Job Applications

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Calendar Icon Updated January 28, 2019

Finding Career Opportunities

With the power of the internet, finding job opportunities is easier than ever. Mega job sites like, Monster and even Craigslist offer quality jobs leads for job seekers willing to do their research. However, an estimate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that as much as 70% of all jobs are found through networking, not online job boards. That’s because only a small handful of positions ever make it to these public forums as most jobs are filled through the “hidden” job market of referrals.

So, how does one tap into these “hidden” opportunities? The first step is to reach out to your personal network of friends and family and let them know you are job searching. Everyone has been out of work and one point in their lives and there is no shame in reaching out to get the connections you need. You’d do the same for them, right?

Build on the momentum of your network by growing it larger through industry organizations, meet-ups or events where individuals in the industry you’;re looking for work in might attend. Search for [city] [industry] professional organization and see what’s available.

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Another tactic is to do direct research into companies in your area, many of whom have public job boards that do not feed into the major job lead sites. Similarly, searches such as “job openings in [city]” or “job application near me” use Google’s location technology to turn up results specific to your area. If a company you’re interested in doesn’t have any posted openings consider sending a cold job application email or even a job application letter directly to the company. Large companies are open to new talent, job posting or not, and this tactic can help you stand out from the crowd.

Finally, consider attending an in-person job fair where you can get face time with multiple companies in one session. Always dress in interview attire and bring printed copies of your résumé and/or completed job application template.

Advice and Tips for Applying for Jobs

The tough job market and ease of online job applications has led to many companies receiving hundreds, if not thousands, of applications for each advertised job position. Because of this, it’s important to create an application that’s complete, free from errors and sets you apart from the sea of candidates potentially fighting for the job you want. Whether submitting a job application form online, applying via email or submitting a printable job application, these five job application tips to help you stand out from the crowd:

  1. Dissect the job posting
    Presenting yourself as the perfect candidate for a job means you need to know what the employer is looking for. Identify specific ways you can fulfill the needs outlined in the job description and work that experience into your job application form, résumé and/or cover letter. Also consider having an additional example to include in your job application follow up email to continue demonstrating your fit for the job.
  2. Do your research
    Take 15-20 minutes to learn more about the company. Many final decisions come down to how well a company sees a candidate fitting in the company culture (energy level, values) so understanding what makes a business “tick” will help you communicate why you’re the best person for the job.
  3. Tailor your application to the job
    Answers to application questions, what you include in your résumé and the story told in your job application cover letter should never be the same across job applications. You need to communicate why you’re perfect for this specific position, so a cookie cutter set of application materials just won’t do. Use keywords from the job posting to customize your materials to let your potential employer you have direct experience with the things they are asking for.
  4. Proofread, proofread, proofread
    Every piece of your application packet needs to be flawless. Cutting corners and missing details says to your potential employer that that may be how you approach your job as well. Have a family member or friend look over your application materials for errors to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

One important piece of advice for applying for jobs, whether online or in person, is to do a self-check of your social media presence before submitting any job applications. According to CareerBuilder, in 2016 60% of employers researched job candidates online, up from 52% in 2015 and 11% in 2006. Even if you think your privacy settings are set to protect you, it’s always wise to double check what’s public on your profile.

Job Applications

The job application definition has evolved greatly over time. Job applications now take the shape of everything from traditional paper applications to online portfolio submissions. Job applications create a standardized way for employers to gather information. Though traditional job application forms are most commonly used when hiring for certain industries (e.g. retail), blue collar, part-time or entry level jobs, job seekers in any industry and skill level may be asked to fill out an application form to capture information that isn’t be presented in a person’s résumé.

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While going through the form, your job application objective should be to fill out the information as completely and honestly as possible. Many employers have begun offering their job application in Spanish and English. Choosing the language you are most comfortable with. Perfecting the job application skills highlighted in the “Advice and Tips for Applying for Jobs” section above will help your submission be as effective as possible in landing your next job.

Common Job Application Questions

Although job application questions vary greatly across companies and industries, there are many common questions you’re likely to come across during your job search. Standard items such as contact information and employment history should always be expected. Be prepared to supply employment dates and references. Other common questions include salary history and open-ended questions like “tell me a time when…” to demonstrate your direct experience with the job duties.

Filling Out Online Job Applications

When you fill out a job application online, you’ll find the style and questions asked very greatly from company to company. Some ask for simple submission of a résumé and cover letter, while others may go into lengthy question forms or even personality assessments. If you have the option of saving your application before submission it’s a good idea to take a step away from the application before doing a final review and submitting.

Many online job applications have required and optional fields. It’s advisable to provide as much information as possible to your potential employers, whether the field is required or not. However, including this optional information is up to you and often carries different weights depending on the item and the employers. Cover letters, for example, though often “optional” tend to be expected, whereas a simple data point such as previous salary can easily be left blank.

