Free Access: Developing a Job Application

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From Perkins Law, by Eric C. Perkins, Esq. on developing a job application: 

A job application should be a short, well-written application that contains the necessary elements to determine if the person will be a good hire.

At a minimum, every application should ask the following:

  • Are you legally eligible to work for any company in the United States?*
    *NOTE: Do not ask if an individual is a U.S. citizen.
  • Have you ever been terminated, or asked to resign, from any previous employer?
  • List your addresses for the past seven years.
  • What are your minimum salary requirements for this position?
  • What position are you applying for?
  • For all prior employers, list: specific dates of employment for all prior jobs (start date and end date), your reason for leaving (all current and prior jobs), starting and ending salary at all current and prior jobs, and complete employer information (name and phone number of supervisor, name and address of company, job titles, etc).
  • All prior education, including graduation dates.*
    *NOTE: Only ask for graduation dates if you plan to conduct a background check to validate relevant dates.

Do not ask questions on the application that may elicit characteristics like age, race, gender, disability, or other protected categories. In addition, above the signature line, there should be a statement on the application noting that any falsification, misrepresentation, or omission will result in termination, regardless of when it is discovered. If you are going to use a third party to conduct a background check, you will need a Fair Credit Reporting Act disclosure form or statement.

Perkins Law is based in Henrico County and proudly serves the Virginia small business and nonprofit communities. For more information visit them online at

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