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Where To Look For A Job

Applying For A Job Curriculum Vitae (CV's) Interviews

Section2 Applying For A Job

Application Forms
Letters of Application
Cover Letters
How to apply by phone.

Application Forms

Many companies use their own application forms even though you may have already forwarded them a copy of your C.V.

An application form was never meant to become an end to itself, it was invented to ensure that all the standard pieces of information were gathered together and that interview time was saved for other matters.

So, when you are filling in a form, it is important to know as much as you can about how it will be used and interpreted by the firm it is meant for.

It should not be filled in blindly but bearing in mind its purpose.

1. Read everything before writing anything. This helps avoid repetitions of information and other mistakes.

2. Make sure you have the correct form and that you know what you have to fill in and what to leave blank.

3. Do a rough copy first - lightly pencil in your answers.

4. Do not leave the form lying around, start to fill it in shortly after receiving it.

5. When you have finished your practice version, ask someone to check it for spelling and other problems.

6. Know what the terms mean exactly.

7. Make sure your facts are correct, true and up to date (refer to C.V.)

8. Keep the form clean and tidy.

9. Use black or blue ink. Sometimes it will say on the application form to use black ink only or write in capitals.

10. Send the form back in time and to the proper person.

11. If requested, send proof of age, qualifications etc., but only send photocopies unless the originals are requested.

12. If you feel that the application form does not give you a chance to present your case for getting the job, then add a short note giving the extra information.

13. Sending an application form does not mean that you will automatically get the job. Keep applying for other positions.

Letters of Application

There are a number of different situations where you have to write a letter in connection with a job. For example:

You may want to obtain information or clarification.
You may be asking if the firm has any vacancies.
You may be asking for an application form.
You may be actually applying in the letter itself.
You may be writing in connection with an interview.
Later on, you may be writing to accept or turn down a vacancy which has been offered to you.

Some Tips for Writing Letters to Employers

1. Know why you are writing in the first place.

2. Know as much as possible about the firm.

3. Do a practice letter first and ask someone to check it for you.

4.Use good writing paper and envelopes. Use a large unlined sheet of note-paper if possible.

5.Use a good pen , preferably dark ink (or type the letter).

6.Use any reference codes, if requested by the firm.

7.Spell correctly and take no chances with names.

8.Follow the normal rules for letter-writing. That means putting the addresses, greetings etc. in the proper places.

9.Make your layout and handwriting as clear as possible.

10.Keep the letter brief and to the point.

11.Have someone check your work afterwards.

12.Enclose a S.A.E. (stamped addressed envelope)

13.Post as soon as possible - but always on time and with the proper postage stamps.

Cover Letters

A cover letter must always accompany a C.V. Sometimes it is also wise to include one when sending an application form, especially when you have had limited previous correspondence with the organisation to which you are applying.

The purpose of the cover letter is to introduce you to the recruiter and to encourage the recruiter to read your attached C.V. or application form. You must give thought and attention to writing the cover letter. It is a vital component of the selection process.

As with interviews, the objective of your cover letter and Curriculum Vitae is to point out all the relevant and necessary information that show you are worth considering for the job.

Writing a cover letter

Cover letters should be brief, not exceeding one A4 size sheet of high quality paper. If your handwriting is neat then it is good to write the cover letter by hand, supported by a typed C.V. If your handwriting is poor then you should have the cover letter typed.

You should always follow standard letter writing conventions. However, you need to bear in mind a number of additional guidelines.

Always write a rough draft first.
Keep it clear and to the point.
State explicitly the post for which you are applying and any reference numbers quoted in the advertisement.
Stress the factors relevant to the application such as your previous work experience, skills, knowledge, interests, aptitudes etc.
Include relevant information not given in your C.V., such as your motivation for applying.
Making applications is important and normally you will have just one opportunity to be called for interview. If your application is poorly completed, if your C.V. is badly laid-out and your cover letter not stimulating, then it is unlikely that you will be called for interview. If you pay careful attention to succeeding at the pre-selection stage, however, you could be well rewarded by being offered an interview.

Applying by phone

Sometimes a job advertisement will ask you to "phone for an interview". This saves the employer time and money, - as there is no need to open numerous written replies to advertisements and it also gives them an opportunity to hear how you sound over the telephone.

Phoning a potential employer can be a little daunting. However, preparation will make the task easier. You may even succeed in creating a positive impression on the potential employer and get yourself that all important interview.

Some tips:
1. Write down:-
- the name of the person you want to talk to
- the job you are phoning about
- some reasons why you are applying for the job
- some questions you could ask about the job

2.Take the advert and a pen and paper with you.

3.If you are phoning from a pay phone, make sure that you have enough change with you, remember that you need 30p to make a local call from a pay phone

4.Speak clearly and politely - don't shout.

5.Introduce yourself.

6.Ask for the person you want to talk to and give the extension number if there is one.

7.Explain the job you are applying for.

8.Speak confidently - make sure you say 'YES' as opposed to 'Yeah'. Ask questions if you don't understand anything about the job description being given to you.

9.Never smoke or eat while speaking on the telephone.

10.Be ready to answer any questions about the job and yourself should you be asked.

11.Don't interrupt the person to whom you are speaking.

12.Write down any information you are given over the phone eg. place, date and time of interview.

13.If you don't hear what the person is saying, don't be afraid to ask him/her to repeat it.

14.If you get cut off by accident it is up to you, as the person who made the call, to make the call again.

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