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Job application

When you have all the information about yourself and the labour market, the next step in your job search is to contact employers. This section outlines how to prepare a job application, including an introductory letter, and a statement of your qualifications and experience,which is known as a resume (pronounced rez-you-may) or curriculum vitae(CV).

For you:

  • Your first contact with a prospective employer, in which you offer your services to the employer.
  • A summary of your personal background, your acquired qualifications and skills.
  • A way to make the best possible impression by emphasising your main assets.
  • An aid that you can use during an interview to refresh your memory

For the employer.

  • A method of assessing your training, qualifications and skills which tells the employer whether you meet the requirements of the job.

The method you use when applying for a position will depend on the employer’s needs. You may be required to apply in writing or it may be necessary to telephone the employer to arrange an interview. If you are particularly interested in working for certain organisations, even though they are not currently advertising for employees, it is worth writing to them to say so and to ask if they are likely to have any jobs available in the future.

Tips For Phoning For An Interview

  • Have the ad in front of you.
  • Pencil and paper handy.
  • Prepare what you’re going to say. ..STOP AND THINK.
  • Dial carefully
  • Speak clearly but don’t shout.

NOW,if you don’t know who to ask for, the following example may help.

CLERK, 20-23, for merchant bank.
Must be good with figures for general office duties.
Clerical duties, banking etc. Phone 9361 7146.

“Good morning, I’m Susan Jones and I’d like to apply for the clerk’s position advertised in this morning’s Herald.” USUALLY THE SWITCH/ RECEPTION WILL TRANSFER YOU TO THE PERSONNEL OFFICE. ASK: “Who will I be talking to, please?” SWITCH REPLIES. “Ms Butterton”. “Good morning Ms Butterton, I’m Susan Jones and I’d like to apply for the position of clerk you advertised this morning…”

OR if you do know who to ask for:

TRAINEE, required to learn interior decoration
in Kings Cross shop. Apply Mr Waddel’, Phone 9358 6216.

“Good morning, could I speak to Mr Waddell” … “Good morning Mr Waddell I’m Fred Stavros and I’d like to apply for the position you advertised this morning. ..”


  • Keep the call fairly brief.
    The person may be busy.
    Sound interested and keen
    Get all the facts you need, e.g. is the decorating job an apprenticeship? What standard of clerical work is needed?
  • Ask for an interview
    Do not attempt to give all your particulars over the phone.
  • When you are arranging the interview, WRITE DOWN:

* WHEN the interview is.
* WHERE the interview is.
* WHO will interview you.

REPEAT the instructions, address and time, to be sure you’ve got it all correct before you hang up.

Try to fit in with suggested times etc. You don’t want to seem too hard to get. End the conversation pleasantly.”Thank you Mr Waddell, goodbye”.
Remember- always use a person’s name if you know it.

Job Application Form
Where a special application form is specified for a vacant position, you should answer all questions, and check for completeness and accuracy. If a closing date is stated, make sure the application arrives before that date.

Written Applications
You can include details of your experience in a letter, or you can write an introductory letter and attach a resume. Both are acceptable although resumes are increasingly being used.

Applying By Letter
The quality of your application will largely detemine whether you obtain an interview Possession of the necessary qualifications will not automatically guarantee an interview.
Your application should be made on good quality unlined paper in clear writing or preferably typed and should include:

  • Reference to the position(s) applied for and the manner in which it (they) came to your attention; or reference to position(s) you are interested in within a particular organisation if the application is not in response to an advertised position.
  • Your full name, address, telephone number.
  • Date of birth.
  • Educational and other qualifications.
  • Details of any relevant employment experience (including vacation experience and voluntary work).
  • Copies of suitable references (or an indication that these can be provided).
  • A brief statement of why you are interested in the position and that particular organisation.
  • Your general career expectations.

Close with an expression of your willingness to support your application at interview.

As you may be applying for many positions it is worthwhile compiling a resume (also called a curriculum vitae) covering your experience and qualifications. (You should always send an introductory letter with the resume, in which you refer to the position you are applying for and highlight your particular qualifications for the position and your interest in the job See Writing the introductory letter, p20).

A resume is, an assessment of your labour market potential. It is a summary of facts describing your academic or professional training, activities and any job experience you have had Above all, it reflects what you have accomplished. Its purpose is to prove that you are capable of doing the job you seek.

The design of your resume is a matter of personal taste but should contain the following information:
(a) Personal details: Name;Address;Telephone number;Date of birth;Sex (if given name leaves room for doubt);Marital status (optional);Health (if relevant to job e.g. in tropics).

(b) Educational background:
Secondary -school attended; Level reached; Final results. Further education: Institution attended; Courses undertaken; Subjects studied each year and known results.
Date on which degree, diploma or certificate , was conferred. Details of scholarships, special awards etc. should also be included in this section.

(c) The following should also be included:

  • Briefly mention vacation or part-time work even if not directly relevant to the position applied for.
  • Membership of professional organisations.
  • Community activities and other interests.
  • Knowledge of languages.
  • Referees: at least one relevant academic; one non- academic.

Such a resume should be typed, if possible, and copies made. This saves time and effort when making many applications.
Layout is critical. A resume should be easy to read, so it should present the important facts about you both clearly and concisely. It should not exceed two or three A4 pages.

Finally, retain a copy of each application for later reference and be prepared to expand on the information you have given.


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