Job Application Form Sample:
We can now look more closely at the sections making up the form, which for convenience we have labelled (A) to (H):-
Section (A): This section contains mainly ‘standard’ information which most employers will want to know about prospective employees – name, address, age, etc. Such information as place of birth and nationality may be required if there are, in the country concerned, restrictions (or special problems) concerned with recruiting non-citizens, or if the postholder will work in a different country. In some cases an application form will ask for information on number of children and even, perhaps, on other dependants.
Section (B): The type of information required by this section will only be asked for in certain circumstances; in some cases employers may insist (and so state on the form) that successful candidates are required to be examined by the company’s doctor.
Section (C): Most employer will want to know about the educational standards of prospective employees, and about any training they have undertaken. For junior posts, the section will generally be shorter, and will concentrate mainly on secondary schooling and examinations passed at the end of it. In some cases as much emphasis will be placed on ‘professional’ or ‘careers’ training as on purely academic attainments.
Section (D): Apart from vacancies for ‘school leaver’ and beginners, employers will generally want to know what work-experience prospective employees have had, and what positions have been held, for how long and, of course, what reasons applicants have had for leaving. ‘Chronological order’ means in order of date. Usually, unless otherwise stated, information is expected starting – at the top – from the earliest job occupied, working downwards to the most recent or current job.
However, in some cases – to facilitate checking and sorting – information is asked for in the reverse order, that is, starting with the most recent or current job at the top, and working down to the earliest. So do read carefully any instructions given, and provide information in the correct sequence. Also, if you held different positions, i.e. received promotion, over a period with the same employer, do include this information, even if not specifically requested; it is important, because if a previous employer thought highly enough of you to promote you, then this may appeal to a new prospective employer.
Section (E): The information in this section is not always asked for, but may be important to some employers, for example for certain sales or senior management posts. Sometimes hobbies and interests may also indicate potential for training, etc.
Section (F): Not all employers ask for references or recommendations, but they are necessary, in particular, for posts requiring the holders to have proven reliability, trustworthiness, honesty, etc. (for posts involving the handling of money, in a cashier’s department or even at a cash till or register, the employer may require to take out what is called a ‘fidelity guarantee’ to cover – by insurance – any loss due to the dishonesty of an employee, and the insurance company will certainly contact, or ‘take up’, the references).
Make sure that you ask a proposed referee whether he/she minds your giving his/her name and address before writing it in a form. Not only is it courteous to do so, but you could well lose a job if a prospective employer contacts a referee you have given, only to be told that you are not remembered or that information / records about you are not readily available!
Section (G): Such a section is not always included in application forms, but if it is, be careful. Make certain the information you give in it is relevant to the job. Some employers can use this section as a ‘test’, to check whether applicants really have read and understood the job description, etc. If you do continue writing on a separate sheet, make sure that it is a clean, good quality sheet of paper.
Section (H): Most application forms have to be signed and dated. Some employers require prospective employees to sign ‘declarations’ similar to the one we have included (although the wording may differ and some may be longer or shorter); most employers require such a declaration after an applicant has been offered the post concerned.
It must be emphasised again that application forms issued by different organisations differ greatly, both as to content and as to design and layout and the order or seqence in which information is requested. Particular care must be taken in completing badly designed or badly laid out forms (for example where a whole line is left for your age, but only half a line left for your address or your employment history!). you may have to provide some information on a separate sheed and, as stated above, make sure that it is a good quality, regular sized and clean sheet of paper.
Do not make the mistake of trying to draw attention to your application form by completing it in red or green ink, for example – you may attract attention, but of the wrong sort! Complete application forms in blue (preferably not bright blue) or black ink or biro (ball point). Do not complete forms in pencil.