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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.

Purpose of the application

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".[1] 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.[1][2]

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.[3] 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.[4][5] 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.[6]

Application Sections

Applications usually ask you 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 you might have. [7]


  1. ^ a b Diane Arthur, Recruiting, Interviewing, Selecting & Orienting New Employees‎ (1998), p. 111.
  2. ^ Donald H. Weiss, Fair, Square & Legal: Safe Hiring, Managing & Firing Practices to Keep You and Your Company Out of Court (2004), p. 45.
  3. ^ Sandra Bunting, The Interviewer's Handbook: Successful Interviewing Techniques for the Workplace‎ (2005), p. 82.
  4. ^ Diane Arthur, Recruiting, Interviewing, Selecting & Orienting New Employees‎ (1998), p. 168.
  5. ^ Joe Kennedy, The Small Business Owner's Manual (2005), p. 122.
  6. ^ Diane Arthur, Recruiting, Interviewing, Selecting & Orienting New Employees‎ (1998), p. 59.
  7. ^ "Sample Application". Asher Martin. Retrieved 2009-11-22. 


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