Job Application Form Demo

Tested on modern browsers (sorry, IE8 & older)

After filling out job applications through a dozen or so different applicant tracking systems (Jobvite, Taleo, BrassRing, etc.), I’ve come to the conclusion that not enough thought has been given to the applicant’s experience. As this often represents a company’s first interaction with potential employees, both parties stand to benefit from a seamless experience. Here are a few ideas for a more thoughtful form.

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Please fill out the following form to get your job application started.

To automatically fill in most of this form and share your LinkedIn profile with the The Creative Co., click the button below and log in.

Pretend the LinkedIn popup window opened and I entered my login info… Available information is then populated below.

Contact Information

Add another number

Attachments

Pretend a file upload dialog opened and I selected my resume…
0% Complete
1/1 pages uploaded
Pretend a file upload dialog opened and I selected my cover letter…
0% Complete
1/1 pages uploaded
Add additional attachments
http://
http://
Add another link

Optional Information

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To comply with Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action reporting regulations, we ask that you share a few additional details about yourself. Completion of the following information is voluntary and will not affect your application in any way.

American Indian or Alaskan Native: Origins in any of the original peoples of North America, and those who maintain cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.

Asian: Origins among any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent.

Black & African american: Origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa. This includes Jamaican, Trinidadian, and West Indian.

Hawaiian Native or Pacific Islander: Origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

Hispanic or Latino: All persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American or other Spanish culture/origin.

White (Not of Hispanic Origin): Origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa or the Middle East.

Disabled Veteran: A person who is (a) A Veteran of the US military, ground, naval or air service who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veteran Affairs, or (b) A person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service connected disability.

Recently Separated Veteran: Any veteran during the three-year period beginning on the date of such Veteran’s discharge or release from active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service.

Armed Forces Service Medal Veteran: Any Veteran who, while serving on active duty in the US military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985.

Other Protected Veteran: A Veteran who served on active duty in the US military, ground, naval or air service during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.

On the next screen, you’ll have a chance to create a login you can use to check the status of your application.

The title of the page should make clear the position, the company, and the location that the application is for. Internal fields like “job code,” “category,” or “experience level” are pretty much never helpful to applicants at this stage.

When the LinkedIn option exists, it’s not always obvious how it’s used. Does the LinkedIn profile replace the resume? Does the link take you to LinkedIn to complete the application? It’s worth explaining how this feature complements the form.

Breaking names into separate fields is almost always a concession to accommodate lazy software. Allowing entry into one field is a much more human-centered approach, and 99% of the time it parses easily for back-end systems.

Any required fields that are left empty will be highlighted, eliminating the need to mark them with asterisks.

The distinction between mobile, work, and home numbers that some forms make is no longer meaningful — most people use their mobile phones primarily. That said, it should be possible to provide multiple numbers (up to a reasonable limit).

A multi-line textbox is a better way to handle street address instead of the usual approach of breaking it into two fields. Putting a unit number on the same line as the street address has never prevented me from receiving anything in the mail.

State can be inferred. Very rarely do zip codes cross state lines, and I think it’s fair to say that it will never become an issue for the purpose of job applications.

“Additional attachments” covers cases where applicants want to add work samples or other documents. (Note: try uploading a resume and cover letter)

Showing a preview of the first page confirms that the upload succeeded. In some other forms, the resume gets parsed into a separate text field, which always makes me wonder if I need to then format that field (ugh) or if the recruiter will see the attached resume. A message confirms the number of pages in the attachment.

The LinkedIn profile link is automatically populated if the “Apply with LinkedIn” feature is used. Removing it does not erase the data that is imported, but will not include the profile in the application. (This should be uncommon)

This field pops up a nonfunctional image overlay showing what the date picker could look like. I used the excellent example from kayak.com, which greys out past dates.

I considered using a range widget here, but opted for a plain ol’ text field to allow people to describe their expectations or write something like “negotiable”).

Eliminating this clutter would be ideal, but federal legislation requires companies above a certain size to give applicants an opportunity to provide this information.

Many other forms include the definitions of these groups inline, but since the majority of people don’t need help with this, hiding it in a mouseover container helps reduce noise on the page.

Some forms force you to make a login before allowing you to make progress. A better approach would allow candidates to complete the application, then give them an opportunity (or force them, if the system requires it) to create an account on the next screen.

Comments? Suggestions? I’d love to hear what you think.