. Certain pets aren't always up for adoption, so don't be worried if you can't find the pet you want UFA. Just wait a while and keep a lookout because it'll happen eventually.

Another good place to search for UFA pets is the PetTP. It is a Neopets certified fan site and should be safe to use. You can find the link on the Neopets fan sites page. Secret Garden is a good onsite directory for UFA UC pets.

Finally, be aware of what's up for adoption - if it's too good to be true, it probably is. (i.e. An UC RG Shoyru that is UFQA.)

You, the Applicant

Before you start making your application, a good thing to do is to make your accounts look well-rounded and brushed up for the judging process. Most fosters these days will take into account what you currently have when deciding who to pick as the new owner of their pet. The key points they will consider are your accounts, your current pets, and what you do with them. Fosters can see through empty promises. If you promise something for their pet but don't have proof of it in your current pets, then a foster is less likely to believe it.

Try to have a userlookup and petlookup for all of your accounts and pets. Even if it's premade, something is better than nothing, and it will help you pass the account check when fosters begin to judge. An added bonus is if you have petpages for most or all of your pets. Pages that are works in progress are better than having a default petpage.

Section Three. The Application

What's in an Application?

While there are many different types of applications, the overall structure for them is the same. All generic applications include an introduction, about me, future plans, and conclusion. Everything else added to an app is up to the preference of the applicant. For example, traditional applicants also like to add why me and why the pet sections, and artists like adding art and adoptable sections. Customizers even like to have their own customization section as well.

Whatever you add to your application is your own choice. Don't copy what your competition is doing and do what you want to do for your application. But while I do stress that you stay original with your content, it's also important to stay within the foster's preference too. Some fosters only want certain things in applications - don't try and find a way to add more content than they ask. Different fosters like different things, and exploiting loopholes in their rules won't earn you their favor.

Written below are the details of what composes generic applications of each specific type. I'll be using the same pet as an example of how different apps can be written.

Board Applications

Board apps are tough because you're limited to 400-500 character space per post. It's not recommended to have a board app longer than three posts, so the information you write in these apps has to be concise.

I suggest starting off with a quick introduction about yourself. Tell the foster your name and who you're interested in applying for. Then list your accounts, followed by any future plans you might have. Finish your board application with a simple thanks and good luck to show your good sportsmanship to the board.

An example of a good board application can be found below:

Note that I don't spend too long on Savvore's character. Detailed character summaries aren't meant to be put in board apps. Keep it as short as possible and try not to write anything unnecessary. You can also link the foster to one or two of your pets to show them examples of your future plans.

Neomail Applications

Unlike the neoboards, neomails give you more time to think and write talk about your application. It has a character limit of roughly 1400 characters for plain text neomail, which is ample space to talk about everything you need, plus more.

As always, start off with a quick introduction of yourself. Mention who you're interested in and why. Talk about your future plans for the pet, and if you want to give the pet a character, then you can go into detail about that too. With the extra character space you have in neomails, you can provide link examples of your current pets and what you do with them. Pick a few pets that are a good representation of you. Since this is an application, you want to make yourself seem as appealing as possible to the foster. Lastly, finish your neomail app with a simple thank you to show good sportsmanship.

Even though neomails give you more room to write than board apps do, try not to write so much content that it takes up more than three neomails. At that point, you're wasting inbox space and it's better for you to move your content to a petpage to turn in instead.

Petpage Applications

The longest and most creative representation of applications come in the form of petpages. There is no specific way to make a petpage application because everyone has their own preferences. While all of the basic content is the same (intro, about me, future plans, conclusion, etc.), users have unlimited character space and the ability to use images and HTML/CSS to design an elaborate petpage for the pet they're applying for.

There are many different types of petpage applications. Standard (one-part) apps and two-part apps. A standard petpage application has all of the app content on one page (indicating one part). A two-part application is the term used for someone who breaks up their application into a formal application and a future petpage.

One-part applications are good to have for users who use most of their petpages for other things, like character pages for their actual pets, NC wishlists/tradlists, about mes, etc. Below are some examples of one part applications that I made over the past years. You can drag and drop the screenies to get a better look at what's there.

Two-part applications are more convenient for creative users because they can work on the pet's future petpage while they're applying for said pet. The reason why the formal application exists is to better organize the content between the two.

