What Is an Employment Application? (With Types and Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 4, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Hiring managers often require candidates to fill out application forms during the recruitment process. This form provides a valuable way for the business to collect and organize their hiring information. Learning about this form can help you understand how to fill yours accurately.

In this article, we state the purpose of an employment application, list its types, explain its different sections, and provide an application example.

Purpose of an employment application

A job or employment application is a standard document that businesses typically give candidates to fill during an application process, usually alongside a resume and a cover letter. For most companies, it's the first stage of recruitment, and it helps create a structured application process. Other purposes that the job application may serve are:

  • Determining candidate's availability for the job

  • Establishing the company's professionalism and credibility

  • Documenting and providing comprehensive information about the candidate

  • Supporting important decision-making about the candidate as it relates to the company

  • Standardizing the application process

  • Avoiding legal issues

Types of job application

Below are the various types of job applications available:

Paper job applications

Some employers may require you to fill out a paper application when applying for jobs. You typically fill out a paper job application at the company's location, but you may also fill it out at any location. For example, some employers may require you to download the form from their website, fill it out manually, and then submit or mail it to the company's address.

Ensure that your handwriting is clear and that you leave enough time to deliver the letter before the application date passes. Filling out a paper application requires being careful and avoiding mistakes. That means ensuring that you have all the required information and have practised with a sample job application, especially if you're filling it out at the company's location. You may also request two copies of the paper application. That makes it easy to start over when you make a mistake and can help you submit a neat application form.

Online job applications

Many companies have systems that enable them to conduct online applications. Most typically use their websites, but some also allow applications from third-party job websites. These websites allow candidates to create a profile with them and then use that to apply to various jobs.

Companies that use their private portal often list the instructions for application. They also often specify a preference for application submission at the end of the job posting, so you may consider reading thoroughly to the end. Online applications can increase accuracy, as many companies code them such that you may not submit the application until you've filled it all. They also allow the company to expand its recruitment geography and receive applications from a wide pool of candidates, especially for remote roles.

E-mail job applications

Companies that use this form of application expect a personal introduction in the body of the e-mail and an attached cover letter and resume. When sending e-mail applications, ensure you show professionalism. Use professional e-mails, even if it's one you created to find jobs.

Think of an informative and concise subject line and add it to your e-mail application. Your e-mail subject line is a single text that people see first when they receive your e-mail. It can include your name and your desired role. As hiring managers typically receive numerous e-mails, including these details in yours can make it easier for them to find. Clearly explain your purpose for the e-mail and share specific skills or experiences that prove you're a perfect fit for the job.

Related: How to Write a Job Application E-mail (With Templates and Tips)

Solicited job applications

A solicited job application is a document that you send to a company in response to their job opening advertisement. If a company announces a job opening, they often accompany it with instructions for interested individuals. Ensure you adhere to these instructions as you write your application. Following instructions can increase your application chances and show the hiring managers your ability to adhere to rules and guidelines.

Consider submitting your application early, as employment may be on a rolling basis. Companies can advertise job positions through various channels, including social media, e-mails, or vacancy signs around their premises. Ensure you remember where you saw the vacancy, as you may require putting it in your job application.

Unsolicited job applications

An unsolicited job application is when you send in your application document without the company making any formal announcement. If you're passionate about working for a company, you may write and send them an unsolicited application. Ensure you state your reason and where you heard about the company in your form.

Unsolicited job applications can be more general when describing your desired role within the company. You're hoping that the company has a position available, which means stating the different roles you can perform is important. A company may decide to keep an unsolicited application form for when a position becomes available. When a new position eventually becomes available, or when there's an unpublicized opening, they may consider you.

Sections on an application form

Job application forms typically contain several sections that require your honest and sincere responses, including:

Personal information

Most job applications begin with a personal information section. Some call it the contact information section, but they both contain the same fields. These fields are your name, address, city, province, postal code, and e-mail address. The employer may also ask you to indicate the position you're applying for here if there are multiple openings in the company simultaneously. This section may also contain questions about your eligibility to work in the country and your criminal record.

Educational background

You may list all the schools you attended and their dates here. If you're a current student in any educational program, you may state that your education is still in progress. You may also highlight all your certifications, skills, and other qualifications. Some applications don't require listing the schools you attended and their dates. Such applications contain a list of all possible degrees with boxes for you to check the relevant ones.

Employment history

Your professional history helps your employer understand your skills, competencies, and experiences. State all your previous employers in this section, including your positions and the duties you performed. The employment history section can have different formats depending on the employers. Some may require you to give a brief description of the business, your supervisor's name, and direct information. Others may request these details, including your role, required duties, and why you left. Ensure you provide all necessary information while being as brief as possible.

Availability

Employment applications often contain an availability section where you can clarify when you're available and may start. You may select which mode of employment you prefer here, whether part-time or full-time. The number of working hours may vary depending on your department, but you often get this information during the interview.

Include the exact starting and end times for each day of the week when you're available. When preparing to enter a start date, consider a date when you've accounted for all your previous affairs, such as leaving a current position. Some employers may also include a field here for you to enter your salary expectations.

References

References list people that the company can contact who can vouch for your skills and work styles. Having strong personal and professional references can give you a competitive advantage and help you get the job offer. Professional references are your colleagues and superiors. Personal references are your friends, family, neighbours, and other individuals you know outside work. Include their names, job title, company, address, phone number, and e-mail when listing your references.

Related: What Is a Job Application Form? (With an Example)

Additional information

The final part of the application is often a disclaimer or a brief overview of the terms and conditions. Employers may require you to show that you understand the terms and agree by checking a box to complete the application. Employers may also ask you to input your physical or e-signature to confirm that the information you have listed is correct and to the best of your knowledge.

Related: How to Write a Job Application Letter Step by Step

Job application example

Review the example below to understand the standard format of a job application:

Employment Application

Personal Information
Name: Sara Tyler Address: 63 Broadway Street

E-mail address: saratyler@e-mail.com
City: Calgary
Province: Alberta
Postal code: A1B 1C4
Position applied for: IT Consultant

Educational Background
Education: University
Name of School: IT School of Alberta
Grade/Year Completed: 2018
Major: Computer Science
Diploma/Degree: BSc

Employment History
Name and address of employer: Bluebird Technologies
Starting date: 2019
End date: 2021
Name of supervisor: Mr. John Smith
Supervisor's telephone: 123 456 7890

Availability
Schedule desired: full-time
Start date: April 2022
Availability from Monday to Friday, including start and end times: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

References
Reference 1
Name: James Brown
Phone: 123 876 9076

Reference 2
Name: Rachel Baker
Phone: 123 679 7543

Additional Information
I understand that I'm applying for a job at a collection agency, and the company must ensure the integrity of all its employees. I testify that all the information provided is true and accurate and is to the best of my knowledge.

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