Job Application Guide: Online, Email, Mail, and More
Getting ready to start your job search? In many cases, even if you submit a resume and cover letter, you will also be asked to complete a job application. This way the employer will have consistent information for all job applicants. Also, your signature on the job application acknowledges that the information is accurate.
Be prepared to fill out a number of job applications. Job applications come in many forms, including paper, online, and email applications.
Each one is slightly different, so it’s important to know how to fill out each one.
This job application guide includes information on how to complete any job application. It includes descriptions of different applications, what information you need to provide, how to submit the application, job application samples, and more.
Types of Job Applications
Online Job Applications
There are thousands of sites where you can post your resume online and complete an online job application. Sometimes you can apply online on job boards like Monster.com or job search engines like Indeed.com. Other times, you can apply directly on the company’s website.
In-Person Job Applications
Many companies, especially retail and hospitality employers, expect applicants to apply in person. It's not as complicated as applying online, but you will need to be prepared to apply and maybe even interview on the spot.
Here's advice on how to submit job applications via email.
Supporting Documents for a Job Application
Supporting documents are those that may be required when applying for a job. Supporting documentation for a job application may includes a resume, a cover letter (also known as a letter of application), your transcript, a writing sample, Veterans' Preference documents, portfolios, certifications, a reference list, letters of recommendation, employment certificates, and other documentation included in the job posting.
Online Employment Tests
Depending on the company, you may need to take – and pass – an online test to be considered for employment. Pre-employment tests, also called talent assessments, employment tests, or career tests, are used to help an employer identify candidates who will be a good fit for jobs at the company. You typically take the test when you apply for a job. The results of the test will determine whether you are invited to interview.
Part-Time Job Applications
Applying for a part-time job is a little different from applying for a full-time professional position. You may not need a resume and cover letter, but you should follow these basic rules.
Where to Find Job Applications
If you are interested in working for a particular company, visit their website. Career information is usually listed in the "Careers" or the "About Us" section of the site. Often, you will be able apply for all company positions directly from the website.
Job Boards and Engines
If you aren’t sure what company you want to work for, you can look for job applications on job boards and job search engines. These contain job listings for positions at many different companies. Sometimes you have to go to the company website to fill out a job application.
Other times, you can apply directly on the search engine or job board.
Applying for a job in person is a little different than applying for employment online. It's not as complicated, but you will need to be prepared to apply and interview on the spot. You want to make sure you dress professionally, and bring all the materials you need.
Instead of speaking to a manager when you go to a store or office, you might be told to use a hiring kiosk. Hiring kiosks are computer stations that allow job applicants to fill out online job applications (instead of paper ones) while in a store or office.
How to Complete a Job Application
Job Application Tips
Before you complete a job application, either online or in-person, it's important to have all the information you need to complete the application on hand.
Review these job application tips to be sure you're prepared to submit an application for employment.
Information Required to Complete a Job Application
When you complete a job application, there is information you will need to provide in order to complete the job application and submit your application for employment.
Job Application Mistakes to Avoid
A mistake in your job application can cost you an interview. Here are some of the most common mistakes applicants make on job applications and how to avoid them.
Letter of Application Writing Guidelines
A letter of application is also known as a cover letter, and is a common requirement for job applications. Read here for guidelines for writing a letter of application for employment.
Sample Job Applications
The best way to prepare to complete job applications is to download a sample job application or two. This will help you know exactly what the employer is going to want to know about you.
You might even complete a sample application and keep it with you when you are applying for jobs. This way you’ll be able to copy the information rather than having to remember dates of employment and education, contact information for previous employers, and other information the employer will need to know.
Below is a list of sample employment applications:
- Job Application Form Sample
- Email Applications
- Online Applications
- In-Person Applications
- Part-Time Job Applications
- Job Application Letters
Check Your Application
Before you click the “Submit” button online, or before you hand your application in to a manager, be sure to double-check your application for errors. Typos and grammatical errors count, so carefully check your application. If you are completing the application at home, ask a friend or family member to check it as well.
The Most Important Job Application Rule
The most important rule to remember when applying for jobs is to follow the directions. If the employer tells you to apply in person, don't call. If the job posting says to mail your resume, do not send it via email. When the job listing says apply via a form on the company website, don't email your application directly to Human Resources. There is not much more annoying to hiring managers than job seekers who don't follow the rules!