Below is an example of a two-part application - the application I made for an UC Plushie Kacheek back in 2010. As you can see, both layouts stick to a particular theme. In this case, I drew the pet I was applying for on both layouts.

When making a two-part application, it's a good idea to also have a splash page that links them all together.

Here is another splash page that I designed for Blanc and Noir (This is just a screenshot of the PSD file that I have since I lost the original application code.):

Only use a splash page if you have three or more links to give to the foster when you turn in your app. It's a waste of a petpage if you have one otherwise.

As you can see with my examples, petpage applications can be very diverse. There is no difference between having a one-part application and a two-part one. It's up to preference what type of petpage application you choose to make.

Bonus Material: Managing Your Time

One of the biggest problems with applying for a pet is learning how to manage your time. Many applicants like to wait until the last minute to finish up their apps while they chat away on the App Chat (or Neoboards in general) and let their pile of work stack up. The thing is, most people don't realize they have so much work left to do because they don't know exactly what they want to put up which is why it's highly recommended for you to make a checklist when planning out your app.

It's important to list out the key goals for your app in your checklist. The more detailed it is, the better, because you've already outlined the content beforehand - now you just have to write it.

Below are some sample checklists you can use if you don't know what to think of. Note that they're different depending on what kind of application you want to make.

Standard Content
Detailed Standard
Two-Part Standard

Section Four. The Layout

Note: This section only applies to you if you're putting your application on a petpage of some sort.

Having a layout is an essential part of a petpage application because it's the first thing that viewers see when they view your app. It's important to leave a good first impression, especially if the viewer is your foster, because that will carry on with you for the rest of the adoption process. Even simple CSS can make a page more appealing to read than a default webpage.

Types of Layouts

Part of the reason why petpage applications are so unique is because users are given the opportunity to make an original layout for their application. Just like a blank canvas, this space can be used however you want. You can make a simple layout just to hold content, or you can design an beautiful work of art to put content on top of.

Simple CSS layouts are quick and easy to do. They're used when an applicant is writing a long neomail application or the foster requests for simple applications. If your foster prefers simple petpages, don't try to go over the top with your layout. Just put your application on a petpage and give it a simple layout. Background images are fine, but stay away from layout images and extensive coding.

Examples of Simple Layouts

Blog-type layouts have a large layout image and an area for content placed on top of it. These layouts are popular with users who like to anchor their petpages, which means that clicking on a navigation link will lead you to a different section, separated from all of the rest.

Example of a Blog Layout

Traditional body-scrolling layouts consist of one or two layout images with a content area that scrolls with the height of the page. These layouts are popular with users who don't want to restrict their content to a small blog area.

Examples of Body-Scrolling Layouts

Side-scrolling layouts seem to be a new fad with applicants. Unlike traditional layouts, these layouts scroll to the side of the page, and you have to use the horizontal scroll bar to navigate through the content.

Example of a Side-Scrolling Layout

Interactive layouts are the most advanced layouts that you can do on Neopets. These can range from simple anchored blogs to a whole adventure-type application. The coding behind the latter can get very complex, and it takes an expert to cleanly code these types of layouts without getting confused or lost in the process.

Examples of Interactive Layouts
Live examples of these interactive layouts can be found here and here.

All of these layouts were ones that I've used in the past, but the types of layouts are not strictly limited to what I showed above. Creating a complicated layout doesn't necessarily make your application better in any way. If you're trying to code something you don't fully understand, it'll give you more headache and stress than you need, so be creative with your layout and use what you like the most. Many users have come up with great ideas for their layouts in the past without fancy mumbo-jumbo coding. Layouts are important for first impressions but are, by no means, the deciding factor for applications.

Formatting Your Content

When designing your layout, you have to think about how you're going to present your application. While the layout design is important for aesthetic appeal, content legibility is just as important.

Using fonts that are clear and easy to read is very important for your content. Avoid using decorative fonts as content text. They're good for titles and section headers but not for your main content. Standard fonts, like Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, and Georgia, are good for body text because most computers have them installed and they're fairly easy to read.

Having a font size that is legible to all viewers can sometimes limit the style that is going around with very small text and large images. While these layouts might work for offsite blogs and profiles, tiny text isn't something you want to subject your viewer to when they have to read long paragraphs of writing. Small fonts might be appealing, but they also strain the viewer's eyes. Stick to font sizes that range from the smallest being 11px high and the largest being 14px. A font size of 12px is a common and good medium between small and large text.

