Drafting your job application

Drafting your job application

The following suggestions may help prepare a job application in response to an advertisement (online or otherwise).

Although it may be tempting, never use AI to build your job application documents.

Read the advertisement carefully, underlining or making notes on salient points raised - for example, the duties, the type of person sought and the application method. If phoning is optional, it is generally preferable to phone initially, as they will often try to interview you over the telephone to reduce their workload and save time by not bringing you in for a personal interview. This could allow you to sell yourself or at least find vital information about the position. You will also find that the people on the other end may give you an immediate indication of your chances.  You may determine that the position is not what you wanted, avoiding wasting your precious time, effort and resources.

You may be unsuccessful after submitting an application, but at least someone has got to read your letter first, before deciding to reject you for the position.

In writing the application letter to accompany your resume, highlight those aspects of your experience, the employer says they seek. One page should be sufficient, and unless the advertisement specifically seeks a hand-written application, it should be typed. However, if it is hand-written, ensure your writing is neat and legible. Check spelling and grammar.

Do not waste time writing lengthy application letters if asked to write or telephone for an application. Some consultants and organisations favour this approach, so you should be aware of a few basic guidelines.

Judgments about people will be made on the way applications are completed. They will not be impressed by incomplete forms, difficult to read, inaccurate, vague, unconvincing or bearing signs of having been completed without attention or thought.

If an online application form process is being used, try to complete it within a couple of days.

Read the notes thoroughly on the application form and ensure you understand what is required.

Put the right information in the right sections.  Use every space on the form effectively; a neat layout creates a good impression.

ALWAYS check your spelling and grammar.

Draft answers to questions where personal views or long narratives are called for, then cut and paste the final wording into the form (when satisfied with it).

Be brief and succinct with your responses.

"Desperation works in job search as well as it does in dating." - Darrell Gurney


ACMA creates successful career paths through detailed individual assessment, research and job market analysis, combined with expert personalised coaching.

Note: Career Development Association of  Australia research paper found that when professional career guidance occurred that the participant was 2.67 times more likely to secure a job. 

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