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Lesson 1, Topic 1
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How to apply for a job

Search for jobs in your field or related fields

The most common way to search for jobs in your field or related fields is to do an internet search. You can use search engines, go direct to company websites or use those run by recruitment companies. 

Research companies

If you started with a job search rather than a company search, make sure to research every company that you are considering applying to. A strong starting point is to go online to the company’s ‘about’ page. You should also perform a search query on the company name to look for any news, current events or reviews about the company. 

Update your CV

Make sure your CV is up-to-date and optimized for the job you are applying to. First, keeping it up-to-date means adding your most recent education, experience and skills. In a chronological CV, most recent education and work experience should be listed first in each section.

Prepare your covering letter

In many modern job applications, a covering letter is not expected. However, if it is required, make sure that it supports the details in your CV and tells an interesting story about you and why you are applying and are well suited for the job you are applying for.

Write an imaginary first paragraph for a job you are interested in applying for.

Submit your CV and online application

After preparing your CV and cover letter (if required) you may need to go online and fill out an application where you can attach your external documents. Answer each question on an application form thoughtfully and shape your answer to the needs of the company and the job role. Try to avoid copying and pasting as this can cause some formatting issues but also seem less personal.

Application followup

Don’t be in too much of a hurry if you have not heard back from the company after the closing date. It can take quite a long time for applications to be processed so there is no need to panic! 

However if a period of at least two weeks has passed you can submit an application follow-up email to the company or you can call them and ask to speak to the person hiring for the position.

If you receive a rejection before then you can contact the company by sending them an email within a week of the rejection, politely thanking them for their time and asking that they retain your details for any future opportunities. Ask what you did well and where your application fell down, as this can help you approach the next one more confidently.