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Hiring new employees is a process most growing businesses are very familiar with. In addition to accepting cover letters and resumes, employment application forms allow companies to better gauge prospective hires. Here, we've explained why employment application forms are useful and how to find a free template to streamline the process.
What is an employment application form?
An employment application form is a screening tool used by employers to decide who will interview for a particular job. In addition to submitting their cover letter and resume, applicants must fill out an employment application form that summarises their contact information, qualifications, and previous work history. The document also asks applicants to list referees, medical conditions, and prior convictions. Applicants must sign the form and return it to the employer to be considered for the job.
Download this template at Lawpath
When should I use an employment application form?
An employment application form should be used when you want job applications to be standardised and easy to compare. The document also lets you get information applicants don't usually put on their resumes, such as references, medical history, or prior convictions. Standardised, easy-to-compare templates are especially useful for companies that receive a high volume of applicants for any particular job.
Employment application form vs. resume
A job application form contains basic information that the employer will read quickly. It is a screening tool used to narrow down prospective hires to determine who will get an interview.
On the other hand, a resume offers a much more complete picture of a job candidate, including a detailed breakdown of their work history, qualifications, and awards.
An employment application form by itself is usually insufficient in determining who will get called back for an interview. But combined with a resume, it provides a more comprehensive picture of a potential candidate.
What is included in the employment application form?
A job application form usually includes:
- Personal details such as name, birth date, and nationality
- Contact information, including home address, phone number, and email address
- Emergency contacts
- Summary of education and training
- List of previous employers
- Medical conditions
- Consent to obtain information from government agencies
- Confidentiality undertaking by the employer
- Various declarations (i.e., medical conditions, drug and alcohol testing, work restrictions, criminal convictions, etc.)
- Employee declaration
What is not included in the employment application form?
A job application form usually does not include:
- Details about the job
- Salary or compensation information
- Space to provide detailed information about past employment or gaps in employment
How effective is an employment application form?
An employment application form can help employers determine whether a particular applicant is eligible for the job. Beyond that, it's highly useful in standardising and organising applications, especially when hundreds or even thousands of people have applied. When used effectively, it can help employers and HR departments narrow down the best applicants to interview.
As a standalone document, however, the employment application form doesn't give employers the full picture of a particular candidate. To truly gauge their potential, employers must review the applicant's resume, cover letter, and performance during the interview.
Do I need a lawyer for an employment application form?
Employers can design a job application form quickly and easily--and without having to consult an attorney.
That said, the law prohibits employers from asking specific questions on their job application form. These include questions related to:
- Ethnic background
- Sexual orientation
- Religion or creed
- Marriage status
- Family plans
- Political affiliation
- Physical or mental disability status (unless it directly impacts the job)
Get access to customisable employment application form templates online
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How do I write an employment application form?
An employment application form is a standardised template that should give you easily accessible information about a potential hire. Although the document can be structured in any number of ways, it should contain your company's name and logo at the very top. Instructions on where to send the application should also be listed.
As for the application itself, it should contain the following details (preferably in sequence):
- Position applicant is applying for
- Personal details
- Contact details
- Education and training
- Previous employment
- Language and nationality
- Other relevant details
Where to get free documents and templates like the employment application form
Employment application forms can be as short as a few pages. Here is a selection of websites that allow you to view or download free templates:
- Lawpath. This online resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs allows you to browse free samples, but you need to sign-up to customise your template.
- Indeed. The free job-search board provides a standard template for your employment application form.
- Lawlive. As one of Australia's largest legal contract and agreement generation websites, Lawlive allows you to download a free employment application form template. However, customisation features come with a cost.
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