Know the difference: job application Vs. resume

Knowing the difference between a job application and a resume is of paramount importance. The process of applying for a job include submitting two different types of documents: a resume and a job application. At first glance, it can seem that these are two similar documents with the same information, but you are mistaken. Let’s discover what is the essential distinction between them in order not to screw up your employment process.

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What Is a Job Application?

A standard job application is a legal document required by the Human Resources department. It is a brief paper listing your essential qualification without explanation. For an employer job application serves to compare you fast to other candidates. A job application is a chronological laconic document of 1 or 2 pages. It also includes information that is never included in a resume: birth date, Social Security Number, driver’s license number, verification of military experience and training and even an inquiry about your criminal past. Usually, in a job application, you will be required to include full start/end dates of employment (month, day, year), names of previous manager, company name and location. The employer needs this info to verify your employment. You will also be asked to fill the salary history and current salary requirements. In some cases, employers can ask to add information concerning your GPA, semester hours and grades for certain subjects. You don’t have to include any additional information or special skills for job applications.

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General Job Application Dos and Don'ts

Before filling out a job application, check out these dos and don’ts that will help you to create a correct one.

Job Application Dos:

  • First of all, read the application form carefully before filling it. You have to follow strictly all the directions.
  • Putting Social Security Number on job applications is obligatory.
  • Make sure you include correct employment dates.
  • Of course, you have to check your application for grammar or spelling errors.
  • One of the biggest mistakes of all job seekers is not to contact their references before the application process begins. Call and make sure they know you want them to be your references.

Job Application Don’ts:

  • Most importantly, never lie. All the information should be proven because it is a legal document.
  • Do not exaggerate your experience, skills, abilities, because an employer will reveal the truth.
  • Don’t leave any unfilled gaps.
  • Don’t write ‘see resume’ for questions that require some wide explanation.

Your job application is very important. If an employer decides to hire you, a background check based on your application is inevitable, so prepare it thoroughly.

What Is a Resume?

A resume is the most common document required from job applicants. Typically, a resume is a brief summary of all skills, abilities, qualification, work history and educational background of a candidate. There are three resume types: chronological (the most common), functional and combination. Include a job history summary where you will explain why you are the best fit for a position and what are your main career goals. You can mention additional information on resume like training, licenses, language proficiency, but all the data provided should be relevant to a desired position. Writing a perfect resume is daunting, but check out the instruction that will facilitate this process.

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Typical Resume Dos and Don'ts

Follow these simple guidelines in order to create an outstanding professional resume.

Common Resume Dos:

  • Focus on your strengths. Include only your best characteristics and experience that will prove your professionalism and will convince an HR to hire you.
  • It is imperative to tailor your resume to each specific position. Instead of mass mailing the same resume, make some adjustment to show your interest exactly in a certain job opening.
  • Before sending a resume, proofread it multiple times. Errors and typos will kill your success on the spot.
  • Choose an appropriate resume format that will fit the company’s culture.

Common Resume Don’ts:

  • Don’t forget to list everything in reverse chronological order.
  • Don’t put any irrelevant information. Even if you are proud of it, but it won’t make any difference to a recruiter - erase it immediately.
  • Don’t forget that a resume is a concise document. Its length should be 1 page, in some exceptional cases, it can contain 2 pages.
  • Don’t go into detail - 5 bullet points covering your essential duties will be more than enough.

Knowing the difference between a resume and a job application along with basic guidance on how to write perfect documents will lead you to success in your job search!

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