Job Applications By Employer

  • Target Job Application
  • Subway Job Application
  • CVSJob Application
  • Old Navy Job Application
  • Job Applications Online
  • Pizza Hut Job Application
  • Lowes Job Application
  • Job Application Template
  • Home Depot Job Application
  • Gamestop Job Application
  • UPS Job Application
  • Sears Job Application
  • Publix Job Application
  • Dollar General Job Application
  • Sonic Job Application
  • Foot Locker Job Application
  • Costco Job Application
  • Chick-Fil-A Job Application
  • Best-Buy Job Application
  • Best Buy Job Application
  • Wendys Job Application
  • Toys-R-Us Job Application
  • TJ Maxx Job Application
  • Safeway Job Application
  • Ross Job Application
  • Macy’s Job Application
  • Kfc Job Application
  • Job Application Online
  • Hollister Job Application
  • Family Dollar Job Application
  • Dunkin Donuts Job Application
  • Dollar Tree Job Application
  • Winn-Dixie Job Application
  • Payless Job Application
  • Panera Bread Job Application
  • Marshalls Job Application
  • Little Caesars Job Application
  • Dairy Queen Job Application
  • Staples Job Application
  • Sample Job Application
  • Popeyes Job Application
  • Petsmart Job Application
  • Petco Job Application
  • Olive Garden Job Application
  • Macys Job Application
  • JcPenney Job Application
  • Goodwill Job Application
  • Footlocker Job Application
  • Food Lion Job Application
  • Fedex Job Application
  • Baskin Robbins Job Application

Filling Out Print Job Applications

Although they are becoming less and less common, paper applications are still used by many employers. Most ask candidates to fill out an application before applying, which is most common in businesses with brick and mortar locations, while some employers ask new hires to fill out printable applications as the start to their employee files. You can often pick up an application in store or download and print a job application PDF from a company website.

Preparing for Interviews

An interview is usually the final stage of screening before getting a job. You may have one or a series and they can come in a variety of formats. Common structures include phone interviews, in-person interviews with one person, in-person interviews with a panel and in-person interviews with a group of potential employees all interviewing at once. Regardless of format, the key to acing an interview is to remain professional at all times and be clear about why you’re the best person for the job. Here are four tips for acing your next interview:

  1. Do your research…again
    It is important to prepare for interviews so you feel as comfortable and confident going into the meeting as possible. Just as with the job application process, research here goes a long way. Google your interviewer, search for current company news or find video of employee interviews to learn more about your potential place of work and bring those pieces of information into the interview conversation where it makes sense. One way to work this in without being forced is to tie a company value or current event into an example of your skills that fit the job.
  2. Prepare answers to common interview questions
    Though you can never be sure what an interviewer will ask, there are many common interview questions worth preparing an answer for beforehand. Even if the questions aren’t asked directly, answers can often be tailored to fit a variety of interview questions. The two most common, and often most dreaded, are “Tell me about yourself,” and “What is your greatest weakness?” For the first, the key is to keep things short and concise. Tell the interview the key points about you that point to why you make sense for the job. For the second, prepare an answer that’s honest then offer an example of how you’ve overcame or are working on that weakness in the workplace to show you’re accountable and proactive.
  3. Practice
    For most of us, interviews are a place where nerves run wild. The best way to overcome these nerves is to practice your interview answers with family, friends or even a job coach. That way, although you never know exactly what an interviewer is going to throw at you, you’ll have built up confidence with providing on-the-spot answers.
  4. Ask Questions
    Never leave an interview without asking your interviewees questions. This shows your engagement and thoughtfulness in regards to the job application process and offers a chance to get any employer facts and answers you’ve been wondering about before taking a job position. If you don’t have any specific questions in mind, consider asking your interviewers what they like most about the company or if they have any hesitations about hiring you that you can address before leaving the room. This is often your last chance to make an impression before a decision is made, so don’t let the opportunity go to waste.

Employment Eligibility Information

Federal law calls for companies to hire individuals who have a legal right to work in the United States. U.S. Citizens as well as foreign citizens with necessary authorization are eligible for employment. When you are hired for a job, employers are required to have you fill out Form I-9 and submit current (unexpired) documents proving your right to work. Documents that prove your employment eligibility are:

  • U.S. passport
  • Foreign passport with I-551 stamp
  • Foreign passport and Form I-94
  • Permanent resident card or alien registration receipt card
  • Unemployment registration card
  • USCIS issued employment authorization document that includes a photo

Alternatively, if you do not have the documentation above you may submit two documents, one showing eligibility and one proving identity. As proof of eligibility, you may submit:

  • Social Security card
  • U.S. birth certificate
  • U.S. or resident citizen ID card
  • Native American tribal document
  • Department of Homeland Security employment authorization document

Proof of identity can be documented with:

  • U.S. or Canada issued driver’s license that includes a photo and description
  • Federal, state or local photo ID
  • School photo ID
  • Voter’s registration card
  • U.S. military card
  • Draft record
  • U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner card
  • Native American tribal document

To confirm whether or not a candidate is eligible to work in the U.S., companies use a system called E-Verify. It is a fast and free internet service that offers employers the best option to make ensure employees are hired legally. Eligibility is based on millions of pieces of government documents and data and results are received within 3-5 seconds. E-Verify pulls data from the following sources to determine eligibility:

  • Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification)
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Social Security Administration

Self Check, a subservice of E-Verify, can be used by anyone 16 and over in the U.S. to confirm personal employment eligibility. By entering just a small amount of information, you can determine your eligibility and learn the steps needed to reaching eligibility should there be an issue with your current employment eligibility records. It is best to use this tool before applying for a job so that any issues can be resolved before an employer checks on your eligibility status. There is no option or need to check your eligibility for job applications by employer since employment eligibility requirements are standardized nationwide. 

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