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Application review tips
  • There are many things employers should look for when reviewing applications.
  • Unexplained gaps in employment are the biggest red flags.

When reviewing an employment application, employers should look for:

  • Legibility: The application must be legible if the information it contains is to be verified. An unreadable application may be an applicant’s attempt to confuse or mislead.
  • Accuracy: Names, phone numbers, and addresses of each past employer should be accurately and chronologically listed. Previous employers should be easy to follow up on. Although not an automatic disqualifier, an applicant’s information not matching other verifiable records is a cause for concern.
  • Completeness: The application should include most of the required information.

Employers should look out for:

  • Gaps in employment: Perhaps the biggest red flag to look for when reviewing an application is unexplained gaps in employment. An employer must fill in all employment gaps with verifiable information before making any hiring decision. Employers will confirm this during the interview process.
  • Frequent job shifts: Why can’t the applicant seem to find the right employer? An unstable work history may be an indicator of larger problems with the applicant. Also, look for evidence of any pseudo employers listed.
  • Names of supervisor(s) not listed: A prospective employee who fails to name specific previous managers or supervisors on an application may be attempting to hide a poor or unsafe work history. As a matter of company policy, an employer should ask applicants to not only list the names of previous employers, but the names of their direct supervisors as well.

Other potential causes for concern include:

  • More emphasis on earlier experiences or education than recent,
  • Missing information,
  • Reasons given for changing jobs, and
  • Job history showing decreasing responsibilities.