Filling Out Important Sections In A Job Application
Last updated October 28, 2020
Filling out a job application is complicated. Typing out your name and choosing your availability to work is pretty straightforward, but reading some of the legal requirements in the job application can be intimidating. Most applications don't let you save and many have time limits. Make sure you set aside at least 30 minutes, have your resume ready, and are prepared to complete the whole application in one session.
Some of the sections can be confusing, here's how to navigate them:
Uploading a resume and the experience section
Before you upload and hit submit, make sure your resume contains keywords from the job description. Save your resume in a PDF format to keep your text and style formats intact. This uploaded file may also be used to populate fields in the experience section of the job application. If this is the case, make sure your experience is populated correctly, look out for spacing errors or misspelled words.
Choosing work availability
This is where you can set the times you can work. Read this part carefully because there can be many options. Keep an eye on the start and end times (A.M. versus P.M.) and include all possible times that you can work.
Answering the diversity survey.
This short survey is required by the federal government and choosing to provide your ethnicity, race, and/or gender is optional. Your answers here will not be connected to your application. The employer can see overall responses from everyone applying, but cannot see responses connected to you directly.
Consenting to a background check
Companies can run different background checks and you will be asked to electronically sign an agreement of consent. The company you're applying to may ask consent to do a:
- Employment Tax Survey or Work Opportunity Tax Credit – This is optional and helps employers identify candidates that - if hired - may give the employer a tax incentive (like veterans).
- Consumer Report – For many employers, this is a requirement for job applicants. This may also be called the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and asks the job applicant (you) to consent to a background evaluation after a conditional job offer and/or during your employment (if hired).
Signing the job application
When you finish filling out the different fields and sections, you will be asked to confirm all the information you've provided is true and correct. Do not take this lightly! An employer can terminate (fire) you whenever misinformation is discovered. (Yes, even if you've completed orientation or have been working for months/years.)
Check your email (and spam folder)
After you've submitted your application, check your email to see if you've received confirmation that your application was received or to see if you were sent an assessment to complete. Depending on the position you've applied for, there may be an online assessment to fill out in order for you application to be processed.