Along with having a proper font size, it's important to have content that isn't too tightly spaced together. When content is spaced too closely together, it's easy to get lost in the writing and also causes strain to the reader to maintain their position. The default line height and letter spacing for fonts is usually good enough to prevent this problem. However, if you notice yourself getting lost in your text, try altering the line-height of your font in the CSS to make it easier to read. You can try splitting long paragraphs of text to help with this as well.

Lastly, the color contrast between your text and content area needs to be high enough for the user to read comfortably. Colors that are clashing or too similar to each other will cause eye strain to the reader and is not recommended. Make a mental note of this: If you have to highlight your content to read it, maybe you need to increase the contrast between your content area and your text.

Color Schemes

Layouts with specific color schemes are generally more aesthetically appealing to viewers than ones that do not. When designing your layout, have a color scheme in mind that you want to incorporate because while some colors look nice on their own, they may not necessarily look good with other colors.

Examples of Color Palettes

Limit the color usage in your layout to four or five max. Great layouts can be designed using only three. Using too many colors will often be distracting to the viewer and won't look all that great.

If anyone knows an onsite guide on the color theory, please neomail me. As much as I want to go into the detail of color schemes and the color theory, it's just too much to put on an application guide, and I'd rather refer my viewers to a guide specific to explaining it.

Putting It All Together

The hardest part about designing a layout is actually putting it all together in a way that looks nice. Sometimes, you draw a very pretty picture but can't figure out how to make it into a layout. Other times, you know how you want to format the content but don't know where to start with your layout image. A good way to ease this process is to design a comprehensive layout which outlines what you plan to do for your layout and how.

Examples of Layout Comps

Layout comps are good for testing out color schemes, figuring out where to place content, and just about anything related to your layout. They can be rough sketches or very detailed to get an idea of what you want to do. While it's not necessary to make a layout comp for your application, I highly recommend it.

When designing your layout, think about what browsers and screen resolutions you have to cater towards. The most popular internet browsers on Neopets are Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. And while Neopets doesn't support the use of Internet Explorer, it's still a good idea to keep IE in mind as well.

The smallest screen resolution you should consider is 1024x768. Layouts made for larger resolutions won't look good on smaller screens. And sometimes, smaller layouts are improperly coded and don't look good on larger screens as well. It's important to have a layout that works on most resolutions, so when you're coding your layout, resize your browser to see if anything changes when the screen size changes.

Bonus Material: Premades vs. Custom Layouts

The debate about the use of premades versus custom layouts for applications has gone on for many years, and this is my opinion on it:

If a user is unable to code or draw their own layout, I don't think that they should be required to make a custom one for their application. Premades exist so that these users don't have code their own layouts, and the quality of premades these days isn't bad either.

A foster is not allowed to require petpage applications, as per Neopets rules, so an applicant who decides to make a petpage application shouldn't have to give it a custom layout either. Forcing the user to do something they're not comfortable doing is unfair.

I do, however, think that a user capable of making their own layout should do so if they're not on a time constraint. It could be personal preference, but since I'm able to make my own layouts, I like doing that over using a premade. That way, I can design my layout how I want it to be made, rather than work on something that isn't mine. But again, if a user prefers to use a premade over making a custom one, I don't think it should be a problem.

Section Five. Creating a Character

One of the most common and popular ideas when creating an application is giving your pet a character. There are many different types of characters that you can have on Neopets. Some users like putting their characters in an alternate Neopets universe while others like having a world of their own. What you decide you want your character to be is completely up to you.

Note: If you're not interested in making a character for your pet, feel free to skip this section and move on to the next.

Character Design

There are some things you want to consider when making your character. First of all, what is the setting of their story? Do you want them to be a part of the Neopets world or do they have a world of their own? Are you planning on roleplaying them or giving them a character petpage? Is this a casual personality for their petlookup that you can play with in your head? Like with people, no two characters should be exactly the same. Think about what you can do to make your pet unique. Avoid Mary Sue type characters who are perfect in every way and have everything they want.

Personality and history aside, your character can come in many physical forms. The three most common types of characters on Neopets are drawn in human, furry anthro, and quad. Human characters are as they say - humans, sometimes with animal attributes that associate them with the species they are on Neopets. Furry anthro characters are animals drawn in a humanoid fashion, walking on two legs, wearing clothes, etc. Finally, quad characters are pets in their animal form.

