One of the keys to landing a job is knowing how to properly fill out an employment application. An application is a form an employer uses to acquire information about a prospective employee. This typically includes name, education, work experience and references.
In general, the applicant can be required to furnish a social security number or may even be asked for permission to do a criminal background or credit check. Whether an online form or actual paper, an employment application can be a simple page or it can be quite extensive requiring pages of specific information.
For the most part, filling out an employment application is usually quite easy. One simply provides the information asked for, making sure to fill out the form in its entirety. Unless asked or only if the entry does not apply should any space be left blank. Spelling should be correct and, if it is a paper form, handwriting should be legible. While some places will provide telephone books for quick reference, carrying a complete list of work history and references can cut the time it takes to appropriately fill out an application. To provide further information on experience, a resume may or may not be included.
Once in a while, there can still be questions on how to answer certain questions on an employment application. For situations where one has never had a job before, work history can refer to any volunteer or group activities where the skills may be relevant to the job. For older applicants, it is hardly necessary to put down one’s high school grade point average unless so inclined.
One of the number one rules of filling out an employment application is to never embellish facts or exaggerate experience. In general, most employers do check references but have enough experience to spot falsehoods right away.
There are federal laws that mandate what can and cannot be asked on an employment application. Questions on an application cannot inquire about religious background, ancestry or marital status. The only time age can be asked is to ensure that the applicant meets the minimum legal requirement for employment.
Height or weight may be asked only when it relates to carrying out certain duties of the job. Any question that does not have to do with abilities required to execute a specific type of work are considered illegal and can lead to lawsuits. Luckily, this is a rare occurrence as the majority of employers do not concern themselves with such information. It is the relevant skills and experience of the applicant that is most at issue.