Resources on Job Applications

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"Job application" can refer to either the forms and formats used to apply for a job or to the process of applying for a targeted job. Most employment resources counsel prospective job applicants to carefully apply only to the employment opportunities that best match their professional backgrounds and to follow up with employers politely and expeditiously. However, choosing the target is only the first step toward hitting it. A common additional job application challenge is to get feedback from the employer about how good the "shot" at getting a shot has been-often with only deafening silence as the only clue.

In some instances, the reason for a lack of response is insufficient resources; in others, it is insufficient consideration. When common courtesy or respect appears to be lacking, the job search can become an even more frustrating, uncertain and time-consuming process that, in any event, demands intense planning, persistence and personal grit-while keeping pessimism in check.

Most people begin the process of getting their very first job by filling out a job application. Employers of blue-collar or entry-level workers often use standardized job applications as a means of screening applicants, especially if the position is one for which no previous experience is required.

Other companies may still require a job application but use it more as a screening template for the Human Resources Department to use to collect data, while those responsible for the actual hiring rely more upon resumes, references, and interviews.

Whatever the ultimate purpose of a job application, however, the attitude of the applicant should be the same. Honesty is absolutely essential on a job application, for if a deception is discovered, it almost inevitably results in dismissal from the position and sometimes even criminal charges.

At the same time, a job application is much like a resume, inasmuch as it can be one of the most valuable self-marketing tools a person has in the course of a job search. Because of this, it is important to be prepared when visiting a prospective employer, whether it is to interview for a position already applied for or on the occasion of the application itself.

Some employers require that the application be completed on sight and may use it as a first indication of a prospective employee's ability to follow instructions. As such, when filling out job applications always carry a copy of your resume, driver's license, social security card, and reference information (including referees' all-important titles, phone numbers and emails) with you on every visit.

Nothing can be more frustrating than being turned down for a job for which one is qualified and which one is perfectly capable of performing because of a shoddy application or a lapse in following directions.
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