Job Application Form

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Job Application Form

What is a job application form?

A job application form – also known as an employment application form – is a concise document in the style of a questionnaire designed to help employers filter candidates to open positions. 

In contrast to a resume or curriculum vitae (CV), a job application form is a corporate document designed to streamline internal procedures. They enable human resources departments (HR) to pinpoint essential information about candidates like qualifications, references, availability, and so on. 

Generally speaking, job application forms are filled out at the beginning of the recruitment cycle by job seekers and sent to the hiring company in conjunction with a more detailed resume. Alternatively, candidates may be asked to complete a job application form after applying for a position if they are accepted into the next stage of the evaluation process.  

Why should you use a job application form?

Job application forms are useful for one main reason: they allow employers to access relevant candidate details in the most straightforward and direct way possible. 

Job application forms are widely used because they can be tailored to meet the unique needs of employers, especially when they are engaged in the early stages of the recruitment process. 

Are job application forms the same as CVs, cover letters, or resumes?

Job application forms are not the same as CVs, cover letters, or resumes. The main issue with resumes, cover letters, and CVs is that they contain only the information which an individual candidate believes to be necessary and helpful. Important details that have a significant bearing on recruitment decisions are often incomplete or omitted completely. 

Job application forms, on the other hand, are created by the employer itself in the form of a line-by-line “questionnaire”. Hiring companies can ask for whatever information they require, such as contact details, past employment, university degrees, portfolio pieces, and references. 

How much does it cost to create and distribute job application forms?

The cost of providing job application forms is usually very low. A large number of companies host them on their websites in the form of online job application forms or printable forms. With an integrated tech stack, it’s even possible to automate the process of data interpretation and organization, further streamlining the hiring process. 

How is a job application different from other documents?

Job application forms are often confused with resumes or curricula vitae (CVs). In a nutshell, the main difference between these two documents is that job application forms are created by recruiters for candidates to fill out, while resumes are written exclusively by applicants. 

The vast majority of companies will require candidates to submit both a job application form and a resume as part of the application process. It’s common practice to use job application forms to filter applicants before undertaking further evaluation by consulting resumes and conducting interviews. 

In some cases, businesses may even rely on job application forms exclusively, and will not ask for a personal resume. If you believe that it is possible to acquire all the necessary information about potential employees from job application forms alone, then this can be an effective, time-saving practice. 

What should a job application form include?

There are no hard and fast rules about what fields a job application form should include. Sometimes businesses will even add “tests” to application forms to gauge whether or not a candidate has the relevant knowledge for a position.

There can also be sizable differences between industries. A form provided by a software company, for example, will likely have questions about proficiencies relating to programming languages, whereas a babysitting job application form will be more concerned with references and information needed to conduct a background check.

Generally speaking, job application forms have three main sections:

  1. Personal Details and Contact Information – Personal and contact details include the candidate’s full name, general location (city/state), date of birth, address, phone number, social security number, driver’s license number, and email. It might also be appropriate to ask for supplementary information relating to driving licenses, availability, student status, and so on. 
  2. Educational Background and Qualifications – Information about qualifications and degrees will vary depending on the needs of the employer. It is common for companies to ask about high-school, college, and post-graduate education, with fields for course start and end dates. Sometimes a reference from a college official will also be required. Businesses may ask for confirmation of essential industry qualifications and accreditations in the form of yes/no boxes. 
  3. Work Experience, Previous Employment, and References – The section dealing with employment history and past experience will usually require two or three references with fields for the name of the employer, point-of-contact, start and end dates, job title, reason for leaving, working hours (full-time vs. part-time), and any relevant contact details.

If you’re thinking about using job application forms in your company, you should keep in mind that they can be useful in a legal context if any issues arise later down the line with new employees. Because of this, it’s good practice to include a signature field at the bottom of both digital and “hard copy” forms. If you are hosting a job application form on your website, you may also wish to include an area where applicants can upload their resume before submitting. 

Should you use a template to create a job application form? 

As an employer, job application forms enable you to organize, filter, and evaluate candidates much faster than if you were to manually check resumes. 

Because job application forms tend to be relatively straightforward documents, requiring only minor modifications for different vacancies, a template is a good, inexpensive option. What’s more, once a template is approved by senior management, it can be used for future jobs without any need for further consultation.