Just like with everything else in your application, how you design your pet is completely up to you. Some people prefer having only biped (human, furry anthro) characters, whereas others prefer having quad. Artists who can draw both sometimes have a mix, as well. The deciding factor in most of these situations is based on how comfortable said user is with drawing their characters.

As a side note, having a 100% realistic character on Neopets is kind of tricky because TNT doesn't allow certain subjects to be mentioned. When writing about your character on Neo, avoid such topics and focus only on how to make your character Neo-friendly.

Your Character on Neopets

There are several things you can do to incorporate your character onto Neopets. If your character has an animal companion in their story, try finding a petpet that will match with your Neopet. Petpets aren't required to adopt pets, but they do make an excellent addition to your pet if it relates to your story. (Or if you just want your pets' petlookup to look nice!)

In addition to a petpet, giving the pet you're applying for a customization is a good way to depict your pet's personality/character on Neopets. Many applicants like to offer a future customization preview in their applications to show what they want to customize their pet as if they're chosen to adopt. These customizations don't have to relate specifically to the pet's character and can just be done to have a clean and well put together customization. You can test out customizing the pet you want to apply for by using Dress to Impress, which is an official Neopets fan site.

Other things you can do for your pet is to give it a petlookup and character petpage. Again, neither of these are required for your application but is something to consider if you're chosen to adopt the pet you're applying for. Having petlookups and petpages on pets is a good indication of a character's incorporation onto Neo. Fosters sometimes use this as a sign of activity on your current pets and whether you work on them or not.

Bonus Material: Using Inspiration

Many users need to have inspiration to create a character they like and aren't always able to think of new stories at the top of their heads. If you're on of these users, then it might help for you to try and look for inspiration in other people's work or your surroundings.

No matter the source of inspiration, you always want to try and stay original. Try and think of a character design that hasn't been done before. Don't completely copy someone else's character design and call it your own - that's considered theft and is a reportable offense on Neopets.

Lastly, if you're lacking inspiration for a pet, then don't try to force yourself to give it one. It's obvious to the reader when a character seems forced, and that's the last thing you want to for your readers to feel. If you can't think of something for your pet, then give it some time. Usually, inspiration comes when you least expect it.


Section Six. Your Attitude and Others

When you're applying for a pet, making an application is only half the battle. There will never be a time, whether on Neopets or in real life, where you won't have to interact with other people, so it's important that you know how to act and talk to them.

Interacting with the Foster

Speaking with the foster is one of the scariest things for some applicants, but it's actually one of the easiest things to do if you have the right mindset. Forget the common misconception that fosters are high figures who need to be worshiped and brown nosed to. That is the last thing you want to do when talking with your foster. They're normal people too and should to be treated as such.

Bonus Material: Fosters on High Horses

Watch about for fosters who seem like they're in it just for the attention. These types of fosters will usually have 'red flag' type rules, like, "Chat with me on all my boards," and/or "I might be biased towards [friend's name here]."

While it's your choice if you to apply or not, you must be aware that the pet might not be adopted out at all. High horse fosters are very volatile, and if you ever feel like one wrong move might get you disqualified, then you probably need to think about whether applying is worth it or not.

Pay attention to your foster's rules when reading their adoption page. Some fosters don't want to talk through neomail but are willing to chat on the boards. Some fosters don't want to talk at all. Listen to your foster's requests and approach them when they're willing to be approached. Just like normal users, they don't always want to chat, so it's important to respect their wishes and don't push them to their limit.

Avoid asking your foster how many applications they've gotten for their pets and if they plan on putting other pets UFA. While these may be legitimate questions for the foster, they can also give off the impression of being rude and nosy. Some fosters don't want to share this information or have no plans to put other pets UFA. Since they're doing you a favor by putting pets up for adoption in the first place, you shouldn't be asking for more.

Another statement that most fosters hate is hearing, "I want to apply, but I'm not good at apps." Most fosters these days are very understanding and flexible with different strengths and weaknesses. They don't expect certain applications for their pets, so you shouldn't assume that they are. Play your strengths and apply anyway. The answer is always a no unless you give it a try.

