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Employment Applications


There are two types of job applications: Online and Paper/Pen. It is important that you read and follow the instructions carefully because the application is your first chance to present your skills to a potential employer.


Creating and using an Employment Fact Sheet will save you

time when filling out applications. You can either carry

this form with you in your wallet or purse, or take a photo

of it with the camera on your phone so you will always have

your information handy if an employment opportunity arises.



Tips for Filling out Any Application:


  • Be honest in all of your answers.
  • Follow all directions.
  • Use your completed Fact Sheet.
  • Make sure your answers are complete and the information is correct.
  • Leave no blanks: Write or type "N/A" for Not Applicable if the question does not apply to you. If you leave it blank, the employer might think you skipped the question.
  • Social Security Numbers: Put only the last 4 digits on paper applications - this shows an employer that you have one, but protects you from identity theft. You can give the employer the whole number when you are hired. You don't want nosy employees or someone digging your application out of the trash to have all of your personal information. For online applications, you have to enter your Social Security Number or you can't proceed to the next page, so make sure you are on a secure website before you enter any personal information.
  • Personal References: Most applications will ask you to list the names of 3 people - who  are not related to you - that the employer can call to ask questions about you. You will need to list the person's name, address, phone number, occupation, and number of years you have known them. Always ask their permission to use someone as a reference so they can give you the contact information they want you to use (for example, some teachers will ask you to use their school phone number and address instead of giving their personal information out). If you are not using a Fact Sheet to fill out applications, put this information in your phone so it is handy.

Common Mistakes Made on Applications:


  • Misspelled words or wrong information
  • Incomplete information, work history, or unanswered questions
  • Application not turned in/filled out by the deadline

Other Considerations:


  • Availability: If you are applying for a job at a restaurant or a movie theater and you put down that you won't work weekends, don't expect to get called in for an interview because that is when they are busiest and need people most. If you want the job, you need to be more flexible with your schedule.
  • If asked for the reason you left a job, use positive phrases. Avoid negative words like "fired," "quit," "absences," or "lateness." Use the fact that you are young to your advantage - "not a good fit" is one way to describe a job you thought you'd like, but you didn't like it at all, so you quit.
  • Employers are often interested in what you do outside of work because it reflects your interests and abilities. Many businesses do work in their community and sponsor sports or events. They want to hire people who like to get involved. Highlight any activities, volunteer work, or organizations you belong to that may relate to the job you are seeking.
  • List any special skills, abilities, experience and/or training that relate to the position.
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Pen and Paper Applications

The first thing you need to do is to get the application. Use your best manners when asking for applications. Take care with the application so it does not get torn or messy.

Next, you need to fill out the application.

Tips for Paper Applications


  • Always use blue or black ink pens.
  • PRINT clearly and neatly - if they can't read your phone number, how can they call you for an interview?
  • Read and check the application for completeness before turning it in to the employer.
  • Be sure to sign and date the application.
  • Do not cross out mistakes - use white out or correction tape. If you use a Fact Sheet you will be less likely to make a mistake.
  • Attach a copy of your resume to your completed application, however do NOT write on the application to "see resume" instead of filling it out. Fill out the application completely even if the information is on your resume. So why attach your resume? It will show the employer you are serious about working and provide other information like all of your other awesome skills, your activities, honors, or community service.

Returning the Application:


Fold the application in thirds and put it in an envelope with the manager's name on it and seal it. Not only does using an envelope look more professional, it protects your personal information from nosy employees and no one else but the manager will see your personal information.

Online Applications

Online applications are becoming more and more popular. For an employer, especially a large one, they are a huge help in screening and narrowing down applicants. Not all companies have switched to online applications. A general rule is the smaller the company, the less likely they will have - or need - online applications.


Online applications allow employers to collect the information they need to consider you for employment – but they also show employers how well you can follow directions, pay attention to detail, and use computers.




Tips for Online Applications:


  • Have your Fact Sheet with you to make the process faster and easier - some of these tests are timed.


  • Make sure you budget plenty of time to fill out the application AND to take the screening. Most online applications take between a half hour and an hour.


  • Ask around to see if anyone you know has filled out particular applications and ask for a heads up from them on what to expect or how long it might take.


  • Know how to use your browser's spell check and use it !!

Additional Testing/Screening:


Online applications usually include screenings and/or tests that you must take and pass to be hired.  Just because you applied with a paper application doesn't mean you won't have to take a screening test. Some employers will contact you and either have you come in or give you a website to visit to take the screening test.These tests are used to help an employer identify candidates who will be a good fit for jobs at the company.


How Do Online Applications and Screenings Work?:


  • Let's start at the end; knowing how your online application will be processed will help you to fill it out properly from the start. After you hit "submit" your application is processed by the computer. It will score and grade your answers and you will be put in one of three categories:













Be honest when you answer the screening questions; the tests are designed to show if you lie.

Many of the questions will present you with a Likert Scale like the one shown below. Employers are looking for people who either strongly agree or strongly disagree, so you will not want to have a lot of answers in the middle of the scale.

Types of Screening Test Questions:


  • Multiple choice questions about customer and employee relations. How well do you handle conflicts with customers and fellow employees?


  • Open ended questions where you have to type your response. Always use complete sentences. They will look at your spelling and grammar, so always do your best.


  • Self-analysis questions about your work ethic, personal decisions, behaviors, and moral issues, such as whether or not you agree with the fact that stealing from work is wrong.


  • Questions about your past experience in previous jobs.


  • Math or money problems


  • Puzzles or critical thinking problems

You are in the Home Stretch, Now Connect!


Whether you fill out an application online or with pen/paper,
making that face-to-face contact with the manager is always a
good move. It will help them to associate a face to your name -
maybe you didn't do all that great on the screening test, but they
really liked your personality when you met them. Ask to see the
manager when you hand in the paper application. If you filled out
an online application, stop by the business and introduce yourself
and let them know you applied online.
Wait about a week until after you return the application to follow through and contact the employer by phone if they have not reached out to you
Application Resources


Tips for passing an employment pre-screening test.



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