Job-hunting for young people - 6: "What makes a great letter/application? I'm not a brilliant writer so give me clear and simple tips."

Following on from her last post, Nicola Morgan continues her job-hunting advice for young people

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A great letter or application does the following things:

  1. It gives exactly the information asked for.
  2. It emphasises the skills required for this job – so, if you’re applying for a job in a shop, it emphasises your punctuality and reliability and how you are confident with strangers, rather than your canoeing skills.
  3. It is written in simple, very clear English. (Well, obviously, if you’re in France, French…) You don’t have to create amazing sentences – although if a major part of the job involves writing, then yes, your writing skills should be evident.
  4. It is positive and confident, highlighting why you will be great at this job.
  5. It is enthusiastic – showing that you really want this job rather than just any job (even if actually you do just want any job).
  6. It is formal, not over-chatty – so, do not use any text-speak; do not say “Hi” or “bye”. Imagine you are writing it for a fussy English teacher. BUT you don’t need to be ridiculously over-formal or pompous.
  7. It is appropriate for the job – so, if you’re applying for a job in a video-games company your language can be a little more informal than if you are applying to work in a solicitor’s office…
  8. It shows you as a pleasant person who will be easy to get on with.
  9. It has no mistakes or crossings-out at all.
  10. It contains your name and contact phone number.
  11. It mentions everything you think they want to know .

The Teenage Guide to Stress is launched in London today!

Nicola Morgan

Author and speaker about adolescence, -

Nicola Morgan is a multi-award-winning author for and about teenagers and an renowned speaker at conferences and schools around the world. Her classic book on the teenage brain, BLAME MY BRAIN – THE TEENAGE BRAIN REVEALED, was followed by THE TEENAGE GUIDE TO STRESS and THE TEENAGE GUIDE TO FRIENDS and innovative multimedia teaching resources on the brain and mental health, BRAIN STICKS™, STRESS WELL FOR SCHOOLS and EXAM ATTACK. Her next books are POSITIVELY TEENAGE (May) and LIFE ONLINE (June). She writes articles at