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Section 4: Application do’s and don’ts

  • Research the position.
  • Ensure you follow instructions on what to include in your application, In particular take note of restrictions on length, for example, maximum number of pages.
  • Ensure your application is relevant to the position for which you are applying.
  • Give recent and relevant examples of your work. Highlight your personal contribution, that is, the value you personally added.
  • Be professional and polite from the moment you request the information kit through to the final interview.
  • Include a header and/or footer with (at the very least) your name and page number.
  • Include a covering letter or brief message with your email – not just an attachment in a blank email. It is also a good idea to include the job reference number as the recruiter may be handling several jobs.
  • Check your application for errors, or have someone else proof read your application for you.
  • Ensure that all sentences are grammatically correct and concise.
  • Use dot points where appropriate.

  • Exaggerate your claims, but do claim credit where it is due and where it can be supported by evidence, in particular ensure there is no incorrect information in your application as this could have serious repercussions.
  • Assume a committee will want the same information as last time you applied for a position.
  • Don’t be late with your application unless it is unavoidable. If you have a valid reason for lodging your application late, phone the contact person as soon as possible, prior to applications closing to ascertain if an extension date can be negotiated.

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