Job Application Definition and a Sample Job Application

Job Applications Serve Employer Needs that a Resume Doesn't Meet

Caucasian woman filling out a job application at a hotel.
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The job or employment application is the official form that employers ask all applicants for a position to fill out. The job application is filled out offline in a pen and paper format or, increasingly, online. The job application (see a variety of sample job applications) provides a consistent format with the same questions that must be answered by each person who applies for an open position.

The job application is a legally defensible listing of your job applicant’s employment history, educational background, degrees, qualifications, references, and more.

Unlike the resume and cover letter that are written and formatted to highlight the applicant’s most significant and impressive credentials, the job application is a listing of questions that require factual responses. Dates of employment, positions held, names and contact information for supervisors, dates of degrees, name, address, and phone number are examples of facts required on the job application.

Why Do Employers Require Job Applicants to Fill Out an Employment Application?

The job application is used for assorted reasons by employers. The job application allows the employer to collect the potential employee’s signature verifying that all statements on the job application are true.

The applicant’s signature on the job application allows the employer to verify the truth of all content and gives permission for reference checking, background checking, criminal history checking, and often, reviewing the results of drug testing.

The job application provides names and contact information of references and employers, especially direct supervisors. Depending on the application, the job application asks for the applicant’s social security number and the applicant’s available work schedule. The job application asks whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime. The military record is also requested on a job application.

Finally, most job applications ask if the potential employer can contact the applicant’s current employer for employment information. A negative response is not a statement about the applicant; rather it is viewed as normal that an applicant wants to protect their current employment.

All job applications end with the applicant’s signature certifying that all stated is true and granting the potential employer broad permissions to check the applicant’s suitability for employment and to check the applicant’s veracity.

Sample Job Application Form

The following are the questions you must be prepared to answer for a typical job application. Providing social security number information is not recommended at this point in the job application process.

Today’s Date: ____________________

Name of Position for Which You Are Applying: _________________

Name: ________________________________________________

Address: ______________________________________ Apt./Unit________________

City: ___________________ State: __________________

ZIP Code: ______________

Phone: ___________________ Email Address: _____________

Salary Required: __________________________ (The legality of this question varies by company location.)

When Are You Able to Start This Job? _______________________________________

Are you legally eligible to work in the U.S.? Yes No

Have you been convicted of a felony in the past 5 years? Yes No Details: ______________________________________________ (The legality of this question varies by company location.)

Have you worked for this company in the past? Yes No Details: _______________________________________________

Employment History

Position Title: _____________________________________________________

Responsibilities: ___________________________________________________

Employer: _______________ From: __________ To: __________

Employer Address: _________________________________________________

Manager: ______________________Phone: ____________________

May we contact this employer? Yes No

Reason for Leaving: _______________________________________________

Position Title: _________________________________________________

Responsibilities: _______________________________________________

Employer: _______________From: __________ To: __________

Employer Address: _____________________________________________

Manager: ___________________Phone: ____________________

May we contact this employer? Yes No

Reason for Leaving: ___________________________________________

Position Title: ________________________________________________

Responsibilities: ______________________________________________

Employer: _____________________ From: __________ To: __________

Employer Address: ___________________________________________

Manager: ______________________Phone: ____________________

May we contact this employer? Yes No

Reason for Leaving: ___________________________________________

Educational Background

Highest Degree Earned: ________ School: ______________________

Major: ________________Minor(s): _________________

Dates Attended: From: ______________ To: ______________

Degree Earned: ______________ School: ______________________

Major: ________________Minor(s): _________________

Dates Attended: From: ______________ To: ______________

Degree Earned: ______________ School: ______________________

Major: ________________Minor(s): __________________

Dates Attended: From: ______________ To: ______________

List any work-related training and certifications. Date Received: ___________________________________________________

I authorize you to verify the information listed above. I certify that the information contained in this employment application is accurate and truthful. I understand that providing false information on this application may be grounds for not offering me employment or for the termination of my employment at any point in the future.

Applicant Signature: ______________________________________ Date: ________________

By signing the job application certification, the applicant is attesting to the truth of the information included on the job application. If the job application is online, the applicant will generally click a box to acknowledge that they are submitting complete and accurate information. The checked box is considered your signature in any future employment determinations

Application Self-Identification Form

You will also encounter the request for additional voluntarily provided information.

Providing this information is strictly voluntary on your part, and is not required to complete your Application for Employment, nor will providing the information or not providing the information affect your application.

Federal government regulations require (organization name) to maintain records of job applicants by gender and race. Additionally, we collect this information to ensure that we are monitoring our own success in encouraging diverse applicants.

Please assist us by providing the requested information. Providing this information is strictly voluntary on your part, and is not required to complete your Application for Employment.

Female_______ Male_______

1. _______ African-American/Black (not of Hispanic origin)

2. _______ Asian or Pacific Islander (includes Indian Subcontinent)

3. _______ American Indian or Alaskan Native

4. _______ Hispanic/Latino (Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race)

5. _______ White (persons not of Hispanic origin, having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East)

6. Race not included above

Please specify: _______________________________________.

Are you multi-racial or multi-ethnic (parents from two or more of the above-listed groups)?

Yes ______ No ______

If yes, please specify _____________________________________________

Thank you for your assistance.

Courteous employers who seek a reputation as an employer of choice, send an application acknowledgment letter. The next step an applicant should expect is either an applicant rejection letter or a request for an interview or phone screen.

With application materials fraud escalating, employers also need to know who they are hiring.