How Resume Is Different from Job Application

The recruitment processes in an organization are designed and carried out under the supervision of an HR department. Although in various organizations, these responsibilities can overlap between several departments but usually from the initial stages of posting a job post, receiving the job applications or resumes for a vacant job till the final stage of hiring new employees, the majority of those stages involved in a recruitment process are managed by HR department itself.

In most cases, the recruitment processes among various organizations are observed to have a similar framework following the same standard pattern.  They include the same number of stages, have similar documents requirements, and use traditional evaluation methods. However, as the process is designed by the organization’s HR department considering its suitability with the organization’s goals and requirements from a new employee, the process may get slightly different concerning its stages, evaluation processes, and document requirements.

The common difference that we are going to discuss in this article is the difference in document requirements by organizations in their recruitment programs. The primary focus of the article is on the difference between the application mediums, as some organizations require you to fill a standard job application form while some require a unique resume. There are also few organizations where you will find a combination of both.

Let’s discuss, how a resume is different from a job application form and why organizations prefer that particular medium to get candidates’ information. If you are a resume writer or provide professional resume services the following information will help you to understand the fundamental differences in detail. 

  • Difference in Format

The primary difference that distinguishes a resume from a job application is its format. A resume is in the form of a document that can be in multiple formats. Whereas, a job application is like a  standardized form that a candidate needs to fill. It can be either in the hard copy, soft copy, or a digital form available on the company’s websites or job portals. 

  • Difference in Information

The type and size of the information required in both mediums also make them different from each other. A resume document may contain diverse and detailed information about your education, work experience, skills, hobbies. You also add multiple sections to it according to your judgment. On the other hand, in a job application form, the recruiter provides you with pre-defined fields, and you are bound to provide only the specific information asked. 

  • Difference in Origin

A crucial difference that separates resumes from job applications is the difference in their origination. Resumes are originated and provided by candidates as an introductory document to provide information about themselves. However, a job application form is originated and designed by recruiters in which the role of a candidate is to fill it with the information required.

  • The difference in Size/Length

The difference in size or length is not a fundamental difference between a resume and a job profile. Still, based on the standards that both of them have, it can be concluded that resumes are typically lengthier than job profiles. A job profile requires a candidate to provide specific and to the point information but in resumes, as the candidates have the liberty to provide additional information it eventually becomes lengthier than a job profile. 

  • Difference in Evaluation

This difference is a consequence of the difference in information. In job profiles, the information provided compliments the already established evaluation standards set by the recruiters. Consequently, the information provided is evaluated on uniform standards. In a resume, as the type of information provided by one candidate varies from others, the recruiter gets the leverage to set different standards of evaluation. 

  • The difference in the Sharing method

A technical difference that also contributes to increasing the differences in both the mediums is the difference in their delivery or provision method. As you must know that resumes are usually shared through an email address, a courier service, or the web portals of organizations, but a job application form is not sent or delivered. It is rather filled on the company’s website. 

  • Difference of effectiveness

The effectiveness becomes a very critical factor here as it is hard to determine which one has more effectiveness because both have proved to be effective according to the employer’s requirements and defined evaluation standards. Some resume companies claim that because a resume document includes information in abundance and detail, therefore it has more effectiveness. Whereas, some industry experts reject the claim and emphasize the importance of evaluation standards set by the recruiters. 

  • The difference in visual aspects

This visual aspect of mediums is a noticeable difference. The resumes have multiple templates and formats, contain various resume sections, and provide information in an organized manner in the form of a document. On the other hand, job application forms are standardized and short information-gathering tools,  more like a typical form. 

  • The difference in legal status

In many organizations, legal status is also considered as a primary difference between resumes and job applications. According to their HR policies, candidates are not bound to acknowledge that information provided through their resume is completely true and accurate, as the resume documents are allowed to have a margin of error. But the information provided through the job application has no relaxation regarding its inaccuracy, and it can be legally used by a recruiter to turn down an application or fire an employee if the information is found inaccurate or misleading. 

  • The difference in the Objectives

The difference in the objectives is also observed between a resume and a job application. A resume is designed by the candidates with the purpose of self-branding. The job application form is designed by recruiters to get significant and valuable information about the candidates.

Various resume writing services providers may try to convince you that the professional resume is a better tool than a job application form, but that may not be essentially true. Their effectiveness depends on your employer’s requirements. If the employer requires you to provide a resume document, you can opt for a resume service, and if the employer requires the job application form give preference to that. In case, the employer asks for both, proceed accordingly.