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Purpose of an Application Form for a Job

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Job applications provide hiring employers with preliminary information to determine whether an applicant qualifies for an interview and to aid in the hiring process. Your application is critically important to your job prospects: only two percent of applicants actually make it to the next step of being invited for an interview. Job applications provide job seekers an avenue to express interest in a position and relay pertinent information about their qualifications to employers.

Provide concise, factual information

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The primary purpose of an application form is to prescreen job applicants. Contact information, employment history, educational background and references are standard pieces of information communicated from applicant to employer on job application forms. Additional information may include a list of job-related skills such as foreign languages spoken or computer software certifications; the applicant's salary requirement; and whether the applicant is available part time or full time and hours of availability. With this basic information, an employer can determine if the applicant warrants further consideration.

Getting To Know You

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Employers utilize background information about the applicant, gleaned from the application, to facilitate productive interviews. Applications present employers with an unvarnished version of the applicant's employment history and experience; resumes are easily exaggerated. Since all applicants are asked for the same information, applications provide an even playing field for everyone. Employers use application forms to effortlessly identify potential issues such as job hopping, criminal history, being ineligible to work in the country or being fired.

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Sign Here

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An employment application form, unlike a resume, is a legal document that applicants sign to verify the information provided is true and correct. Application forms typically contain a paragraph explaining that omissions or false information reported on the application form may result in application rejection or employment termination. Additionally, application forms may also include statements granting permission to hiring employers to conduct background or credit checks, contact references and prior employers, and examine education records.

Legal Protections for Applicants

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Beginning with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, legislation exists to protect personal information and individual privacy. Using a job application form that is more than a few years old is ill-advised. Questions asked five years ago may no longer be legally acceptable. To prevent discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides guidance to employers regarding what information can be requested, based on federal law.

About the Author

Ashlyn Etree was all business as a PR professional for 10 years, but she loves rolling up her sleeves volunteering at animal rescues. She writes for various publications, specializing in business, career and pet-related content. Etree earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Central Florida.

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