Applying for a job

Applying for a job inevitably requires time and energy to put together a written job application that conveys your suitability for the job. This page will provide some key advice on how to do this effectively.

Complexity of job application process

The complexity of the job application process generally depends on the extent of available resources of the organisation offering the job. Typically, a local sport organisation will have much less resources available for staff recruitment than a professional sport team or a government department. The local sport organisation will not be able to afford to advertise a job vacancy widely or to commit significant personnel to the recruitment process.

Complexity of job application process

If you are applying for a job in a local sport club such as a coach, coaching director or administration officer, the chances are that:

  • The job may be advertised internally at first and only later advertised externally if no-one found internally.
  • You will required to submit your "Resumé" and a covering letter.
  • The field of candidates for the job (your competitors) will be small
  • You will be interviewed by 1 or 2 people for about 30 minutes

If you are applying for a job as administrative staff in a professional sport team or a government sport agency, the chances are that:

  • The job will have been advertised widely
  • Not only will you need to submit your "Resumé" and a covering letter but also you will be required to submit a written statement addressing the key selection criteria
  • The number of persons interviewed may be between 4-8
  • You will likely be interviewed by a "Panel" that includes your prospective boss, a co-worker and a representative from the human resources department of the organisation.
  • Your interview may last 30-60 minutes and in some cases, if you are going for a senior job, you may be interviewed twice. The second interview will only occur if your first interview is very successful and you reach "the last two" group.

The Written Job Application

A written job application generally takes one of two forms depending on the type of employer and the importance of the job.

Type 1: The employer requires the applicant to send only their curriculum vitae (otherwise known as a "Resumé") and a covering letter. This type of application process is appropriate for non-managerial and part-time jobs, and frequently for jobs in local sport organisations. The Type 1 process is generally NOT appropriate for government jobs at any level.

Type 2: The employer requires the applicant to provide a written application that specifically answers Key Selection Criteria. The Type 2 process is the best process but because it is more involved, it is more frequently used in organisations that have significant resources e.g. professional sport team administrative staff or government agencies.

The following table indicates the documents required from the job applicant:

Type of Document Type 1 Type 2
Covering letter Required Required
Curriculum vitae Required Required
Statement answering key selection criteria Not Required Required

Job Application Documents

The types of documents required in a job application are explained below:

Covering letter (Application Letter)

The covering letter (otherwise known as the application letter) is very important as it is the first document read by the person assessing the application. The letter needs to create the right impression. However it does not need to be lengthy.

The letter needs to include in the opening paragraph a formal statement along the lines of " I wish to apply for the position as . . . "

The applicant should ensure they correctly name the position they are applying for, and if it exists, provide the appropriate reference number of the vacancy /job.

There are lots of secrets of success in writing a covering letter (letter of application). Many people find this an extremely difficult task, particular in terms of selling themselves.

There are some really great tools for writing covering letters available for not much money. One of the best selling ones is by Jimmy Sweeney and is available on the Internet. If that job is important, you need to get your covering letter right. Click Here!

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

The layout and presentation of the Curriculum Vitae (also known as Resume) is also very important. Fortunately, however, once you have prepared your CV, it can be used for many job applications with only minor alterations.

The object is to present key information about yourself to the assessor of your application. You must assume that the reader needs to be able to scan your curriculum vitae and find information easily and quickly. It is generally advised that a Curriculum Vitae should be kept to 2-3 pages in length. A good CV makes it easy for the person assessing the application to find the information the need. A long CV just makes the job harder.

The Curriculum Vitae should contain the following information:

  • Your career goals
  • Your work history
  • Your academic history
  • Other information about you which may be interesting

It is no longer necessary, nor it advised to include:

  • Your marital status
  • Age and/or date of birth

If you are in a hurry or you need expert help in writing a resume you might try Guerilla Resume

Statement replying to the selection criteria

This document is necessary when an advertised position has stated selection criteria, and you are asked to prepare a response to each criteria. This is a normal aspect of the selection process, particularly for jobs in larger organisations or government departments, or organisations partially funded by government. Many sport and recreation organisations have positions funded by government, and therefore you should expect such organisations to be required (by government) to advertise "selection criteria".

This document can be frustratingly difficult and time consuming to prepare. Unfortunately, every job will have different selection criteria and when you are applying to many jobs, it becomes a lot of work! See assistance with Addressing Selection Criteria

Next Page: Pitfalls of job applications

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