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letter of application - bullet points, sub-headings, questions I'm worrying about!

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by snj13, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. I am in the process of applying for a second post. 3 years into teaching and it feels like lots has changed in terms of the applications I am doing.
    I have an application form and it requests a 'letter of application' to be attached to meet the person specification. Reading your previous posts is this the one where I begin it 'Dear Mr....'? Do I start with an opening sentence about why I am interested in the position or do you only do that in a covering letter?
    Also there is a section for details of courses attended - there are only 7 spaces. Do I pick the 'best' ones that are appropriate or do I continue on a separate sheet and in the final space put 'continued on a separate sheet'? Or should I try to group them? My mum read a previous application of mine and in the courses section it asks for duration and I put the specific length eg. 1.5 hours, 2 hours etc. My mum thought it sounded ridiculous (she works in manufacturing) but I tried to explain that working in the early years many of our courses are short cluster seminars or meetings, its the nature of our CPD. Should I put '1 day' instead? Feel like that's not quite the truth?
    I have read on here about using bullet points. I feel uneasy about this and I don't know why but I am used to writing in paragraphs. Should I be sub-heading a letter of application according to the person spec?
    Feeling very confused and now analysing my last application and trying to improve upon it with this next one. Unfortunately I won't be able to find out about the last one until after sending out this next form but still trying to do my best to make any important improvements.
    Help would be much appreciated please!
     
  2. I am in the process of applying for a second post. 3 years into teaching and it feels like lots has changed in terms of the applications I am doing.
    I have an application form and it requests a 'letter of application' to be attached to meet the person specification. Reading your previous posts is this the one where I begin it 'Dear Mr....'? Do I start with an opening sentence about why I am interested in the position or do you only do that in a covering letter?
    Also there is a section for details of courses attended - there are only 7 spaces. Do I pick the 'best' ones that are appropriate or do I continue on a separate sheet and in the final space put 'continued on a separate sheet'? Or should I try to group them? My mum read a previous application of mine and in the courses section it asks for duration and I put the specific length eg. 1.5 hours, 2 hours etc. My mum thought it sounded ridiculous (she works in manufacturing) but I tried to explain that working in the early years many of our courses are short cluster seminars or meetings, its the nature of our CPD. Should I put '1 day' instead? Feel like that's not quite the truth?
    I have read on here about using bullet points. I feel uneasy about this and I don't know why but I am used to writing in paragraphs. Should I be sub-heading a letter of application according to the person spec?
    Feeling very confused and now analysing my last application and trying to improve upon it with this next one. Unfortunately I won't be able to find out about the last one until after sending out this next form but still trying to do my best to make any important improvements.
    Help would be much appreciated please!
     
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    There are a number of questions here, I'll do my best to answer them.
    1) Yes, an application letter start with reasons (but a covering letter doesn't . . . see post: https://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/302245.aspx?PageIndex=1#4391074 which explains this)
    2) Example of how to start an application letter is in the post at the top of this Forum How to get Shortlisted; have you read it yet?
    3) If space is short, or if you have done masses, then by all means group the courses by category: 2003-5, 4 courses on Child Protection. 20047, 3 courses on managing the curriculum
    4) Bullet points are not usually used in a letter - but you could use them on a form to fit things in neatly
    5) Sub-headings can be useful in a letter of application as they set things out clearly, but doing it by every part of the person spec would end up very bitty and messy. You would use both bullet points and the seaparte parts of the person spec in the executive summary. When you read the post on How to get Shortlisted, you'll see that all this is set out there
    I think that a careful re-consideration of your last application, comparing it against the two posts at the top of the Forum about How to . . . and How not to . . . will hopefully show you a few tips to polish it up.
    Best of luck!

     
  4. Thank you. I had read all that information but think I became a bit overloaded! I have started my application with Dear.... and then moved into an opening paragraph similar to your example in How to.... Another silly question - I don't need an address in top right corner or anything do I? It simply looks like an essay with subheadings in it. Hope that's ok.
    My subheadings are;
    Current Experience
    Co-ordinator Role
    Other Experience
    * the post is a TLR Foundation/KS1 leader so most of the job spec relates to this so its a rather larger section!

    One more question - in the application form I can't fit my referee's email address into the tiny box they give me? How can I fix that? Should I print off, type a smaller font address and stick in then photocopy! It's very annoying....
    Thanks again for all your help. Beginning to feel like I'm doing a much better job on this one.
     
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Yes, that looks nice and clear with those sections.
    For the e-mail - is it an electronic form? If so, then why can't you reduce the font size on screen on the form?
    Or are you having to handwrite it? If so, then the stick and photocopy is the best route.
    Yes, forms can be frustrating! Good luck.
     
  6. Its an electronic PDF that you have to fill in but can't save! You basically have to do it all in one go with no mistakes and then print. One of the most ridiculous forms I've ever seen!
    I do have a paper copy of it as well, but thought it best to type it. Only now it's causing me more hassle. Will get there in the end.....
     
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Yes, frustrating . . .
     
  8. I have confused myself yet again. Have my application form, equal opportunities form and letter of application.
    Should I still write a short covering letter just stating 'I have enclosed.....' even though they haven't formally asked for one? I read a reply from you somehere that said to do that I think?
     
  9. Right. I have now altered my letter of application to include addresses at the top (like a proper letter) and now it goes over 2 pages!
    Does that matter too much? Have tried so hard to cut any waffle out. Really think its all important to the job spec but its now 2 and a bit pages because adding addresses at the top has nudged it all down. Will that be ok or should I cut more out? Font size is arial 11 as was told to stick to this when I was training.
    So not doing a covering letter as it asks for a letter of application and have done that.
    Amazing how you worry over the littlest things.
     
  10. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Arial 11 is the absolute smallest. Don't reduce that. How wide are the margins - don't have them too narrow, but don't go mad and waste space that way.
    If you can't get it down to 2 pages, then you can't.
    When you say "adding addresses" do you mean their address as well? I'd not bother with theirs, just yours.
     
  11. Hello, I am a little confused about where I can find 'How to get short listed'??

    This Forum is all new to me and I am slightly confused by it all!
    Thanks Emma
     
  12. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Welcome Emma! There's a great crowd of people on here - top of the Forums!
    At the very top of the Forum there's a pinned thread called:
    [​IMG] [/URL]Posted by: TES web staff 02/02/2009 at 09:59 Jobseeking FAQs
    How to get shortlisted
    How not to get shortlisted
    What you have to do is click on one of those titles (I suggest that you read them all) to get the information that you need.
    Looking oirward to seeing you here again!

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