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Questions About Job Applications

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ContentQuestions 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 opportunity.

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 to go.

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 & Attendance
  • Reasons Left Employment
  • Pay & Position Desired
  • Little Or No Work Experience
  • Career Change
  • Arrest & Conviction Record
  • Drivers License
  • Too Much Or Too Little Education
  • Disability Disclosure

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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