Applying for a job
When you have found a vacancy, the next step is to apply. To get to an interview you must make a good application and create a professional impression. Before you decide to apply you may need to find out more about the vacancy or company (do your homework).
Applying by phone
You may be asked to apply by: Telephone - Letter - e-mail - Application form or CV. Do what is asked of you - not what you think.
If you are responding to an advertisement, always read the instructions carefully.
Know who you want to contact, the advert may give their name or their job title and number.
Do the research and be organised, have a copy of the advert with you and a pen and paper to write down details.
Be confident, know what you want to say - write it down first if that helps.If you are offered an interview, make sure you find out the place, time, date and a contact name.
Applying in writing
Make a rough draft first and check details, spelling and grammar. Make it clear which job you are applying for and where you have seen it advertised. Mention any exams, experience or skills you have that are relevant to the position being offered.
Find out about the company and include it in the letter, this shows interest in the company.
Make sure your letter is set out in a business like fashion and use good quality paper. If possible use a word processor and printer to produce your letter and save a copy. Ensure your contact details are on the letter.
When applying over the Internet you must make sure that you read and follow all instructions. These may include that you must complete or answer certain sections of the online form. Submit a CV with a covering email etc. Always ensure you make reference to the job offer and that your contact details are clear and that you are contacting the right person. Above all read, check and read again making sure all attachments are pinned to the email and that all instructions have been followed before clicking send.
Filling in an application form.
Many employers ask candidates to fill in an application form. By allowing yourself plenty of time and following a few simple guidelines, you can produce an application form that gives you the best chance of getting an interview.
Here are a few guidelines
Write your answers down on a separate sheet of paper or on a photocopy of the form. Write clearly and neatly. Black ink photocopies better. Read all instructions carefully. For example use 'BLOCK CAPITALS' if asked. If you make a mistake, cross it out neatly. If you make a number of mistakes, contact the company and request a replacement application form.
Tips for completing an applications form:
- Above all take your time and read everything.
- Use a black pen and a spare to hand.
- Read all the notes and information sent with the application.
- Read through the application form first.
- Clarify any points you are not clear about before filling then in.
- Find a quite place without distraction for filling out the application.
- Make sure you have all the information to hand.
- List all the skills and qualifications relevant to the position.
- Make sure you have copies of certificates and awards you put on the form.
- Use the additional information space to show your strengths and what you offer them.
- Read, check and read again before sending off.
When filling out an application form don't be afraid of contacting the company to ask questions or clarify anything. It is often a wise move to use a photocopy of the application as a draft before you fill out the actual form itself as well . You could also ask if there's an electronic copy of the application this can often be easiser to complete than paper versions as you can edit and correct mistakes easily.