The recruitment form is a document that needs to be filled in by the applicant during the selection process which contains personal information of the candidate required by the potential employer. A typical example includes sections for education, skills and work experience (past employment and/or volunteer work).


The forms serve as an interface between the potential employee and employer and helps the latter organize the applications and discern among them.

For the employer, it is a tool used alongside a CV and a cover letter, and will help them select the best candidates for the:

  • Shortlisting: it is a visual tool that allows the HR Department separate applications and when used, it dissuades from “walk in” applications. It is in line with the job description and helps maintain the structure of the advertisement.
  • Interview: once the application is a pre-requisite, the details contained in the form will be cross-checked in the actual interview. The recruitment form is a first stage in assessing the applicant’s literacy, communication and organizational skills, as well as attention to details.

Recruitment form sections

  • Personal data and contact details: usually asks the minimum for their name, phone number, e-mail and address. This information is used in order to facilitate communication with the candidate and it usually stands at the beginning of the application for a better reference for the employer.
  • Experience: this part can be separated into education and work experience. It highlights the suitability of the candidate and allows the company to evaluate the candidate’s background and profile, with the possibility to ask for references.
  • Photograph: depending on the cultural environment, it may be required or not. In the English-speaking countries, particularly in the United States, it is advised against including one unless specifically asked; on the other hand, in Europe, it is still common practice and an application may be found incomplete without it.


On the other side of the spectrum, applicants may share too much information with the potential employer. It is important to note that there are certain limits as to the information required in the form, such as age, health issues, religion, marital status, race, personal measurements, or dependents.

The recruitment form should be limited to the job description and ad and should be consistent with the skills and experience required in the latter. There should be no other requisites either verbal or in writing, or it could be a basis for discrimination.