If you’ve ever applied for a job online, you know this scenario all too well.  You have found an opening that appeals to you. You spend time ensuring that you’ve detailed your previous work experience, skills, and a summary of your qualifications in your resume or CV. You’ve written a custom-tailored cover letter for the specific position. But before you can submit it, you must also fill out an employment application. What gives? Read on to learn why some companies, including professional recruiting companies, still require an employment application.

Resumes vs. CVs vs. Employment Application: An Overview

The terms resume and CV are often used interchangeably, for good reason. Both showcase your work experience, summary of qualifications, special skills, and education. However, they also differ in a couple of ways. 

A strong resume is concise and limited to 2 pages at most. It should include a summary of your skills, and document your work history, showcasing 3-5 professional accomplishments in each role. Your resume should also include your education. Some people opt to include volunteer work, leadership positions, and membership in professional organizations

A CV is often required for academic, and highly specialized science, medical, and legal positions. A CV may be much longer than a resume and often focuses on academic awards, publications, conference presentations, specialized studies, published decisions, or significant jury verdicts.  

An employment application is provided by the hiring organization. It is not a document you have to create on your own. An employment application is an easy way for hiring organizations to obtain basic information, including your name, eligibility for employment, references, availability, contact information, desired salary, and more.

Why Do I Need to Fill Out an Application if I Have a Resume?

Employers may require an employment application in addition to a resume for several reasons.

1. Streamlines Hiring Process
An employment application can help hiring managers and recruiting companies quickly identify candidates who meet the minimum requirements for the position without having to read through longer resumes and CVs.

2. Serves as a Legal Contract
An application may include, for example, authorization to perform a background check, reference check, or where applicable a criminal history check. It may make clear certain company policies, such as at-will employment, or grounds for termination. Employers may use this form to serve as a legally binding document should a dispute arise between the candidate and the hiring company.

3. Reduces Bias/Favoritism
By creating a uniform application, that every single applicant must fill out, companies may avoid unethical situations. Making all applicants complete an application reduces the likelihood that a less-qualified individual’s resume will move to the proverbial “top of the pile” because someone handed the hiring manager the resume. This can reduce unintentional bias or favoritism.

4. Allows for Additional Screening
An application can also provide additional screening as it may require specific information that candidates may leave out of their resume. This can help hiring managers to cross-reference with the resume or CV to ensure candidates meet or exceed minimum requirements.

Get Help Finding a Rewarding Position that Fits Your Skills

If you need help identifying positions in HR, finance, accounting, or talent acquisition that fit your skills, desires, and salary requirements, contact Competitive Edge Recruiting today. Our highly experienced recruiters serve the entire Pacific Northwest from our offices in Eugene, Portland, and Seattle. Contact us today for more information, or browse our job openings