Application for employment
An application for employment, job application, or application form (often simply called an application) is a form or collection of forms that an individual seeking employment, called an applicant, must fill out as part of the process of informing an employer of the applicant's availability and desire to be employed, and persuading the employer to offer the applicant employment.
From the employer's perspective, the application serves a number of purposes. These vary depending on the nature of the job and the preferences of the person responsible for hiring, as "each organization should have an application form that reflects its own environment". At a minimum, an application usually requires the applicant to provide information sufficient to demonstrate that he or she is legally permitted to be employed. The typical application also requires the applicant to provide information regarding relevant skills, education, and previous employment. The application itself is a minor test of the applicant's literacy, penmanship, and communication skills - a careless job applicant might disqualify themselves with a poorly filled-out application.
The application may also require the applicant to disclose any criminal record, and to provide information sufficient to enable the employer to conduct an appropriate background check. For a business that employs workers on a part-time basis, the application may inquire as to the applicant's specific times and days of availability, and preferences in this regard. It is important to note, however, that an employer may be prohibited from asking applicants about characteristics that are not relevant to the job, such as their political view or sexual orientation.
For white collar jobs, particularly those requiring communication skills, the employer will typically require applicants to accompany the form with a cover letter and a résumé. However, even employers who accept a cover letter and résumé will frequently also require the applicant to complete a form application, as the other documents may neglect to mention details of importance to the employers. In some instances, an application is effectively used to dissuade "walk-in" applicants, serving as a barrier between the applicant and a job interview with the person with the authority to hire.
For many businesses, applications for employment can be filled out online, and do not have to be submitted in person. However, it is still recommended that applicants bring a printed copy of their application to an interview.
Application blanks are the second most common hiring instrument next to personal interviews. Companies will occasionally use two types of application blanks, short and long. They both help companies with initial screening and the longer form can be used for other purposes as well. The answers that applicants choose to submit are helpful to the company because they can become an interview question for that applicant at a future date.
Application blanks can either be done by hand or electronically, depending on the company. When submitting an application blank typically companies will ask you attach a one-page cover letter as well as a resume. Applicants tend to make the mistake of sharing too much information with the company and their application will be immediately overlooked. Offering too much information gives the company a bigger opportunity to find something they do not like. Please ask or find a copy of the job ad before applying for a job to make sure you list your key skills and expertise that matches the job you are applying for first on your job application, resume and cover letter to help you not list too much information. Companies are not allowed to ask certain questions in person or on an application such as age, health status, religion, marital status, about children, race, height, weight, or whom you live with.
Applications usually ask the applicant at the minimum for your name, phone number, and address. In addition to this applications also ask for previous employment information, educational background, emergency contacts, references, as well as any special skills the applicant might have.
The three categories application fields are very useful for discovering are; physical characteristics, experience, and socio-environmental factors.
If the company has a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) to ask regarding a physical condition, they may ask questions about it. Such as: The job requires a lot of physical labor. Do you have any physical problems that may interfere with this job?
Experience requirements can be separated into two groups on an application, work experience and educational background. Educational background is important to companies because by evaluating applicants’ performance in school tells them what their personality is like as well as their intelligence. Work experience is important to companies because it will inform the company if the applicant meets their requirements. Companies are usually interested when applicants were unemployed and when/why the applicant left their previous job.
Companies are interested in the applicant’s socio-environment because it can inform them of their personality, interest, and qualities. If they are extremely active within an organization, that may demonstrate their ability to communicate well with others. Being in management may demonstrate their leadership ability as well as their determination and so on.
Customs vary internationally when it comes to the inclusion or non-inclusion of a photograph of the applicant. In the English-speaking countries, notably the United States, this is not customary, and books or websites giving recommendations about how to design an application typically advise against it unless explicitly requested by the employer. In other countries, for instance Germany, the inclusion of a photograph of the applicant is still common, and many employers would consider an application incomplete without it.
- Diane Arthur, Recruiting, Interviewing, Selecting & Orienting New Employees (1998), p. 111.
- Donald H. Weiss, Fair, Square & Legal: Safe Hiring, Managing & Firing Practices to Keep You and Your Company Out of Court (2004), p. 45.
- Sandra Bunting, The Interviewer's Handbook: Successful Interviewing Techniques for the Workplace (2005), p. 82.
- Diane Arthur, Recruiting, Interviewing, Selecting & Orienting New Employees (1998), p. 168.
- Joe Kennedy, The Small Business Owner's Manual (2005), p. 122.
- Diane Arthur, Recruiting, Interviewing, Selecting & Orienting New Employees (1998), p. 59.
- A C "Buddy" Krizan, Patricia Merrier, Joyce P. Logan, Business Communication (2010), p. 551.
- http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/should-include-photo-cover-letter-resume-job-application-11576.html, accessed 28 December 2013.
- http://www.arbeitsagentur.de/nn_581144/Navigation/Dienststellen/besondere-Dst/ZAV/arbeiten-in-deutschland/EN/bewerben-EN/bewerbung-EN/bewerbung-nav.html, accessed 28 December 2013.