How to apply for an opportunity

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Applying for opportunities


Before you apply...

Don't click your email button just yet! Before you apply for an opportunity it is a good idea to find out some information about the employer first.

This will help determine whether the opportunity is suitable and you'll appear informed in any correspondence with the employer.

You should start by researching the following:

  • what the organisation does
  • who are its customers are
  • who are its main competitors
  • the organisation's history
  • what are it's products or services, how are they different from it's competitors
  • where it operates geographically and in which markets
  • find out any recent company news


Writing an application letter

Writing a covering letter or email to an employer can be intimidating, here are a few tips:

  • Employers will look for clear, well written correspondence
  • Check your spelling carefully, if necessary read up on basic grammar
  • Be professional and courteous in everything you write
  • Don't use txt speak, slang or offensive language
  • Spell check again before you send the letter!


Letter format

Fortunately, the letter can follow a recommended structure:

  • Use the opportunity reference code – indicate the reference code in the subject line of your email – for example; (y2j-310).
  • The salutation (greeting) – If the email address or opportunity description gives a name use this "Dear Karen", otherwise use the standard "Dear Sir/Madam"
  • In the first paragraph explain why you are writing, which is to express an interest in the opportunity. The aim is to get the employer interested in you, don't write about how you desperately need to be considered.
  • Next mention any skills or experience you have that you think will be appropriate, the easiest way to do this is to use a few well-chosen bullet points.
  • You should end the letter in an assertive way that indicates that you expect then to contact you "I look forward to hearing from you…"
  • To finish the letter you have a couple of choices, how you've started it will affect how you should sign off. If you used the recipients name "Dear Karen" and you know them to some degree use "Yours sincerely". If the however recipient wasn't addressed by name "Dear Sir/Madam" use "Yours faithfully".

Further help

More information about job applications is available on these sites:

TheSite.org - applying for jobs

TheSite.org - writing a covering letter

Prospects.ac.uk - Job application advice

National careers service - get a job

Or search the resources section of the YES2jobs site.

Resources

Not going to Uni
Not going to Uni
Dedicated to helping young people make informed decisions...
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World of Work (WOW) Gloucestershire
World of Work (WOW) Gloucestershire
Information on the local job market, occupational sectors,...
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Work & training
Work & training
Before you start looking for work, you need to know what...
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National Careers Service
National Careers Service
Providing careers advice and information on a wide range of...
More info > View >
The site.org
The site.org
TheSite.org is the online guide to life for 16 to 25...
More info > View >
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yes2jobs
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