Subject Material

Applying For a Job

Published: 12.09.2011, Updated: 04.03.2017
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When looking for a job, it is important to present yourself as advantageously as possible. What aspects of yourself do you feel are the most important for a future employer?

Vocabulary

Make sure you understand these words before you read the text. Use the dictionary in the link collection to look up new words:

  1. extended
  2. opportunity
  3. impression
  4. essential
  5. clarity
  6. prospective
  7. advisable
  8. tailor
  9. appropriate
  10. exceed
  11. inverse
  12. accompany
  13. emphasize
  14. referral
  15. spontaneously
  16. asset
  17. recruiters
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Applying for a JobThe following are important when applying for and landing a job.

  1. The CV (UK)/Resume (US) [Curriculum vitae (Latin) which means "(the) course (of one's) life". "CV" is also used in the US, but for a different, more extended kind of document, that includes, for instance, a list of published texts.]
  2. The Cover Letter (Letter of Application)
  3. Interview

The "CV " (UK), or "resume" (US )

People fill out job application forms at a job fair in Los Angeles, CaliforniaPeople fill out job application forms at a job fair in Los Angeles, California
Fotograf: Lucy Nicholson
This is a document where you list information, mainly about your qualifications and professional experience. The resume will often be your initial contact with a future employer, and should be thought of as an opportunity to make a good first impression. Moreover, in many cases, recruiters receive a large number of applications, and they scan resumes in quick succession. Consequently, common sense would dictate that the CV makes essential information easily available (structure, clarity, concision) and that it is relevant for the job one applies for. Indeed, instead of sending the same resume to different prospective employers, it is possible and advisable to tailor them in such a way that you present yourself in the most appropriate manner for each position that you are interested in. 

Usually, resumes – which should not exceed one or two pages – contain:

  • name, title and contact information
  • education and qualifications
  • previous professional experience
  • honours and activities
  • skills (languages, ICT...)
  • references (often on a separate sheet of paper, to be given when asked for)

Listings are organized chronologically, in inverse order (newest entries first), and with the help of bullet points. Fonts should be conservative, and large enough to be read easily. Here is an example of CV laypout. How to Write a CV 

The Cover Letter

(also called "letter of introduction", "letter of application", "employment letter"...)

This accompanies and introduces the CV/resume. It may be sent:

  • in response to an ad. The contents of the ad can be used as an important indication of what should be emphasized in the letter.
  • as a result of a referral by someone who the prospective employer knows and respects
  • spontaneously, in order to enquire after openings.

A cover letter explains what kind of/which position you are seeking and how your qualifications and your experience will make you an asset for this specific organization. Additionally, it gives you the opportunity to clarify, minimise or present in a positive light elements in your resume that may seem surprising to recruiters (gaps in employment history, change of careers...). It also presents you with the opportunity to show who you are as a person and what characterizes you as an employee (supported with specific examples), as well as explaining what motivates your wish to work at a specific place and with something or someone in particular.

Cover Letter Layout

Your contact information (in an e-mail, this should appear towards the end, beneath your name)

Date

Recipient (name, title/function, organization, address)

Subject line (optional)

Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. (Surname only)

§1: Your reasons for writing (which position are you seeking? where did you learn about the job? do you have a referral?). Grab the reader's attention by mentioning your main strong point as a possible employee.

§2: Qualifications, experience, skills and achievements (rather than duties and responsibilities). The letter should give specific examples, and add to the resume, instead of repeating its content – highlight your assets.

§3: What can you do for your employer? Show that you have a specific idea of how you might fit into this particular organization and be able to meet the requirements of the job.

§4: Ask for a meeting and indicate how (a phone call?) and when (within a reasonable and specified delay) you will follow up on your letter.
 
Sincerely,
Your signature (handwritten – in a hard copy)
Your name (typed)
Your contact information (in an e-mail)

 

How to Write a Job Application 

The application should be brief (one page) with a classic format. Use a simple font, size 10/12 and leave a space between each paragraph.

Comprehension

  1. Your CV is your first contact with a prospective employer. What are 4 important factors to consider concerning  the layout and content of your CV.
  2. What additional information is it important to include in your cover letter?

Pair/Group Work

Each choose one of the people in the picture above. Make up information about the person. Make notes and then present "your person" to your partner/s

  • what kind of job is he/she applying for?
  • why?
  • what are his/her qualifications and experience?
  • how long has he/she been looking for a job?
  • etc.

Writing

  1. What do you think "your person" is thinking as they fill out the job application form? Write a short text of the thoughts going through the person's mind (stream of consciousness).
  2. Write a job application and CV in answer to one of the following ads.
Global Volunteers

Global Volunteers – coordinating volunteer work around the globe.

Teaching in Thailand

We are looking for volunteer English teachers to teach conversational English to students in Thailand. The job is for a 3 month period and the students are mainly adults who understand basic English, but need conversation practice and to learn more about US and UK culture.

Teaching:

  • 4 hr. evening class, Monday to Friday
  • Books supplied
  • Language lab available

Teacher requirements:

  • Over 18 years of age
  • Teaching qualifications not necessary
  • Speak fluent English (not necessarily a native speaker)
  • Interested in other cultures
  • Enjoy meeting new people

Cost: £600 covers all costs for 3 months. Travel expenses not included. Ensuite accommodation and all meals supplied.

 

Send letter of application, CV and references to: Global Volunteers, 1105 Lakeland Drive, Minneapolis, MN USA.

We will contact you to arrange an interview with our local representative.

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Internships Australia

Internships Australia - we have been organizing internships in Australia for 20 years.

Type of Work: in restaurant or hotel business

Period: 6 months

Area: Queensland, Gold Coast and north to Cairns

Requirements:

  • under 30
  • minimum 3 months experience in restaurant or hotel work (any kind) with references
  • friendly and interested in meeting new people
  • fluent in English
  • willing to work hard

Minimum wage: AUD18/hr

Working Hours: 38hrs/week + optional overtime

Accommodation: subsidized staff accommodation

 

Send letter of application, resume and references to: Internships Australia, 1150 Burke Street, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

We will contact you to arrange an interview with our local representative.

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You will find more information about writing a CV and a cover letter at these links:

 

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