Applying for a job
All job and Apprenticeship adverts will tell you how to apply for that particular job or Apprenticeship. You might need to phone the employer, send an email, apply online, write a letter, send a CV, fill in an application form or even all six! Bear in mind that you may have to change your CV or covering letter or email to make it right for the job you are applying for.
The National Careers Service has lots of advice plus a CV Builder programme. Click here to go to the National Careers Service website
However you apply, always remember to ask someone to check your application for you (your Personal Adviser can do this). Also, keep copies of the forms, CVs or letters that you’ve sent and note down where you sent them. This will mean you have an exact copy for future reference if you get invited to an interview.
Replying to a job advert: phone calls
Some young people worry about telephoning an employer to follow up a job advert. Here are a few simple rules which will help you:
- choose somewhere quiet and private to phone from
- if you are using your mobile, make sure you have enough credit
- gather together the following:
- details of the job you are calling about and the name of the person or department you want to speak to
- your CV or a list of your qualifications - just in case your telephone conversation turns into a mini-interview. Sometimes an employer will use this first conversation to make sure it is worthwhile you applying for the job
- decide what you are going to say - practise your opening lines with a friend or family member
- speak clearly, not too quickly and keep to the point - try to sound confident even if you don't feel it. Don't try to change your Yorkshire accent into a fake telephone voice - just be yourself!
- before you hang up, make sure you know what is going to happen next
- must you wait for an application form to arrive? Will the form arrive by post or will they email it to you? Do you need to send in your CV?
- have they invited you for an interview? If so, who are you seeing; when is your interview and where do you need to go? Write it down!
- if you reach an answer phone, make sure you leave a clear message, including your name, contact details and which job you are interested in. The message will usually ask you to spell out any difficult or unusual names
- always thank the person you spoke to for their help.
Letters and emails: writing for more information and covering letters
General points for all letters:
- if you are writing to a named person, finish your letter with "Yours sincerely"
- if you do not know the name of the person you are writing to, start the letter with "Dear Sir / Madam" and end with "Yours faithfully"
- keep the language clear and simple - don't use long or difficult words if that isn't how you speak in everyday life
- always include your full address
- at the end of the letter print your name and sign it
- use the same quality paper and font as your CV
- keep a copy of any letter or email you send, start a job search file.
General points for all emails:
- check that you have the right email address. If you spell it slightly wrong, the email will not arrive!
- don't use "text speak", all capitals or abbreviations
- if your email does not have a spell checker, draft it out in a word processor first
- use the subject line to describe the email content - for example "Job Application"
- if you attach anything to the email - for example your CV - make sure you save it in a "compatible" version of a well-known word processing program so that it can be opened by most computers.
Writing for more information
A job advert may ask you to write for more information or to request an application form so:
- remember to include the title of the job you are writing about and the reference number on the advert if there is one
- mention where you saw the vacancy advertised
- check the advert to see who you need to write to for more information, make sure you start your letter with Dear Mr / Mrs and also address the envelope to that person
- if you are asked to request details by email, you should take just as much care with it as you would with a letter.
A covering letter is usually sent with a CV, therefore:
- keep it short and to the point. Remember that most of the important information is already in your CV
- include the title of the job vacancy and where you saw it advertised
- try to show how the skills and experience on your CV make you the best person for the job.
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