How To Complete a Job Application
Are you in the process of applying for jobs? Whether you’re applying online or in person, the basic information you’ll need to provide to the employer is the same. For most positions, you’ll be asked for your contact information, employment history, education, and eligibility to work in the U.S. In some cases, a resume and cover letter are also required.
For some jobs, you also may be asked for your driver’s license number, social security number, and work permit information if you’re not a U.S. citizen. Companies may also ask for a list of references.
To make it easy to apply, review a list of the information required to complete a job application, get personal worksheets you can use to organize the details, review sample job application forms, and learn how to get the information you need if you don’t have the documentation that shows you are eligible to work.
Information Required for Job Applications
- Address, city, state, ZIP code
- Phone number
- Email address
- Driver’s license (depending on employer and job)
- Social Security number (depending on employer and job)
- Eligibility to work in the U.S.
- Working papers (depending on age and location)
- Felony convictions (depending on state law)
- Organization’s address, phone, email
- Supervisor’s name
- Job title and responsibilities
- Salary (depending on state law)
- Dates of employment
- Reason for leaving
- Permission to contact your previous employer
The application will ask for information on your current and previous employers. Some applications may limit the request to the previous 5 or 10 years of work history.
- School(s) attended, degrees, graduation date
- Skills and qualifications
Documents You May Need (and How To Get Replacements)
You may not need copies of your documentation to apply, but if you’re offered a job you will need to prove that you’re eligible to work.
CareerOneStop has a list of the documents you’ll need, such as your birth certificate, driver’s license, social security card, work permits, working papers, and criminal record, along with how to get a replacement document if you need one.
Use a Worksheet to Organize Your Personal Information
Before you start applying, it’s a good idea to gather and organize all the information you’ll need. One of the best ways to get ready to apply for jobs is to use a personal worksheet to collect all the information you need.
CareerOneStop has fillable PDFs (English and Spanish) that you can use:
GFCGlobal has Personal Information Worksheets in several formats:
Review Sample Job Applications
If you want to practice completing a paper application, you can print these PDFs. You’ll be able to see all the information you need to apply.
- Sample Job Application (PDF)
- Simple Job Application (PDF)
Practice Filling Out a Real Job Application
Take the time to practice filling out a real job application online (courtesy of CareerOneStop) to be sure everything is in order, and you’re ready to apply. That will save you time and last-minute glitches when you’re actually applying for jobs.
How To Complete a Job Application
When you fill out a paper job application (and some smaller companies still use them), it’s simply a matter of filling in the boxes and signing the application to attest that all your information is accurate.
If you’ve downloaded a PDF sample application, you can copy the information from your sample to the employer’s application.
For online applications, an easy way to fill out the application is to copy and paste from your personal worksheet to the application. This way, you’ll avoid typos and mistakes with dates and numbers.
Applications typically have the same sequence, and may request some or all of the following information:
- Your contact information
- Additional information (work eligibility, prior employment with the organization, criminal history, driving record) (this will vary depending on the job)
- Military service
- Work experience
- Signature and date
Also keep in mind that there are some things that you shouldn’t include on a job application.
Finally, double check all the details before you click submit.
Tip: When you’re applying online, you can copy and paste your information from your worksheet into the job application, so you won’t have to retype it every time you apply for a job.
When You Need To Submit a Resume and Cover Letter
You may need to submit a resume and a cover letter with your application. If you do, you’ll be able to upload it from your computer to the application portal.
Before you do, take the time to be sure that your documents are current and formatted properly. Here is resume writing advice, and tips for writing a cover letter that will catch the hiring manager’s attention.