Questions About Job Applications
Why Do I Have To Complete An Application
If I Have A Résumé?
A résumé highlights your abilities and experience, but an employer needs
standard information that can be used to compare your qualifications with those
of other applicants.
Some Applications Ask About Friends And Relatives. Why?
Employers want to hire hard-working, ambitious, and enthusiastic people. They
may encourage employees who have these work ethics to recommend their friends
and relatives. Employers may believe that their employees’ friends and relatives
will have these same traits. On the other hand, some employers may not allow
relatives to work in the same place.
Suppose I Have A Criminal Record?
Employers may be willing and eager to give ex-offenders a new chance. If you
have a criminal record, insist on discussing it rather than writing about it. In
the space where it asks for your convictions, write “request private conference”
or “will discuss at interview.” Never try to hide a conviction. If not
mentioned, it could be grounds for dismissal at a later date.
How Should I Handle Work History?
If you have never worked outside of the home and have no paid work history to
put on your application, do not panic. Describe your work at home where it asks
for your most recent job. Also include volunteer work. Any work history should
be listed in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent job.
Note: It takes time, money, and energy to train people for a job.
Employers are hesitant to hire chronic quitters (people who quit a job after a
short time). Employers will be very interested in knowing how long you worked at
each of your jobs and the reasons for leaving. They want to hire people who will
not leave after a short time.
Various reasons could exist for leaving a job. Whatever the reason, be honest
and tactful. Sample reasons could include: released, let go, business closed,
layoff, health issues, maternity leave, no chance for advancement or growth,
wanted a job with more responsibilities, wanted more challenge, found better job
How Should I Handle Education?
List your most recent school first (high school or college). If you have a GED
or are working on obtaining it, include this information.
Should I List References?
On a job application, you must list references if asked to. On a résumé, do not
list references, but have a list available if needed. Think of at least three
people with good credentials and ask if you could offer their names as
references. Examples include current or former supervisor, co-worker, teacher,
clergy, banker, lawyer, insurance agent, etc. You should know each person’s
address and phone number.
Should I Specify A Salary?
Listing a specific salary might price yourself out of the job before the
interview even begins. Usually writing “open” or “negotiable” is the surest way
Will The Employer Really Check My Background?
If the employer wants you for a particular job, a background check will be done.
The employer may contact your references, your schools, former employers,
military, or courts to verify information.
Remember: The bottom of the application requires you to sign,
saying that all statements are true. Any false or omitted facts are sufficient
to cause dismissal, so be honest.
Gaps In Employment &
Pay & Position Desired
Little Or No Work
Arrest & Conviction
Too Much Or Too Little
Completing An Application
1. Always type or print neatly.
2. Use black ink whenever possible.
3. Answer questions completely and honestly.
4. Leave no blank spaces on questions that do not apply to you. Either put a
line ------ or N/A (not applicable).
5. Use terms such as “released” or “let go” rather than “fired.” You can also
state that you will discuss in an interview.
6. Always have this information with you:
- social security card
- driver’s license
- work experience data (company names, addresses, phone numbers, dates worked,
duties, supervisors’ names)
- military record
- schools attended (high school and college: names and locations, dates
attended, degrees received)
- references (names, addresses, phone numbers) Make sure you have checked with
the people to see if you may use them as references.
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