Job Application Form
Most employers see your application before they see you. If you want an
interview, your application must make an impression. Messy, illegible, or incomplete forms
are often tossed in the waste basket. Follow directions carefully-how you fill out the
application has a lot to do with whether you get an interview and the job. Employers often
make assumptions about the quality of work you do by how you fill out an application.
Attitude, stability, and motivation can be communicated on the form, and a sharp and
orderly presentation of your skills is the best way to get an interview. Get a copy of a
standard application form at an office supply store; and by using your self-assessment
inventory, addresses, dates and names of former employers, Social Security card, documents
of education and training, and other papers, you will be able to complete the application.
When completed, this form can be a reference when filling out actual applications, as many
employers have their own forms.
Most application forms are divided into four parts:
Part 1: Usually includes information, such as your
name, address, telephone number, etc.
Part 2: Generally refers to education and training.
List all schooling and whether or not you graduated. Most applications ask about military
service. If you served, supply all information requested.
Part 3: Identifies work experience and starts with
your most recent job. If you have held more than six jobs, you may wish to list only those
most closely related to the job you are seeking. Describing previous (or current) duties
is a chance to make the form really impressive. Employers are interested in what you
do-use action words to describe your skills. Concentrate on skills that will interest the
employer. Most of all, be clear and concise.
Part 4: Lists people willing to speak with
prospective employers about your character and skills. Clergy, former employers, teachers,
counselors, or friends in business make excellent references. Be sure to ask their
permission first, and, most importantly, be sure they have something positive to say about
you. Avoid listing family members as references whenever possible.
Employers are looking for the best person to hire, so don't get too excited about their
questions until you understand why the question was asked. And, never falsify information
on an application-it could backfire later.
- Do you own a car?
Perhaps they only want to know if you have transportation to work!
- What is the reason for leaving your former job or jobs?
Avoid such terms as fired, terminated, dissatisfied, failed, or couldn't get along.
Present a positive picture, for example: company reorganization; better opportunity;
career change; returned to school; or relocated. If you state that you resigned, you may
want to explain in the interview, remembering to keep comments positive.
- Why are there gaps in your work history?
Gaps may prevent you getting an interview unless they are made positive. Justify not
working by showing that you have been involved in some meaningful activity, such as travel
or education. Put considerable thought into your answers, and present a positive image of
your earnest desire to do a good job.
The most common mistake on the application form is forgetting to sign your name. Other
obvious mistakes include a wrong telephone number, incorrect dates, etc. So, double check
your application to ensure the employer gets a positive picture of you.
Before submitting your application, look it over and be sure
it is neat, clean, and free of smudges; that words and abbreviations are spelled
correctly, all information is accurate, and all directions were followed.
||A Social Security Number will be needed. If you have never worked before, call
or write the nearest Social Security Office and request an application for a Social
Security Number. Using the correct number on applications can make a difference in
eligibility for benefits later.
||Letters of Reference may be helpful to your job hunt. Sometimes called letters
of introduction, they can be written by teachers, professors, employers, or work
Such letters are addressed "To Whom It May Concern," and copies can be attached
to your resume or taken to a job interview. This is especially important when seeking work
in a new community.
||Documents Verifying Education or Training may also be necessary. High school or
college diplomas, transcripts, verification of apprenticeship or military training, or
other certificates of training can also be helpful.
||Copies of Special Awards or Honors or Member-ships in Professional Organizations
can also be included. Documents that prove your accomplishments can often make the
difference when competing for a job.