The Employer Application

Complete the employer application so that YOU excel

Many companies require prospective employees to complete an employer application form (job application form) prior to interviewing. You may have to complete one on-line or in person. These documents are fairly easy to fill out, but there are some things you need to be aware of.

These kinds of forms cover two basic areas:
  1. Your personal information, which is basically a repetition of your resume, and
  2. Questions that assist the interviewer in determining if you are a good fit for the position.
employer application, job application, employer application form
While it may seem redundant to document your name, address, and employment history when it is already available on your resume, it accomplishes a few things for the employer.

It allows the person you are interviewing with to compare the information you have stated on your resume with everything you state on your application. Any inconsistencies are subject to further investigation, either in an interview setting or with phone calls to past employers and/or educational institutions.

Make sure your information is consistent

The questions that are asked on an employer application offer some insight into your goals and desires, both personally and for the position you are seeking. When writing out your answers, be honest and concise. Don't ramble. Answer specifically what was asked and do not offer additional information.

One reason to steer clear from providing additional information is that employers are looking to see if you can follow directions. Another reason is that you don't want to provide everything the employer is wanting to know about you at one time. Give them something to ask you in the interview. The last reason to stick to the question asked is that offering additional information might give the employer some tidbit that will exclude you from being interviewed.

Also, when you are asked to complete an employer application (job application) form, you are being "tested" by the employer to see if you follow directions. If you say, "See Resume", you have already singled yourself out as someone who does not follow directions.

The two main topics you will find on an employer application are:

  • Identify the job for which you are applying.
  • Specify the salary do you expect.
The first question is really asking you two things. "What do you want to do?" and "What are your career goals?" Be as specific as possible and keep your answer true to the job objective you stated on your resume. If you wander too far from your resume, the employer will wonder if you have any direction at all.

One of the best ways to handle this question is to do your research on the company before you ever get to the Human Resources department. If you have a classified ad, you have something to go on, but you can find out much more by hunting down more specifics on line, at the library or by calling the company.


If you don't have an ad to work from, find out what jobs are available before you walk in the door or send your resume in. Make phone calls. Visit the library. Ask people you know and trust. Tailor your resume to one of those positions, then tailor every piece of paper you fill out afterward in the same manner. Be consistent.

The second question requires some of the same legwork as the first question. Know what the position typically pays. Take some time to perform the necessary research. You should have a general idea what employers in your area and in your field are currently paying for employees who do the work you expect to do. Again, check the library. Search on-line.

In addition to this, think about what you are willing to accept as a minimum salary. Sometimes it's good to list a range on the application rather than a specific figure.

Finally, consider what the opportunities are for advancement and what the benefits package involves. These are also major aspects of a career that cannot be overlooked. Although a benefits package doesn't offer an dollar benefit that you can easily identify with, there is a significant amount of money the employer is paying for your insurance. A solid career advancement plan is simply delayed earnings potential.

As you fill out the various sections of the application, you may be tempted to write, "See Resume". That's a hiring manager's hot button. Complete the employer application form as neatly and accurately as possible. Yes, it takes time. If you want the job, though, you have to be willing to do as the employer asks.

Application forms are commonly used in many industries and companies ranging from very small family operations to large multi-million dollar corporations. Do what needs to be done in order to assure yourself an opportunity to get that face to face meeting. Get your foot in the door. Get the interview. It is worth filling out another piece of paper (or on-line form), no matter how closely it resembles your resume if it means you might land that perfect job.

If you're finished with Employer Applications, click here to learn about the Hidden Job Market

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