to Include in Your Application
There are certain statements and information that you will
want to include on a job application for your own purposes. They
give applicants clear information about your business and what
you expect as a potential employer.
Release of information form. To protect yourself and
to inform the applicant of exactly what your reference
checking plans are, ask the applicant to sign an information
release form that gives you permission to check references.
Keep the original with the applicant's file and make copies
to distribute with written letters and to fax to people who
request it for phone reference checks.
Employment-at-will statement. Application forms
frequently include the assertion that the applicant, if hired,
will be subject to employment-at-will.
Employment-at-will means that the employee may leave at any
time and that the employer may terminate the employee at any
time, whether for cause or not. Employment-at-will statements
are designed to make sure that you're not creating or implying
that an employment
contract will be created, should you hire the applicant.
You can include a disclaimer on application forms telling
applicants that the application (or other written documents)
does not create an employment contract.
"I understand that, if hired, my
employment would be "at-will" and
could be terminated at any time by either party,
with or without cause and with or without
False information statement. You may have a policy of terminating
an employee if it is discovered that the employee made false
statements on his or her resume or job application. A statement
to that effect in the job application gives prospective
employees notice that submission of false statements will not be
tolerated and gives them incentive to fill out the form
"I certify that the statements I have
made are true and correct to the best of my
knowledge. I understand that the submission of
any false information or the omission of any
requested information in connection with my
application for employment, whether on this
document or not, may be cause for failure to
hire or for immediate discharge should I be
employed by ABC Company, Inc."
Work authorization statement. Although you cannot
discriminate on the basis of citizenship, proof
of identity and work authorization are required of all
employees by the Immigration Reform and Control Act.
To bolster documentation of your compliance efforts — and
to make sure that applicants understand what is required of them
— include the following statement:
"Applicants are required to furnish
proof of identity and legal work authorization
prior to hire."
Active application period. In companies that get a lot
of applications, the applications are kept in an
"active" file for only a limited period of time. You
may want to include that information on the employment
application in order to prevent any misunderstanding of the
hiring process by the applicants. You may also invite them to
reapply after the period is over. If you want to do that,
include a statement like this on your application:
"I acknowledge the fact that this
application of employment will be active for 60
days; after this time period, I must reapply for
For employees of 15 or more. Even though a job
application is removed from the "active" file, that
does not mean you can toss it. The Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission requires that you keep hiring information on
unsuccessful applicants for a year, and it is good practice to
keep it even longer.
If the applicant is hired, of course, the job application
becomes part of his or her personnel
Confidentiality statement. A simple confidentiality
statement that will allay an applicant's fears about sharing
information is all that is necessary.
"All information will be kept strictly
You need to take it seriously, though. If you tell your
friend that someone from XYZ company applied for a job with you,
and your friend tells someone that he knows at XYZ company in
passing conversation, it could cause problems for your
applicant. In a worst-case scenario, you could be sued for
harming the applicant's employment or other relationships. The
information that applicants give is serious — be sure to treat
it that way.
Work rules. Some companies choose to use the
application to provide applicants with information about work
rules. The application statement also provides an
opportunity to have the applicant agree to abide by all work
rules, if hired. If you will require any sort of drug testing,
you should mention it in the employment application.
"If employed by Your Company, Inc., I
agree to abide by its rules and regulations. I
understand that Your Company, Inc., may
unilaterally change or revise its benefits,
policies, and procedures and that such changes
may include a reduction in benefits."
"I understand that Your Company, Inc.,
has a drug and alcohol policy that provides for
preemployment testing as well as testing after
employment. I understand that consent to and
compliance with the policy is a condition of my
employment and that continued employment is
based on the successful passing of testing under
Noncompete clauses and trade secrets. You can require,
as a condition of employment, that an employee sign a statement
promising not to reveal secrets or to work for a competitor.
Unless you're in a highly competitive, scientific, or
high-security field, you probably don't need this.
Such a statement on an employment application puts applicants
on notice that nondisclosure is a requirement of employment.
"I understand that if I am hired at XYZ
company, I may be privy to sensitive
information. Upon hire, I also understand that I
may be asked to execute a noncompete
It is, however, more effective to make applicants sign a separate
agreement, drawn up by your attorney, when hired.
Effect of the application. Just as a matter of extra
protection for you, the employer, at the end of whichever policy
statements you choose to put on your application form, add the
"This understanding supersedes all prior
agreements and representations, and any
subsequent understanding that affects this
arrangement must be in writing and signed by the
Owner/President of XYZ Company."
"I hereby warrant that I have read and
fully understood the foregoing and seek
employment under these conditions of my own free
will and in accordance with my own
Have the applicant sign and date the application. This
documents that the applicant knew about all the policy
statements that you included in your application.