How to Create Job Applications

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A job application is an excellent way to collect consistent information about job applicants. A thoughtfully planned application will gather information that is usually not included on a resume, such as criminal information, eligibility to work in the United States and availability. An effective application will go a long way to helping you find the best fit for the position offered.

Start the document off with a title, such as "Job Application" or "Employment Application." Leave a space at the top of the page for the applicant to fill in the name of the position applied for.

Create a section for demographic information: name, current address, phone number(s), and email address (optional), social security number and date of birth.

Create a section for availability. Ask the applicant to indicate what days and what times he is available to work. You can do this by providing a grid for applicants to complete or a list of days with lines for them to fill in the times.

Create a section for employment history. This should include the name of the employer, supervisor name, job duties/title, contact information, salary, dates of employment and reason for leaving. Be sure to include "May we contact your former employer?" with a space to check off Yes or No.

Create a section for education. Leave room for at least three entries: one for a high-school diploma, one for a four-year degree and another for an advanced degree(s) or additional certifications. Also include an area to list skills and qualifications.

Create a section for background-related information, such as: Are you eligible to work in the United States? Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor? Are you of legal age to work? Do you have any physical conditions that may limit your ability to perform the job duties?

Provide a space for the applicant to write a short explanation if needed.

Create a section for references. Ask them to list three references—you can choose whether to limit them to personal or professional references, or a combination thereof.

Create a paragraph stating that all of the information contained in the application is true and complete. Add a disclaimer to the paragraph stating that if any information is found to be false, the applicant, if hired, will be fired immediately. Create an area under this paragraph for the applicant to sign and date the application. Leave room for the hiring manager to write notes if necessary.


Capture necessary information but keep it simple! An application is only the first step in the hiring process. Further details about the applicant can come from his resume and interview. An application should be no longer than two pages.

The application is the primary screening tool. If an applicant does not correctly fill out the application, she may not be a good candidate.

Job applications are living documents. Adapt and update your template as needed. If you find an additional request for information would be helpful, add it. Add the revised date as a footer on the application to keep track of when the document was updated or revised.

If you are looking to track paid advertising or outreach, add a space for the applicant to indicate how she heard about the job.


To avoid re-hiring former employees who left on bad terms, you can ask if the applicant worked for your company or a subsidiary in the past.