Basic Job Application

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A job application is an official form asking potential employees for specific information, and, in most cases, some other documents like a resume or references. While many job applications involve filling out a paper form, job applications can increasingly be found online, with website-based forms to submit information, including electronic copies of references, resumes, cover letters, and salary requirements.

What is a Basic Job Application?

Job applications serve a number of purposes for potential employers. Requirements of the job can vary depending on what type of job and what employment sector the job is in; these requirements can range from level of education and experience to other specific skill sets and amount of time the potential employee is expected to work every week. However, there are other parts of a job application that are common across all industries: personal contact information for the applicant, list of expectations for the job, questions regarding previous employment (or personal references, if the potential employee is new to the job market), and a section asking about criminal history. It is important for employers to investigate an applicant’s criminal background, to ensure they are not lying about their history. Most professions cannot discriminate against applicants based on this history, but some positions, like teachers or nannies, require more security and therefore a more stringent background check.

Legal Issues with Basic Job Applications

Companies are not allowed to ask questions on a job application or during an interview regarding an applicant’s race, gender, age, health or disability status, marital status or children, height, weight, national origin, religion, or creed. Many states have laws that disallow questions about an applicant’s sexuality as well, but this is not a federal mandate. Although too many job applications have sections that allow the applicant to answer these questions, they are not legally obligated to answer and the employer cannot insist that the applicant answer, to prevent discrimination.

The Unemployment Question on Basic Job Applications

Many employers will ask about previous job history to also examine how long an applicant has been unemployed, if ever, and why they lost their previous job. This can be a tricky question for job applicants who have been unemployed for a long time, especially if their unemployment was due to the recent recession. For hiring managers, these questions are more important to determine if a job applicant has a history of leaving jobs over small disagreements, or if they have a history of bad behavior that has frequently led to their termination. If the applicant lost their previous job through no fault of their own, left to continue their education, or still works in that position but wishes to find better employment, these are not considered reasons to not hire or further interview the potential employee.

Why Should I Use a Basic Job Application Template?

Because job applications are professional forms with lots of questions and necessary information, it is important to make them uniform in appearance. Our free, downloadable blank job application can get you started on necessary parts of a job application, and you can add your own requirements later depending on how well the blank form answers your questions about potential employees. Get our free blank job application today!