Preparing Job Application Forms (For Employers)

How to ensure job application forms enable you to assess candidates fairly

What Is a Fair Job Application Form

Fair job application forms collect information only directly related to the qualifications, skills, knowledge, and experience required for the job.

Why It Matters

Having a fair job application forms allows you to:

  • Compare job applicants fairly based on qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience.
  • Significantly increase the likelihood that you will get the best person for the job.
Note:Applicants can report unfair, discriminatory job application forms to TAFEP.

What You Must Do to Be Fair

The Tripartite Guidelines state what you must do as a fair employer. In general, employers should exercise care and diligence in collecting sensitive and/or personal information and must be able to communicate why the information may be necessary as part of their evaluation of the candidate’s potential success in the job.

  • Review your job application form to ensure that each field is relevant to the job (e.g. skills, qualification and experience). Companies should not ask job applicants to declare personal information such as their mental health condition unless there is a job related requirement. You may refer to TAFEP's sample job application form (Word document) for more guidance.
  • Remove fields on age, gender, race, religion, marital status and family responsibilities, or disability. All declarations on mental health condition should also be removed from the job application forms. If you require information that may be viewed as discriminatory, you should state your reasons clearly why you are collecting the information.
  • Remove fields on photographs or national service liability. If you require these for specific purposes, you should request for these at the point of job offer or state your reasons clearly.
  • Allow for other forms of identification (e.g. passport number), as NRIC numbers can reveal the age of a person. If you require an applicant's NRIC number for specific purposes, you should request for it at the point of job offer, or state your reasons clearly.

For example, for the post of a Clerical Assistant:

You can ask You should not ask for
  • Whether the applicant has the required skills (e.g. IT and literacy skills).
  • Whether the applicant has experience in a similar job.
  • Age (e.g. NRIC, date of birth)
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Marital status and family responsibilities (e.g. whether pregnant or have children)
  • Disability
  • Photograph(s)
  • National Service liability
  • Mental health condition

Tripartite Guidelines

Refer to the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices to ensure that you abide by the guidelines on all the relevant practices.

How to Be Progressive

The Tripartite Guidelines include not just fair job advertisements, but also fair job application forms and fair job interviews. Such an overarching policy will guide the actions of line managers and supervisors in the entire recruitment process. If you meet all of the guidelines, you can adopt the Tripartite Standard on Recruitment Practices to distinguish your organisation


For more information on these practices: