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Writing a job application

Some students ask me for help with writing job applications in English.

I’m happy to do this either in a lesson or via written feedback so get in touch if you would like help with this.

Before you do this, here are five simple tips to help you create a good first draft.

1. Plan

Brainstorm your ideas about why you are applying for the job. Do this any way you want - write your ideas down, draw pictures, record your ideas or talk to a friend.

2. Refine your plan

Go through all your ideas and choose the most important ones that you want to include in your application.

3. Organise your ideas

Plan each paragraph and choose the best ideas for each paragraph. Add useful linking words such as 'recently', 'another example' and 'in summary' to make your letter easy to read.

4. Show not tell

Don’t just tell someone that you are a team-player, instead give an example which demonstrates your team spirit.

5. Use a spell check

This should pick up obvious errors so will save time when you send it to be proofread.

Final points to consider

You might also want to use a translation tool, such as Deepl. If you do this, I would recommend trying to write the application in English first and then translating that to your first language (L1). Afterwards you can translate it back to English and compare the new version to what your originally wrote. This is more difficult than writing a letter in your L1 and translating it but you'll learn more by doing this.

If you are a bit stuck with the planning or writing process, be creative. You can record a video explaining why you want the job as this might help you to find the right words for your application letter or perhaps you can even submit the video to an employer!

Check that you have addressed most of the requirements mentioned in the job advertisement and use the same keywords.

Finally, I do recommend being honest but not too honest. Emphasise your strengths rather than your weaknesses and don't worry if you haven't got the experience to match every requirement, it is still worth applying.

Good luck with your job search!



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