What Is Included in a Job Application?

by Denise Brandenberg; Updated September 26, 2017

Most people will have to fill out a job application form at some point in their lives. Job applications are used by the majority of companies and for all types of profession levels. Top professionals who go through the hiring process are required to fill out these types of forms at some point--even if it’s after the company has already made the decision to hire them. If you are just entering the workforce or haven’t searched for a new job in years, be aware of the many types of information you’ll need to complete a job application form.

Personal Information

Every job application has an area for your personal information. This information includes your full legal name, address, contact information and Social Security number. If you’ve just moved to a new city or location, be sure to have your new address and phone number with you when filling out the job application.

Education and Skills

Most job applications will have a section for your education history. The actual job application may require for you to write down the highest degree or diploma obtained, or it may require that you write down every school you ever attended. Besides the actual school names, you’ll need to know the school’s address, city and state. You may also be asked to write down your grade point average, degrees earned and majors or subjects learned. Many job applications also feature a skills set section. This type of section allows you to highlight special skills or earned certifications that can give you an edge over other applicants. For example, if you are fluent in a foreign language or have earned some sort of contractor license, write this information down in this section.

Work History

The work history section is one of the most important parts of the job application, and many people make several common mistakes in it, according to Job Application and Interview Advice. In order to avoid making a bad impression on a potential employer with misspellings or scratched-out mistakes, always make a photocopy of the application before you begin filling it out. That way, you'll have an extra one on hand in case you write down incorrect information or simply put information in the wrong box. Your employment history tells a company where you’ve worked, what positions you’ve held and how long you were in each position. It also highlights if you’ve received promotions and pay raises in your previous positions. Be sure to have the correct employment dates, your past employer’s physical addresses and phone numbers, and your previous manager’s full names with you when filling out a job application.

References

Many job applications have references sections. These sections typically have between two and five spaces for you to write down your professional references. Professional references are people with whom you’ve worked in the past and who the prospective employer can contact to vouch for your work ethic and history. Before writing down a past co-worker’s name, contact him to make sure that he agrees to give you a reference. Don't write down your best friend's or mother's names as your references, unless you've worked with them.

About the Author

Denise Brandenberg has more than 15 years professional experience as a marketing copywriter, with a focus in public relations. She also worked as a recruiter for many years and is a certified resume writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.