Free Job Application Forms (+ With Tips and Guide)

The term “employment application form” can be used interchangeably with the job application form as it has an identical meaning. 

A job application form is a form document that companies hand out to applicants to let them fill in some information when they are applying for the job.

It is a simple and fast way to gather information from the applicant while allowing them to compare easily side by side, knowing which applicant is best suited for the vacancy.

job application form sample
Sample Job Application Form

What Is a Job Application Form?

A job application form is an official document given by the employer to the candidates like a survey, asking questions like personal information, contact details, detailed work history, and references to get a better understanding of the candidates.

Some employers like to print the job application form out on paper to let the candidates fill in by hand, then scan them up as digital documents. Some employers use a digital document to let them fill it out. Either of them can be used interchangeably.

Moreover, using an employment application form has a lot of benefits to the hiring process. Here are some of the benefits that you can get from using the employment application form.

Forms have a standardized format that is easier to compare (compared to resumes).

In the hiring process, you will receive resumes with different formats and designs from applicants. Sometimes, it can be time-consuming to review all of them when all the information is written in different places.

Using an employment application form that has a standardized format is easier to read. Having the information in the same location makes it easier to compare when you put them side by side.

Easier to scan.

If you have a digital form of job application form for the candidates to fill in, you will find the reviewing process easier than reviewing a resume/CV. Having the information filled in the same section, you can search up specific words and the results will show instantly, helping you determine if the candidates have the specific skills that you are searching for. As a result, it helps make the reviewing of the hiring process more efficient and faster.

Help get information that is not usually put on a resume.

A resume is always limited to only a page. This causes most applicants to avoid including insignificant and unnecessary information because there would not be enough space to include the important ones. For example, some applicants who have been working in the field for some time might exclude their education history. A job application form allows you to guide them to fill in some information that they might have excluded from the resume.

Can get applicants to sign the form to prove credibility.

If you printed the form for them to fill in person, you can ensure that the information they filled in is authentic by asking them to sign at the end of the form. This is one good way to prove the credibility of their information.

When the question of whether employers need to use a job application form for hiring is being discussed, there can be different answers. Some employers prefer a resume/CV. Hence, the need for job application forms depends on the employer’s needs.

When should an employer use job application forms?

With the advantages mentioned above, if you are searching for candidates with specific skills and personalities, and have a better idea of the candidates’ competencies, using job application forms can be very helpful. It helps you determine and evaluate the candidates faster than the normal procedure.

If you are hiring through hiring recruitment agencies, using job application forms is a very formal and fair way to recruit.

When should an employer not use job application forms?

Though using the form has a lot of benefits, on some occasions, you might still not use it. This is because keyword filtering might filter out some strong candidates which you would not like to see happen. 

If you prefer a recruiting process that has more personal interaction, you should not use job application forms too. Having an interview might be easier for you to get a better understanding of the candidate, knowing if they’ll work well with the team.

How to Make a Job Application Form

When you are crafting a job application form for the recruitment process, there are many different aspects that you have to consider. 

Step 1: Instructions for filling out the form.

job application form instructions
Job Application Form Instructions

When applicants fill out the form, it is best if you have incorporated the instructions. These instructions will tell them how to fill out the form, and what happens if they leave the slots blank.

For example, you can mark down some required sections like their names, contact details, and work history to inform them that those are the ones that must be filled in. You can also have a line to tell them to fill in using capital letters only or any other requirements based on your needs.

Step 2: Personal Information

Applicant's Personal Information Section in a Job Application Form
Applicant's Personal Information Section in a Job Application Form

The first information you need to know about the applicant is always their personal information. It is the fastest way to get to know who they are and how to contact them.

Usually, you would like the applicants to fill in as detailed as they could. Hence, you can follow the basic required information when creating an employment application draft for recruitment.

  • Full name - The easiest way is to separate the sections into Last, First, and Middle names.
  • Mailing address - This includes street address, city, state, and Zip code.
  • Phone number - The fastest way of contact for employers to reach the applicants if they have questions for them that they want to ask directly.
  • Email address - The applicant should give an email address that is actively used to receive notifications.
  • Social security number - This is always used to verify one’s identity but is only used in a trusted company.

Step 3: Position

Position Details in a Job Application Form
Position Details in a Job Application Form

In a standardized job application form, you wouldn’t know what the applicants want unless they’ve included their desired position. This is because all of the forms are in the same format. 

In order to evaluate the applicants’ availability and desires, having the position section is very important. Below is the information that you might need to know during the recruitment process.

  • Applied position - When a company is recruiting for multiple positions, applicants should know which position they are applying to.
  • Date available - The first day when the applicant can report to work, and the days that they can work in a week.
  • Desired pay - This can be put in paid per hour or the applicant’s expected yearly payment.
  • Working hours - The applicants might be searching for part-time, full-time, or seasonal positions. Using a tick box for this question is very efficient.
  • Legal eligibility to work - It is always necessary to check if the applicant is eligible to work in the U.S. before recruiting. If they’re not, they might need an employment Visa.
  • Criminal status - This is a yes-no question that allows you as an employer to know if the applicant is suitable for the position because some of you might prefer not to hire someone who committed a felony.

