Job Application Tips

Purpose of a Job Application

The job application is designed to help the manager spot your strengths and weaknesses quickly. It is also your chance to present your skills to the employer.

According to a Career Builder survey, only 5% of people admit to lying on their resume's and 57% of managers say they have caught a lie on a candidate's application. You have heard that “Honesty is the Best Policy” which is very true especially when it comes to the hiring process. Employers have numerous methods to find out if your information is accurate.

When Picking up an Application

Your Appearance is Important when you pick up an application. Remember; first impressions make a difference and dress as if you were ready for an interview. Dress for Success! Then greet the receptionist politely when requesting or submitting an application. The receptionist's first impressions are often passed along. Lastly, remember to always ask for 2 copies of a job application. This way you have a spare in case something happens to the other one. Click to view Application Tips.

Must Have Items to Bring When Filling Out Applications

  • Resume, Social Security card, Driver’s License, etc.
  • Fact Sheet
    • Employment history including company names, addresses, telephone numbers, dates of employment, supervisors name and salary information
    • Volunteer work history with community organizations
    • Names, addresses & phone number of references
  • Black pens (have extras)
  • Pocket Dictionary

When Filling Out the Application

  1. Read through the entire application before filling it out
  2. Be honest in your answers
  3. Use Black pens
  4. Print clearly and neatly
  5. Spell Check
  6. DO NOT leave Blanks.
    Write Does Not Apply or NA if a box does not apply to you.
  7. Know the position you are applying for, this is a common mistake if you have applied for numerous positions in a short time.
  8. Desired Salary?
    Employers often use this question as a screening device -- and you don't want to be eliminated from consideration based on your answer. It is usually best to put Negotiable
  9. Date Available to Work?
    Either list immediately or the actual date you can work.
  10. Only list email address if you check it often.
  11. Have you ever been convicted of a felony?
    Always be honest!  Background checks do happen.
  12. Education:
    •  Do not list the school you dropped out from.
    • Years Attended?
      • List the year started and finished OR  Year started – present.
    • Major or Courses of Study
      • Business, Accounting, Electrical, Automotive, Nursing…etc.
      • MIG GMAW Wire Welding Short Course
  13. Past Employment:
    • List in order from most recent to least recent.
    • Be prepared to list:
      • Phone Number
      • Address
      • Date Started and Finished
      • Name of your boss
      • How much you were paid
      • Reason for leaving that job
      • Job Duties
  14. References
    Be sure to notify each reference that you plan to use them as a reference.
  15. Sign the Application
  16. Proof read – check for mistakes.
    ***If there is a mistake restart on a blank application.  Never cross out a mistake.

Quick Tips

  • Turn “negatives” into “positives” (such as “job ended” instead of “got fired”)
  • Keep your information consistent with your resume
  • Be prepared for all kinds of job applications, from simple one-page applications to multi-page applications
  • Don’t wrinkle or fold applications
  • Turn in application by the deadline

Online Tips

  • Keep a spreadsheet of the Company, Job title, Username & Password
  • Fill in the Required Fields – they are usually marked with *
  • Save the Application throughout the process so you don’t have to redo your work
  • Print a Copy of the completed application when done
  • Know how to or get help when uploading your Resume; most places ask for your resume when submitting your application.
  • Watch out for applications timing out; some websites or kiosks have certain time limits when filling out an application and they will automatically close after that time has expired. 

Common Mistakes

  1. Exaggerating Dates of Past Employment
  2. Falsifying the Degree or Credential Earned
  3. Inflating Salary History or Title Held
  4. Concealing a Criminal Record or Hiding a Drug Habit
  5. Non-existent, Self-Owned Business

Helpful Forms

Application Worksheet
Tips for Filling out Application Forms