How to Fill Out a Job Application

What You Need to Complete a Job Application

Glasses and an employment application
Geri Lavrov

When you apply for a job you are typically asked to complete an employment application. You may be asked to complete a job application even if you have already submitted a resume and cover letter. That way, the employer has a record of your personal and employment history, verified and signed by the applicant.

It's important for your job applications to be complete, correct (no errors) and accurate.

Here is the information you will need to complete an application for employment and tips and suggestions for writing applications that make a great impression.

Tips for Filling Out a Job Application

Regardless of whether you complete an online job application or apply in-person, make sure you have all information you need ready before you apply for a job.

Review Your Employment History. You'll need your resume or a list of your employment and education history to make sure that you're listing the correct dates of employment, job titles, and education. Your resume should match the job application perfectly - discrepancies will be noticed.

Download a Sample Job Application. Download a job application sample and practice filling it out. That way you can be sure you have all the information you need, in advance.

Ask for an Application. If you are applying for a position in-person, ask for an job application, then take it home with you to complete.

You can take your time filling it out so it will be neat and tidy, as well as accurate when you return to drop it off.

When You Apply In-Person. When you stop in to pick up or drop off a job application, be sure you are dressed appropriately. You may end up speaking to the manager and it's important to look professional, just in case you get an on-the-spot interview.

In-Person Job Application Checklist. Review this list of information you'll need to apply to complete an in-person job application.

Online Job Applications. Job applications for many companies are available online. For example, a WalMart Employment Application can be completed online for available positions with WalMart. Other large employers offer a similar service. In fact, some employers no longer accept paper applications and require applications to apply via their company web site or the site where they have posted job openings.

Follow the Instructions. Follow the instructions when completing both online and paper job applications. Check the company web site or the fine print on the job application form for instructions, because the most important rule to remember when completing a job application is to follow the directions.

Review Before You Submit. Thoroughly read the instructions for applying for employment - before you click the Submit button or turn in your application. The company will regard applications that are submitted correctly and accurately in a much better light than those from candidates who don't follow the instructions. In fact, some companies won't accept incomplete applications, so you'll be rejected before you even apply if you don't submit your job application correctly.

Be Prepared to Take a Test. Some companies test applicants for employment to determine if the candidate is a good match for the jobs they are hiring for. Companies who conduct pre-employment tests (talent assessments) are seeking applicants that match their hiring criteria. Review advice on taking employment tests, so you're prepared to respond to the employment-related questions you may be asked. Companies also may require drug tests for applicants for employment.

Know How to Complete a Job Application. These step-by-step instructions how to complete a job application include all the information you need to complete an application for employment and tips and suggestions for writing applications that make a great impression.

Information the Application Will Ask For

Personal Information:

  • Name
  • Address


  • Schools/Colleges Attended
  • Major
  • Degree/Diploma
  • Graduation Dates(s)

Position Applied For Information:

  • Title of the job you are applying for
  • Hours/days available to work
  • When you can start work

Employment Information:

  • Names, addresses, phone numbers of previous employers
  • Supervisor's name
  • Dates of employment
  • Salary
  • Reason for Leaving


  • List of three references - names, job title or relationship, addresses, phone numbers

Resume (if you have one)

Sample Job Applications

Review sample job applications to give you an idea of what you are going to be asked. Print one or two out and complete them, so you know you have all the information ready to complete actual employment applications.

Sample Job Application Letters

Need to mail a job application or follow-up on an application you have submitted? Review the sample job application letters for examples of what to write and how to follow-up.