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Formally submitting a job application can be a tedious task. Gathering all of your personal data in advance in a master profile can make it easier. The accuracy, completeness and “look” of the submitted application allows an employer to make a first impression of you.

Skill Definition:

  • I can complete a job application on paper or on the internet.

Key Learning Points:

  • Take your time in completing the application as this will form the employer’s initial impression about you.

Learning Path:                                                          

  • Gather all personal information in a template (e.g. the Master Employment Profile below).

Deeper Topics:

  • Applications Can Be Completed in Various Ways. Source: Job Search Application Guide by Alison Doyle on About.com
    • On-Line. There are thousands sites where you can post your resume online and complete an online job application. Some sites let you upload an existing resume with the click of a button. On other sites, you can copy and paste or use a resume building wizard.
    • In-Person. 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 interview on the spot.
    • E-Mail. When you are using email to apply for jobs, it’s important that all your communications are as professional as they would be if you were mailing a paper resume and cover letter.
  • Answering Tough Questions. It’s best to be honest with issues such as employment gaps, termination or criminal history. Background checks are normal and your past will likely emerge. See How to fill out applications with a criminal record by Amy White on SnagaJob.com for an in-depth discussion.
  •  Job Application Tips:
    • Review and know your employment history. You’ll need your resume or master employment profile to make sure that you’re listing the correct dates of employment, job titles, and education. Your resume should match the job application. If possible, take the application home to complete it. This will allow you extra time to get it right.
    • Read the directions and follow them exactly.
    • 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.
    • Tailor your answers to the job you are seeking.
    • Don’t leave any blanks. Respond n/a or not applicable if it doesn’t pertain to you.
    • When you apply in-person 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.

Exercises for Older Teens and Adults:

  • None at this time.

Questions to Encourage Critical Thinking:

  • Are there weak spots in the data you might need? How will you address that?
  • Am I making a good first impression?

Tools and Templates:

Word Definition:

Web Articles/Short Stories/Essays:


  • None at this time. The job application topic is covered in my general job hunting books.



  • “Dear Job Application, if this is an entry level position, how am I supposed to have previous experience.” – Unknown

One-Point Lesson:

  • None at this time.

Related Skills:

Summary 2-page Lesson Examples, coming soon:

  • Job & Career – Applications (handout).
  • Job & Career – Applications (with instructor notes).