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Job Application

Get details on the importance of the job application.

Many job seekers are required to fill out applications for desired jobs. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
Many job seekers are required to fill out applications for desired jobs.

The job application plays a large part in landing a job. Employers request job seekers to fill out forms even if a resume and a cover letter have been submitted, as the application provides the company with legal documentation. It specifies that the candidate knowingly answered questions pertaining to the job and is a legally binding document. Created by those involved with hiring for the company, these specified forms allow applicants to expand further on data included on their resume and provide more detailed personal information. Once the application is completed, the company can begin the background check on the applicant, which can help the candidate become one step closer to securing the job.

Job Applications

A job application is available to candidates if they wish to apply for a job. It reorganizes the information that an applicant might provide on a resume but can provide other data that might be helpful in determining if the candidate should be hired. The application form is created by the company and asks the same questions to each potential employee. This allows the hiring manager to quickly glance down the form and determine which candidates are qualified, which is especially helpful when the hiring pool encompasses numerous candidates.

As an added benefit to employers, according to the United States Department of Labor, applicants should be aware that a company has the option to only offer online job applications or other electronic forms via e-mail or facsimile. However, those with disabilities are given an equal opportunity to apply for jobs, and companies are obligated to accommodate their needs. There are still companies that allow for applications to be completed with pen, so it is best for the candidate to inquire if using online forms might be an issue.

Why Employers Use Job Applications

A job application is a vital part of the hiring process. Even though the potential employee might have submitted a cover letter and resume, he or she must fill out the employer's job application. This form provides employers with concise and relevant information regarding the applicant. The application becomes a legal document and is part of the employee's permanent file if hired for the company.

With the advances in technology, potential employees can not only fill out job applications online, but they can also provide their signature, which completes the application process. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the 2001 Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act ensures the validity and legality of electronic records and signatures. When an applicant completes the form, it is a binding and authentic document.

After the job application is complete, there may be a separate form where the company asks the candidate for permission to perform a background check on the potential employee. The candidate's signature is legally binding and allows the company to begin a background check and verify that the information provided on the documents is accurate. If the employee lied on the job application, the signed document protects the company from any legal ramifications. Additionally, employees can be withdrawn from job consideration if they lied on their application.

What is Included on Job Applications

There are basic questions on most job applications, which the applicant must answer before being considered for the job. These questions cannot be discriminatory in any matter, which means, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), there cannot be any questions about age, race, sex, religion, national origin or physical characteristics. But some of the questions may include:

  • Is the employee eligible to work in the United States? This question will not necessarily disqualify a candidate, but is a legal question.
  • Has the employee ever been convicted of a crime? The question does not ask if the candidate has been charged, but rather convicted. This is important if, for example, the company is a financial institution and the candidate has been convicted of fraud.
  • Is the candidate able to meet the minimum qualifications of the job? This is to ensure that the candidate is aware of what the job description states.

There are also more specified questions about the job that vary, but these basic questions can help the human resources department or recruiters determine if the applicant can become a candidate. The difference between an applicant and a candidate is that an applicant is someone who has applied for a job position. A candidate is an applicant that meets the minimum job qualifications, has passed the job description requirements and is considered for the position.

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