Does a Completed Free Job Application Form Substitute for a Resume?

Most companies require applicants to submit specific application forms tailored to the position and the company along with resumes instead of only generic free forms. Submitting a resume allows the applicant to provide additional details about her skills, experience and personality beyond the empirical details of an application.

Though it is possible to only submit a job application, using a free job application form in place of a resume is not likely to provide any additional personal details that do not already appear in the official application. Job applications are simply forms that a company uses to track specific requirements and information about applicants, such as name, Social Security number and past work experience. Alternately, a resume is a creative document that includes information about the applicant's education, past and skills and serves as supplemental material for consideration.

A resume differs from an application form in that it allows the applicant to provide more details about herself, often in a creative fashion, which gives the company a better understanding of who she is and allows her to stand out from other applicants. For example, a resume may include a personal statement or objectives, wherein the applicant is able to summarize herself and immediately explain why she is the best candidate for the position. Resumes also allow applicants to provide details about occupational accomplishments, describe specific experiences relevant to the job and inform the company of non-work related activities that demonstrate her qualifications.