Step 4: Education Background

Job Application Form's Education Section
Job Application Form's Education Section

If you are hiring from a big company, and you want to exclude those applicants who do not achieve particular academic standards, the education background section in a standardized job application form is necessary. It helps you differentiate those that do not meet requirements.

  • High school - The name and the address of the school are expected to be given.
  • Dates attended - The beginning date and the graduating date are required to be filled in the employment application form.
  • Completion status - It is necessary to know if your applicant completed their high school studies because this could be your least academic requirement.
  • College -  If the applicant went to college, a brief history of the college, the name, and the address should be filled in the form.
  • Dates attended - Some graduates might graduate later than the usual duration of 3 to 4 years. Hence, it is necessary to know the beginning and end of their enrollment.
  • Degree - Knowing the applicant’s graduate degree can be helpful when determining the suitability of the position.

Step 5: References

References Section of a Job Application Form
References Section of a Job Application Form

When applicants are filling out the employment application form, you would not know the credibility of the information given. The easiest way to solve this issue is to require at least one reference. Referees can be the ones for you to contact and know more about the applicant’s performance in the academic or previous workplace.

  • Full name - Knowing the referee’s name allows you to address him/her when asking for the applicant’s information.
  • Relation - A description of the applicant and the referee’s relationship is always required because not everybody can be a referee. If the applicant used their family member as a referee, you would still doubt their credibility.
  • Company title - Only positions like managers, executives, professors, advisors, and homeroom teachers are suitable to be listed as a reference.
  • Email address/Phone number - This information is required for you to contact the referee and request some statements or recommendation letters.

Step 6: Experience/Employment History

Employment History on a Job Application Form
Employment History on a Job Application Form

Before hiring someone, you would always want to know if the applicant worked in other companies. Having the experience/employment history section is very helpful if you are trying to check if he/she has relevant skill sets that can be used when hired.

  • Job title - The name of the position held in the previous workplace.
  • Company name - The name of the previous workplace is necessarily given.
  • Address - The address of the company is always needed to check if the place exists.
  • Starting date & ending date - Knowing the duration of the applicant’s stay at the company can determine if he/she will stay long when hired.
  • Supervisor - A supervisor can act as a referee for you to ask for a reference.
  • Responsibilities - The applicant is required to fill out their responsibilities and duties in their previous workplace. This gives you a brief idea of their capabilities.
  • Reason for leaving - Some applicants left their previous workplace for growth, and some left due to personal reasons. It is best if you get hold of the reason to see if they are suitable to work with you.
  • Permission to contact - Before making a background check, consent is needed to not overstep their privacy.

Step 7: Signature & Statement

Signature & Statement on of Job Application Form
Signature & Statement on of Job Application Form

The last part of the employment application letter is the signature and statement. When the applicants sign the document, they will be responsible for all of the information given in the document.

  • Disclaimer - One to two sentences that state the information written by the job applicant is true by all means and they will be responsible for any false information.
  • Job applicant signature - The applicant’s full name.
  • Signature Date - The calendar date when the applicant signed the document.

Job Application Form Sample Templates

Below is a template for a work application form that you can refer to when creating a suitable form for your recruiting process:

Generic/Standard job application form

Generic/Standard job application form sample

Click the button below to download a sample standard job application form in .docx or PDF format via Cake.

Download Template

Shift job application form

Shift job application form sample

Click the button below to download a sample shift job application form in .docx or PDF format via Cake.

Download Template

Tips for Creating a Job Application Form

The key to creating a great job application form is to make it fit the company’s needs while collecting all of the information needed from the candidates.

💡 Clearly know what information you need from the applicants.

Before you start creating the job application form for all applicants, you should have a clear plan knowing what information you need from the applicants. This depends on the position that you are recruiting for the company because you might need to have specific questions to ask for some answers.

For example, you might need a Skills section for the applicants to describe their capabilities if hired. You may scroll back up to check what type of information is usually required from the applicants.

💡 Include clear instructions.

Having clear instructions in your work application form is very helpful to the applicants. During the process of applicants filling out the form, they can complete it according to the instructions, reducing the errors and mistakes in the form.

You can also include a note about the consequences of not completing the work application form, and what to write when there is nothing to fill in the blanks.

💡 Keep your job application form detailed but simple.

A job application form has many empty blanks that need to be filled in by the applicant. If you created a very detailed but messy one, it would be very confusing for the applicants when they are filling them out. You will too have a hard time looking into it and comparing side by side.

Therefore, after completing the form-creating process, take some time and review the whole document once or twice before putting it into use.


You have reached the final part of this article. Let us take a look at some key takeaways that you should keep in mind when creating a job application form for your company’s recruitment.

  • Using a work application form is an efficient way to speed up the recruitment process. You can also compare them side-by-side easier and find out the better candidate faster.
  • If you are hiring through job hunting websites, having the applicants fill out the job application form is a good way to collect the information that you need. 
  • An employment application form consists of instructions, personal information, position information, qualification, work history, references, and a signature.
  • Before creating one, you need to know what information you want to collect from the applicants. 
  • Keeping the form detailed and simple is very important to not confuse the applicants.

Want to recruit gems from your talent pool? Follow our blog to read more about hiring tips, resources, and tutorials, or simply use our Recruitment Service to acquire talents from all industries.

— Originally written by Ryan Goh —


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