What Are the Most Important Parts of a Job Application?
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Each portion of a job application is important for different reasons. Your work history is important because it displays your ability to maintain employment, while your education and personal information are necessary to verify your identity, confirm your training and demonstrate your ability to learn complicated tasks. It is of the utmost importance to fill out each portion of a job application truthfully and to the best of your knowledge so an employer can make an informed hiring decision.
Your Work History
An employer requests your work history to determine if you have the necessary experience to perform well in the position for which you're applying and to observe the dates of your employment history. An employment history with large gaps between jobs may indicate you have trouble holding down a job or have a lack of commitment that causes you to leave a position soon after accepting an offer of employment. An employer wants to know you have the skills to perform the essential functions of a job and that hiring you can be a long-term solution.
Your identifying information such as your full name, current address and Social Security number are critical components of almost all job applications. An employer who cannot confirm your identity or the validity of your Social Security number is probably not going to hire you. A valid Social Security number may also be necessary for an employer to report your hiring to the state department of labor, if required. Without this information an employer is taking a great legal risk in extending an offer of employment to you.
Many jobs require a certain level of professional training or formal education. Your educational history may be of particular interest to an employer if you are applying for a job that requires a certain level of professional training such as finance, education, business management and even trade jobs such as auto repair. Your prospective employer may be interested in what certifications you currently hold, the date of your graduation and any awards you received from your college or university. A prospective employer may also request an official copy of your transcripts so your education credentials can be verified.
Certain information relating to your credit history and criminal background can be very important because it can automatically disqualify you for certain jobs. If a job application asks you about your criminal history, you should answer those questions truthfully -- lying on a job application can get you fired later. The presence of a criminal record does not automatically disqualify you unless the position requires you be able to perform certain functions such as unsupervised care for medical patients, handling a firearm or work with minors. A poor credit history can also disqualify you from employment, especially if the job is in an area of finance which requires you to handle large sums of cash on a daily basis.
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Jonathan Lister has been a writer and content marketer since 2003. His latest book publication, "Bullet, a Demos City Novel" is forthcoming from J Taylor Publishing in June 2014. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing and poetics from Naropa University.