Resumes vs. Employment Applications
Many job seekers mistakenly believe the resume and the application (whether in print or online), are one in the same. That isn't the case. The resume and the application each serve a distinct and important purpose during the job search. That's the reason you are required to complete an application even after you’ve submitted a resume.
The biggest differences between the two documents include the following:
- A resume isn'’t a legal document, and an application is. That is the reason employers require all candidates to submit a signed application. To enforce the legalities in case a candidate provides false information, an application normally reads, "I certify that the information contained in this application is true and complete. I understand that false information may be grounds for not hiring or immediate termination of employment at any point in the future if I am hired. I authorize the verification of any or all information listed on this application."
- There is information that is mandatory on an application that doesn’t belong on a resume. For example, a list of your references, your social security number, the reasons you left your previous jobs, salary history, the address of your former employers, and your criminal record (if you have one) are all facts that aren't included on your resume.
- There isn't a lot of space on an application to include your accomplishments. Most likely, you’ll only have space for one or two achievements. As a result, the resume is a nice complement to the application.
A number of job seekers believe they can simply write "see resume" on their application instead of completing the form. Avoid that move for two reasons.
- First, the employer may still want a resume, because as noted above, the application has a specific purpose in the job interview process. So the interviewer may request that you provide the missing information.
- Secondly, candidates who don’t provide all information requested during the hiring process may be viewed as potential employees who won'’t follow directions if hired.
The impression you want to give during the hiring process is of someone who is thorough, cooperative, and savvy to the rules of the game. Doing so will bring you one step closer to a job offer.
Author Linda Matias is certified in all three areas of the job search - Certified Interview Coach (CIC), Job & Career Transition Coach (JCTC), and Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW). She is a contributing writer to over 15 career-related books.