Getting a job you love (and that loves you) take two!

3rd December 2013 by

It’s nearly two years since Jo wrote a blog about getting that dream job – and also making sure it is your dream job! As we’re hiring again, we thought we’d pop it back up. Writing an excellent application is pretty important if you want to get yourself a job, and if the job is about helping other people get jobs it becomes that little bit more crucial…

Enjoy! And very good luck if you’re applying for a job with us or anywhere else.

Here are our top tips:

  • You’re sending the application to a person, not a Sir/Madam, so use their name. If you’re not sure who to address your application to, call up and ask. At Otesha, sometimes we’re known collectively, but our names are all on the website too…
  • Read everything you can about the organisation and the role before you apply.
  • The covering letter is the key thing. After reading your letter we should know if we want to interview you or not. Your CV should back up everything you say in your covering letter, but it’s only a supporting document.
  • Otesha is a pretty informal organisation – we like covering letters that sound like real people wrote them, ones that will make us smile when we read them. Not all organisations will appreciate such an informal approach, but no one wants to read a letter that could’ve been written by a computer.
  • At Otesha, the first thing we want to know is why you want to work here and what you think is special about this organisation.
  • The second thing we want to know about you is why you really really really want to do the role you’re applying for.
  • You need to address every point in the person specification and it can be helpful if it’s in the order they appear in the job posting. Imagine it’s the early hours of the morning and you’re desperately trying to get 100 applications down to a shortlist of 20. The easier you can make it for the person reading your application the better.
  • Your covering letter should usually be 1-2 sides long. Any shorter and we’re wondering why you don’t have the enthusiasm or experience to fill a page. Any longer and we think that you’re not able to communicate in a concise manner.
  • Don’t just tell us that you have ‘experience working in a team’ – we need to know where, how etc. Back up everything with clear examples of your experience.
  • Voluntary experience is just as valid as paid work experience.
  • End your letter telling us anything else great about you that might be relevant to the role.
  • Don’t bother sending off generic applications. We can tell if we’re receiving the same application you sent off for a different job last week! If you’re not interested enough to write a new cover letter, I’m afraid we’re probably not interested either.
  • Be meticulous, get someone to proof read your cover letter and CV. If the job specification asks for excellent written skills, your application needs to be excellently written.

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