Application forms dig past a resume

When it comes to hiring, a resume can look very good to the prospective manager.

They can be too good to be true.

Resumes can help but are not the ultimate part of applicant screening and hiring, so application forms are usually necessary to solicit information that a prospective employee is not providing selectively. If a resume is an advertisement, an application is a clear statement of the facts without any of the subliminal messages encouraging people to buy something they don’t really want or need.

During the 2014 Nonprofit Risk Summit, Erin Gloeckner and Melanie Lockwood Herman of the Nonprofit Management Risk Center said that the goal of a standard application is to help an organization evaluate qualifications and relevant experience. Further, it can show an applicant’s ability to follow instructions and express coherent thoughts, as well as a way to select quality applicants out of a large pool of hopefuls.

They also said an application should contain the following elements:

  • Identification and contact information;
  • Academic accomplishments;
  • Specialized training and certificates;
  • Relevant employment history;
  • Membership in professional associations and volunteer activities;
  • Authorship of publications, articles and blogs;
  • Relevant criminal history information and motor vehicle record;
  • Professional and personal references; and,
  • Authorizations, notices and waivers.