Tips for collecting records and documents to fill out a job application

Personal Documents

Applying for a job? Many companies now have streamlined, online application systems. Often, you can fill out an application in just a few minutes. But before you begin, you may need to collect several different kinds of information and records. 

School and employment records

Every time you write a resume or fill out a job application, you’ll need the places and dates for jobs you’ve held and schools you’ve attended. It helps to make a master list of these important facts. If you’re not sure about names or locations, look them up online and add them to your list so you’ll have them when you start an application.

You will need the company or employer name, city and state, job title, brief description of duties and dates employed. Sometimes the reason for leaving is asked on job applications, so note that in your records too. For schools or training programs, note school name, city and state, classes or program studied, dates of attendance and graduation, diploma or completion level, as appropriate.

Driver’s license or state ID card

A driver’s license is the most widely-used picture identification. It can be helpful to have one when you are searching for a job.

To find out how to renew or obtain a driver’s license, visit CareerOneStop’s State Resource Finder. First, select your state, and then select “Documents and Vital Records.” You’ll find information about your state’s motor vehicle department. If you don’t drive, you can apply for a state identification card—usually at the same department where you apply for a driver’s license.

Birth certificate and other vital documents

You may need a copy of your birth certificate to get a driver’s license or to prove that you are eligible to work in the United States. To request yours, call or write to the vital records office in the state you were born. You can find your state’s vital records office using CareerOneStop’s State Resource Finder (select your state and then see “Documents and Vital Records”).

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