Write job application letter:
Study carefully the layout and content of the above letter (Specimen Letter No.2); of necessity it is longer that the first specimen given. Although each paragraph contains information on related topics, Chambers has presented it in a different sequence to that used by Swan (Specimen Letter No.1). After his introductory paragraph, he felt it best to go straight to the ‘heart of the matter’ by stating what he is doing at present, and hoped to arouse early interest by suggesting that he has contacts who might become customers for Tropical Fruit Drinks. He is honest in stating that he has had little ‘formal’ sales training, but declares that despite this he has made sales, and enjoys doing so. His second and third paragraphs do, indeed demonstrate ‘salesmanship’ – an attempt to ‘sell himself’ to the sales manager.
The fourth paragraph explains why he wishes to change jobs, and he gives the sort of reasons which are likely to appeal to a sales manager. The fifth paragraph contains ‘personal’ information, and also ‘background’ information, about his education and his first job; the fact that he was nearly 4 years with his first employer and 2½ years with his implies that he is a steady and reliable employee. The first sentence in the final paragraph is similar in content to that of Swan’s, as it will be in the majority of cases.
Of course, your circumstances, education and experience may be very different from those of Chambers, but it is important that you attempt to present all information about yourself in letters in an interesting way – to attract the attention of the readers of them. In other words, you, too, must use salesmanship.
Read again the second sentence in the final paragraph of Chambers’ letter. He has told the reader of his letter that his present employer is aware that he, Chambers, is looking for an alternative job. Because he has done so, his present employer has been given the opportunity to recruit and train a replacement. A prospective new employer is likely to appreciate this, as it shows that Chambers has a sense of responsibility – he will not leave his current employer ‘in the lurch’, and so is unlikely to act in an irresponsible way if offered the new job; an important point in Chamber’s favour.
Most people already in employment are under obligation to give current employers a period of ‘notice’ before they leave their jobs. The period of notice may be one week, two weeks, a month, three months or even longer in some cases. If a person has accumulated holiday or leave, an employer may agree to allow some or all of it to be off-set against the period of notice required to be given.
However anxious you are to secure a new job, it is important that you do not imply – in a letter or during an interview – which you are prepared to ignore notice you may have to give to a present employer. If you do give that impression, you may worry the prospective new employer. He may well feel, with good reason, that if you are prepared to act in such a manner with your current employer, you could well do the same to him (the new employer) sometime in the future, if something better comes along. He might therefore be wary of offering you the post.
It is best to be honest; explain that you do want the new job, but must give your proper period of notice so that a replacement can be found and, if necessary, trained by you. If there are special circumstances, i.e. there is already somebody available to replace you, or you have holiday owing to you, then tell the prospective new employer that you will discuss the matter with your present employer to see what arrangements can be made to release you earlier. If the new employer is really worth working for, he will understand your dilemma, and respect your willingness to be fair and honest to all – and you should gain his respect.