Writing a job application

You will need to apply in writing for most jobs. Written applications are generally a key part of securing a good job. A well-presented written application is often the first impression you make with the potential employer. Most employers will ask you to submit your job application by email or through a website. Other employers may want you to send your application in the post.

Below are some handy hints for putting together a good job application.

Before you start writing your job application

  • Research the employer and the position you are applying for
  • Identify the skills, attributes, knowledge, experience and qualifications you have to suit the advertised job.

Putting together your written application

  • Don’t send too much; employers don’t want information they haven’t asked for (include only your skills and experience that are relevant to the job)
  • For most jobs, make the application clear and to the point 
  • If you are applying for a creative job, it might be appropriate to show your creativity 
  • Type your application (unless the employer has asked you to write it by hand)
  • Make sure your application is easy to read; use standard fonts at around 12-point size, put spaces between paragraphs, leave space at the sides of your pages
  • Include your name and phone number in the header or footer of each page (in case the pages become separated)
  • Number all pages in your application.

Making the final checks

  • Re-read the job advertisement and any other information
  • Make sure you have responded to what the employer has asked for (this is sometimes called ‘selection criteria’)
  • Check over your application for small mistakes, then ask someone else to check over it as well
  • Check if the employer has asked you to send multiple copies of your application.

If you need to post or hand-deliver your application

  • Print all pages on clean A4 paper
  • Make any corrections on the computer before you print or re-print your application
  • If the employer has asked to see certificates and other formal documents, only send copies
  • Use an envelope that fits A4 paper without having to fold your pages
  • Make sure you mail it in plenty of time or drop it off in person.

Other useful JobAccess resources

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