graphic of job application

Should I Ask Job Candidates to Fill Out an Application?

Have you ever submitted a resume for a job only to be asked to basically copy your resume over to an application? Pretty annoying, right? Well, the company you were applying to probably had a good reason to ask you to fill out an application. Now that you own your own small business and are hiring some employees, let’s look at why you might ask for a job application (even if the candidate submitted a resume already).

A Resume Might Not Tell the Whole Story

As a small business owner, there’s a good chance you have a media kit for your business that shows your company in the best light and explains why someone should do business with you.

Well, a resume is basically a job hunter’s media kit. It will only show you the candidate’s best side and biggest achievements. If a candidate doesn’t want to share something, they just won’t put it on their resume.

A job application can help you fill in those gaps and get a more complete picture of the candidate.

You Want to Create a Level Playing Field

Sure, there are some pretty standard resume templates out there that a lot of people use, but that doesn’t mean every candidate is going to share the same type of information with you on their resume.

A job application can help you out with that. It creates a level playing field for all your candidates because you’ll have the exact same information from every person.

As long as the questions on your job application conform to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines and your state’s regulations, then you can ask for things like:

  • full legal name;
  • preferred name;
  • email address;
  • phone number;
  • employment history (including dates, titles, supervisors’ names, and contact information);
  • reasons for leaving previous jobs;
  • explanation for any gaps in employment;
  • education and certifications;
  • skills and qualifications;
  • references;
  • availability;
  • hobbies or interests;
  • permission to contact their current employer; and
  • a signature verifying that all the information is true and accurate (giving you permission to check).

Do you require all your job candidates to submit an application, too?