ridiculously detailed online job applications and why they suck by Alison Green on June 6, 2013 A reader writes: I just filled out an online job app that asked for a complete education history back to high school, including: how I paid for all schooling (?! – I have no idea how to even say I paid for high school; I went to public school), GPA, rank in class, how many people were in our class (I do not know those last two for any of my schools), any part-time jobs, seminars attended, and favorite classes and least favorite classes (and why, for both). For career history they wanted starting and ending salary, why you left, how your boss would rate your performance, what you liked most and least about each job. They also had a general section about how your previous employers would rank you on a variety of things, your strengths and weaknesses, career goals and objectives, and what you see your perfect job as being. And of course they wanted references right away. All this is on the very first initial online application! I just had to share because I’ve been doing a lot of job-hunting recently, and I’ve seen a lot of crazy things in applications lately, but this is out there even for recent trends. I had to share because I thought you and your readers could appreciate it. They suck. And they do not know how to hire. This reeks of a company that has no idea how to screen candidates. There’s no way that the information they’re asking for is going to be used in doing their initial cull of applications, so there’s no reason they should be asking for it now. Some of it is information they can ask people in interviews if they really want to know it, and lots more of it is information they have no need for ever (high school info, school costs, etc.). Asking for ridiculous amounts of information before ever even talking with a candidate is disrespectful. You don’t ask someone to invest an enormous amount of time before you’ve even determined if they’ll make it past your first cut. And given that typically only a small percentage of candidates do make it past that first cut, they’re asking tons of people (probably hundreds) to spend massive amounts of time on something that won’t even lead to a phone conversation. It’s rude and it’s incredibly cavalier about people’s time and energy. Moreover, it’s not even going to help them in hiring. The most competitive candidates won’t bother with all this and will simply move on, leaving them with a weaker pool and a ton of information they don’t need and probably won’t use. Boo. You may also like:why do I have to submit an application when I’m already providing my resume?what does this interview question mean? and why must it be answered in an essay?is this job application horribly invasive or is it just me?