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Chapter 21. Separating the Wheat from th... > Preliminary Interviews - Pg. 276

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff 276 You may wonder why an application form is necessary when you have a resumé. You need it! As pointed out above, resumés are an applicant's sales pitch--designed to make you want to hire him or her. A resumé can hide undesirable aspects of a person's background or overplay positive factors. Some applicants write resumés that omit employers the candidate doesn't want you to know about. Others don't give dates of employment, salary history, and other information you may need. An application form provides you with the information you need to know, not what the applicant wants you to know. Because all the information requested on the application form is the same for all applicants, it com- plies with the equal employment opportunity laws. In addition, it helps you compare applicants' backgrounds when you make your hiring decision. Make sure that all applicants complete the form, even if they provide a detailed resumé. Like every aspect of the hiring process, an application form must comply with equal employment laws. In today's litigious society, you would think that most companies would be conscious of this situation and have these forms reviewed carefully by legal experts. As a consultant, I have had the opportunity to see countless company application forms. I'm amazed that even now--more than 30 years after the EEO laws went into effect--I still see application forms that ask for age, marital status, number of children, dates of schooling (which can identify age), and other illegal information. Before you print more copies of your application form, have your legal advisors check it to ensure it complies with the latest regulations of the EEOC and your state's civil rights agency. Preliminary Interviews The cost of bringing an applicant from out of town to a company's location can be extremely high. To minimize this cost, many companies start the selection process by reviewing resumés, then