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Dear Theo

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by kaffaroo, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. Dear Theo
    I am applying for a job and they have asked for the application form and a full statement in support of my application but not to restate factual details already included elsewhere.
    I have filled in the form including the 2 A4 pages in the application form marked "statement in support" and written an executive summary, do I need to write a covering letter too? If so what goes in that? Do you think my supporting statement should be separate from the application form or copied in?

    Thank you!
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    This is a common source of confusion - it's not just you! Basically there are three things:
    • A personal statement.
    • A letter of application
    • A covering letter
    In theory - I emphasise this - in theory they are different, and you would never have all three.
    Letter of application and personal statement are the same thing, except that one starts "Dear Mr Griffiths" and t´other doesn´t. (So don´t do both!)
    A covering letter is just that: it is a letter that acts as a sort of envelope, covering what you are sending off. It is a technical term and is used when you have a statement instead of a letter of application (So don´t do both!) It goes something like this:
    Dear Mr Griffiths
    Teacher of mathematics at Gasworks High School for Boys
    I have pleasure in applying for the above post and enclose my completed application form, a summary and the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form.
    Yours sincerely
    A Teacher
    The confusing thing is that sometimes the school doesn't understand what a covering letter actually is, and so they ask you to write a covering letter when in fact they mean a letter of application, so you need to keep your wits about you! No-one ever asks you to write a real covering letter; it's just a courtesy. So if they ask for one, they mean a letter of application.
    If they are asking for a personal statement on the form, and a letter of application, then you can make the bit on the form an Executive Summary and then have a separate sheet or two with the letter of application in text form.
    If they are not asking for a letter of application, then you put the personal statement in the bit on the form called statement in support, have the exec summary as a separate sheet (make sure it has your name on it!), and then a brief covering letter similar to the one I set out above.
    I think this is what your school is asking you, isn't it?
    What they don't want you to do is just give them the same old standard personal statement that you have given to other schools. They want an application targeted specifically at their school, which is just as it should be!
    Best of luck!
  3. Thanks that clears it up for me! Will let you know how I get on. [​IMG]
  4. Hi Theo,

    I am currently applying for a position that has a sizeable box for the personal statement and also requires a covering letter. No problem there except that the job description states that the covering letter should be no longer than two sides of A4. Is it therefore acceptable to write a brief covering letter if my personal statement tells them why I'm the person for the job?
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    In the box I suggest that you put an execiutive summary, and then make the covering letter a letter of application.
    Otherwise with a covering letter AND a personal statement, you'll be saying the same thing twice, or having your points separate and not all together in one place, so neither of the two will show you off properly..
    P.S. Tip for next time - don't just ask another question on the end of someone else's thread, cos I might not open it to read it! Start your own new thread.
    Best wishes.
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.

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