Completing a job application should be pretty simple, but with new technology job applications have become more complex with everything being completed on a computer within a secure site, but with companies whom still use paper applications there are some things you should leave off your application.

When you apply for a job the application usually asks for your name, address, phone number, social security number, etc. These items are the recipe for your identity to be stolen with such ease by anyone whom may come in contact with this information. I suggest that you never put your social security number on a paper job application. Where do you think it will end up especially when hundreds of people may be applying for that particular job, but only a few will be hired? Your personal information could end up some where in the trash where "dumpster divers" can get it and apply for credit cards, loans, etc. This is not a good idea so it's best to leave that information off until you are asked for it by your potential employer for tax and/or background check purposes.

Next you should make sure your application is completed neatly and everything is filled in accurately. Before you go job hunting it is best to carry the following items along with you:

  • A list of 3-4 professional references with phone numbers
  • Previous job information including phone numbers, addresses and supervisor's names
  • A blue or black ink pen
  • A small notepad
  • white out (optional)
  • A clipboard (optional)
These items will come in really handy when it is time to complete those job applications whether they are on paper or on a computer. Employers need this information and a completed application is less likely to be discarded as opposed to an application with no references and/or jobs listed without phone numbers. The notepad can be used to write down places you've applied and contact numbers to follow up with these potential employers. Also make sure your references are aware and approve of you using them as a reference.

Questions like, "Have you been convicted of a felony in the last 7 years?", may not be difficult for those without a criminal background, but it is for those who have one. Do not lie on your application because not only can this information be discovered it shows dishonesty. If you have been convicted for whatever reason check yes and write "Will be discussed" in the explanation area. This will give you an opportunity to explain your situation to the employer when asked.

Now comes the long 30-60 minute computer application that people dread the most. These personality test are becoming more and more common with the average job everywhere. If the job you are applying for has one of these that can be taken on the internet find a computer without have a time limitation like most public libraries have. Preferably you should have your own computer, but if not then try using a friends computer or signing up for more computer time at the library is fine. Be sure to answer each question truthfully and to the best of your ability.

Happy Hunting Tampa!

Samara Bowling

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