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Practicing job applications with your students

For those of coming through school in the '80s and '90s there used to be an exercise in High School English where we as students applied for an imaginary job. This involved writing a letter addressed to an employer. This exercise it seems has faded away in the curriculum or at least less in practice. Since then, the task of applying for jobs has become a higher hurdle including addressing selection criteria, gaining tertiary qualifications etc.

In other words, the skill is required more than ever and it is the students who don't go all the way through school or less academically inclined who need this. Getting the spelling and grammar in a letter, being respectful and persuasive in a letter already indicates a lot to an employer:attention to detail, abiility to relate and communicate. Contrast this with the modern era with texting and Facebook where spelling errors are deemed acceptable and the price to pay for speed.

What are your thoughts? Should you perhaps run this exercise with your students?

We found this article from and have copied here with their permission:

"Applying for a job is perhaps like playing darts - throwing lots of darts without practice and hoping to hit the bullseye is not a likely winning strategy.

Here are our tips:

1. Read the job description carefully- underline/ highlight the main tasks and the minimum requirements in terms of skills/education.

2. Review your resume assess your skills, education, and experiences against 1 above.

3. Match the job vacancy advert against your resume. Make an honest assessment - how well is the job fit for your experience, education and skills.

So you have passed your own self-assessment...and think you are ready to apply for the job.

4. Read the instructions carefully on “How to apply for the job” within the advertisement including noting the deadlines.

5. Attach a cover letter that addresses the job, Resume/CV, Certificates (if requested) – if not state available on request or interview.

The Human Resources Manager (or the hiring manager) is human and reacts the same way. Don’t send incomplete applications nor attach irrelevant documents. Always assume they have received 100 applications and yours needs to stand out for the right reasons. Put it another way if the Human Resources Manager receives 100 applicants, why should (s)he not reject yours purely because you have not followed instructions?."

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