If you want to ask your foster a question, make sure that it hasn't already been answered on their rules page. Many users get excited when they see a cool pet up for adoption and don't always fully read the rules. Fosters who get asked repeated questions can sometimes get annoyed, with good reason. If your foster seems overwhelmed with applicants and questions, don't be impatient or concerned. Give them some space to calm down and ask them your question another time.

When chatting with your foster, try not to talk about your application or the pet you're applying for too much. You can state who you're interested in applying for, but your foster probably isn't interested in reading your entire character summary on a casual advertising board. Leave that to your application and try to strike conversations that everyone on the board can participate in.

It's alright to be friendly. Just watch yourself and try not to appear too friendly, as this can sometimes be seen as brown nosing. Act like how you would when chatting with your friends - just try to be professional about it and avoid talking like a maniac.

Lastly, it's important to remember that your foster might not always be online to answer your questions or chat with you. They have lives outside of Neopets and shouldn't be expected to be on as much as you. Give your foster a reasonable amount of time to answer your questions and make a decision on their pet. If you noticed that after a few days, they haven't responded to your questions, then send them a neomail and ask if they forgot. Just don't try and rush them because all you're going to do is annoy them and stress them out.

Interacting with Other Users

Whether you're on your foster's advertising board or on an app chat, it's important to think about how you act in front of other users, as well as the foster. I want to stress how important it is for you to keep up a professional image when interacting with other users on the boards because you're always being judged when you post in public.

When chatting with other users and applicants, it's important not to act like the pet you're applying for is already yours. This arrogance is what causes 99% of the drama that occurs on the boards, and if you act and/or think you're the only applicant with a chance of adopting the pet, then you're completely wrong. It's no one's decision who adopts the pet in the end except the foster. Don't try to scare other users out of applying or guilt them into dropping out. This is very important to think about when communicating with other users because I see it happen all the time (and have had it happen to me as well). It's unfair to other users if you act like you're the only user entitled to adopting the pet you're applying for.

Always try and act friendly when chatting with other users. Even if there are users you don't particularly like on the boards, it's important to avoid creating drama because that only increases the risk of either your application being disqualified from the judging process or the pet can be taken down altogether. Don't be fake and act like a completely different person, but also keep rude comments to yourself.

Bonus Material: Handling Rude Users

While it's common courtesy to be polite to others, some users can still be rather rude, including the foster. However, it's important to maintain a level head and treat others with respect, even if they don't give you the same respect back.

The best way to handle a rude user is to ignore them. If someone says one or two comments about you that are meant to cause drama, then skip over that post and continue on with the other conversations going on in the board. If the users persists in making snide remarks about you or your application, then block the user and tell your foster about the situation. Fosters are usually understanding about these types of things and will help you out with your problem.

Maintaining a professional demeanor is important to have when you're applying for a pet. Don't call them out on the boards and stir up drama because that will only put you and the other user in a bad spotlight.

Finally, don't try to fish for compliments when on the boards. Avoid saying things like, "My application isn't good," or "I wish my art was as good as so and so's." Not only does this seem like you're seeking attention, but it also puts your competition in the spotlight. Have confidence in your work, and don't make others feel guilty about applying.

Confidence

One of the most common issues with applicants is that they don't have the proper confidence they should in their applications. Even if you're someone who can't draw, write, or code well, you should always have pride in the work that you do. Don't be complacent and never try to improve, but also acknowledge that your app is still something you were able to put together by yourself. Have pride in that and show it to the world - if you don't like your application, then how can you expect your foster to?

Confidence, however, should not to be confused with arrogance. There's a difference between having pride in your work and thinking that your application is the best out there. Always keep in mind that what's best in your opinion isn't always the best in your foster's opinion. Remember: The pet isn't yours until the foster has made the decision to adopt out to you.

The Golden Rule: Having a Good Time

The last and most important thing to remember about applications is that they exist for fun. If you find yourself stressed out over your application or overwhelmed by anything, then you might need to take a break from applying to calm down and relax. At the end of the day, Neopets is a game, and you're applying for a pet that isn't technically real.

Section Seven. The End

Thank you for taking the time to read this extensive application guide. Again, I would like to make it clear that everything written on this page is based off of my own personal experience with applicants is should be treated as a guide to make your own application rather than the word of law.

If you have any further questions or concerns, I highly recommend you check out my other site, Shark Tank. It's an application critique site that provides constructive criticism for applications that qualify.

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