Difference between CV and Job Application?

Thursday, November 13th, 2008 - career change, career planning, CV Help, Job Application, Job Interview, job offers, Legal, tutorial

Difference between CV and Job Application?

Gewinner / Verlierer

A decision to change jobs or gain employment takes a number of steps:

  • You desire/fancy/need a new job
  • Dust down old CV, realise its out of date. Buy new Professional CV
  • Start sending it to various online job boards
  • Buy newspapers/scour Job Boards , and start responding to adverts
  • Get a response – if this is less than one response per ten applications sent, you are doing something VERY wrong. It is either your CV or what/where you are applying
  • Have a telephone interview
  • Have a physical interview
  • Wait – and wait some more!
  • Get a response, which means the whole process starts again OR you need to write a resignation letter
  • Wait for notice period to expire while you are sent to work place hell for its duration OR get round to doing that long term gardening/painting honey-due that you have always promised
  • Start work at new job

During this process, there will be four key pieces of paperwork you will need:

One of these pieces of paper is not like the other three, which one is it?

Job Application Law

You probably guessed that it is the Job Application form, and apart from the fact that it is not written by you, there is one key difference: the information you place on the Job Application form, or differences between it and your CV, can be legally sued on if your responses on it are false or lies.

The other difference is that a Job Application form can pretty much ask whatever question it likes. Yes, some of these questions may seem at first glance discriminatory – your age, or ethnicity for instance: but they can be included as both essential for candidate checking (age), and workforce balancing (ethnicity).

Let’s take this current Job Application form’s set of questions:

  • If you use a nanny for child care, have they been fully legally checked and certified? What are their names?
  • What clubs are you a member of, or have been in the last 10 years? List all, including dates of joining and current membership status
  • Please provide the URL address of any websites that feature you in either a personal or professional capacity (e.g. Facebook, My Space, etc.)
  • Have you ever been investigated, arrested for, charged with, convicted of violating any law, regulation or ordinance? How about your spouse? Your child? (You may exclude traffic offenses for which the fine was less than $50)
  • Have you, your spouse, or any member of your immediate family ever worked with a financial, banking, insurance or mortgage institution currently the subject of federal government intervention as part of the financial meltdown? (This question includes but is not limited to, the following: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, and Washington Mutual.)
  • Other than from relatives, or from close and long standing personal friends on occasions such as birthdays or seasonal holidays, have you or your spouse ever received a gift exceeding $50.00 in value? Please identify the donor, the value of the gift, the date received and the circumstances in which the gift was received
  • Provide a copy of every book, article, column or publication you have authored, any speeches you have given, any testimony delivered, any resume you’ve issued

Question 13 is:

  • If you have ever sent an electronic communication, including but not limited to an email, text message or instant message, that could suggest a conflict of interest or be a possible source of embarrassment to you, your family, or the President-elect if it were made public, please describe

Are these questions being asked by President-elect Barrack Obama’s transition team – and obtained by the New York Times – legal? Yes, as the key question for any judge in most jurisdictions (UK, EU or USA), if a case was brought by an applicant on the grounds of discrimination, is a test of reasonableness – ie: is the question reasonable and related to fair employment in that position, or is it discriminatory?

In example, one of the questions being asked in the same Job Application form is: “Please list all aliases or ‘handles’ you have used to communicate on the internet.” If you were applying for a job on the checkout at a local Grocery Store, then no it would not be legal; but on the grounds of national security, or for a bank worker for instance, both areas where security checking and vetting of staff is legally required for regulatory licensing, then yes it is legal.

Never lie in a Job Application

You can gain a view on the length of any possible Job Application form a job will require you to complete, by looking at the last paragraph of any job advert. This is where the legal counsel of any employer has won the “yes, but we want great employees, and to do that we need to sell the job” argument from the CEO and HR director, and all the legal pieces will be stuffed into as few words as possible. Here they will need to state any set criteria for candidates (must have qualifications/experiences), age or ethnic criteria (look at Government social worker adverts for jobs where legally allowed discrimination can be justified), and any checks or tests to be passed. What this paragraph should remind you is that any lies are illegal, and will be found out.

So, please never lie on your CV or Resume – but if you do, just remember that you can be sued on anything you write in a Job Application form, however long ago you wrote it: so don’t ever lie!

Good Luck!


If you need an interview winning solution, sign-up for our Professional CV service

If you want to check the suitability of your existing CV, then get a FREE CV review


Be Sociable, Share!

2 Responses to “Difference between CV and Job Application?”

  1. Claire Says:

    I had some acquaintance before, a fellow applicant who seemed to have fabricated her resume. Oh well, honesty counts a lot and I definitely stand against lying!

    Thanks for these tips!

    ~Free Student Resume Network for jobs, internships, projects and more. Get Listed, Get found, Get Hired. Visit NUresume at http://www.nuresume.com and start building your free student online resume!

  2. Francisco Soukkhavong Says:

    Very informative article. I’ve found your blog via Yahoo and I’m really glad about the information you provide in your articles.

Recent Posts



Review cv4.biz on alexa.com