Resume versus Job Application: What’s the Difference?
. . . and why does it matter?
Many companies require that you fill out a job application even though a resume is already in the hands of the hiring manager. While this may seem to be unnecessary repetition on your part, there are several reasons that companies want both the resume and the job application–reasons that benefit both the candidate and the hiring company. But if the information you provide on these two important career documents do not match, proceed only at the peril of your interview, and possibly your career.
Think of your resume as an advertising vehicle on your background. It provides the branding that you want to bring to your interviewer and makes you shine in the interview process. It develops your branding and details the assets you bring to a future employer.
A resume provides a job candidate with an organized and structured method to present work experiences and achievements, educational background, membership in professional organizations and pertinent community involvement. Continuing education courses should be added to the resume especially if they are aligned with the prospective company’s interests.
Your Job Application
The job application offers a company a legal document that states that all information provided is true and allows the interviewer to look further into your background. Well-designed employment applications often will ask for more complete details as to why a person left a position or compensation history.
Applications are part of your official record with a company. Making sure that your resume and application information aligns is important. An interviewer will catch discrepancies even if done in error.
Both the resume and job application need to be complete and written honestly. Lying on either is an issue, especially since the job application is considered a legal document. Most applications have wording that states that all information provided is true, complete and accurate. Should a company discover that information was falsely stated, could result. It is wise to be completely honest on both the resume and the job application.
Does Your Resume Match Your Job Application?
Recent news, including notable cases at major media companies, suggests that a mismatch between your resume and job search is cause for immediate rejection by a target company (or termination, if you’re already employed). Don’t risk it. The more honest you can be about your career history, the more authentic your career story is. If you are having trouble telling your career history, due to some complexities in your career timeline (terminations, job hopping, and so on), then find an expert career coach and resume writer who can help you message that story appropriately.