Creating a Job Application
 
 
 
Purpose
  The purpose of a job application is to see if you have the qualifications to do the job.  Your work history and education should show if you can do the job.  An application also highlights whether or not you are a job hopper.  Prospective employers are very cautious toward job hoppers.  The information that is on your resume should be the same as on your job application.  However, employers are a aware that a resume is a tool for potential employees to use to highlight skills, abilities and accomplishments in glowing praise form!  Generally, weaknesses will be uncovered through an application not a resume.  
 
Guidelines
 
  When completing a job application, use the following guidelines:

  1. Complete all information as accurately as possible.  If there is an area that you are not comfortable answering, indicate, in the blank area, that you would like to discuss that particular information.
     
  2. Be honest when completing the application.  If you do not tell the truth, you may get the job, but if the company discovers that an employee has falsified their employment application, this is grounds for termination.
     
  3. Sign the application.
     
  4. Bring a copy of your resume with you.  All pertinent dates and information should be listed on your resume.  Do not state "see resume" on application!  Even though the information may be on your attached resume, take the time to fully complete the application.
     
  5. Bring a list of any names, addresses, telephone numbers, dates, etc. that are not listed on your resume.  You may need this information when completing the application.  In other words, "Be Prepared!"
     
  6. You may avoid answering illegal questions such as:
      
      -Age, Gender
      -Marital Status
      -Family Size
      -Religion, Politics
      -Birthplace
      -Race or National Origin
      -Disabilities
      -Arrests or Convictions  
(There may be exceptions to answering these questions.  As an example, if the job requires lifting 50 pounds, and you can only lift 5 pounds, this question may be asked because the qualifications are directly related to the job.) 
 
 
Stumbling Blocks
 
  There are some stumbling blocks that you may encounter when completing a job application such as:

  • Friends and Relatives. Typically, applications will ask if you have any friends or relatives who work for the company. Be sure you tell the truth. 
  • Criminal Record. In some states, it is illegal to ask about your convictions or arrests. If there is a criminal record question that you are not comfortable with, write “See me later”. Be honest about your conviction.
  • Education. There is a trend where people are exaggerating about their educational accomplishments. Be sure to be honest because potential employers are researching this information.
  • Lay-Off. If you are laid-off due to plant closing, down-sizing, etc. tell the employer. This is very typical today. Give the reason for the down-sizing. 
  • Fired. If you were fired, don’t omit that job from your job application because it will leave a hole in you work history. Instead write “Please see me” under the area that asks why you left the position. During an interview explain the situation.
  • Job Hopping. Job hopping is when you have changed jobs too often. If you are a student, it is typical to have held several part-time jobs. This would be considered job hopping. 
  • Unemployment Gaps. If you have gaps of unemployment between jobs, you should offer some explanation. Some acceptable reasons are job hunting due to layoff from your previous job, starting a small business, etc.
  • No Work History. If this is your first job, list volunteer work, work with charitable organizations, etc. 
  • References. Employers may contact references. Do not let them catch your references off guard. Be sure you have prior permission to use someone as a reference.
  • Money. When the application asks what wage or salary you expect, write “Open”. If you specify a dollar amount you may price yourself out of a job if it is too high. For each of your former employers, you will be asked to give the wages you earned. Leave it blank if you know for sure that you were underpaid. Tell the truth if you were paid a fair wage. Do not exaggerate.

For help, please call: 719-549-3040.

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