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Tips on Writing an Essay for a Job

In this era where communication is instant, it is commonplace for job seekers to feel surprised and even overwhelmed when they are asked to provide a sample of their writing during the process of searching. No matter whether your task is to actually write an essay or just to write a cover letter to accompany your resume, the writing skills you acquired in high school or in college should help you through the test process with relative ease. All you need to do is make some tweaks in order to pitch your writing appropriately for your targeted audience.



In typical terms, an essay for a job is really a letter you complete as a way of introducing yourself when sending a CV or resume or application pack. A business letter needs to include the sender’s address, date of writing, and the intended recipient’s address. You should leave a two-inch margin at the top of the page. To adhere to the traditional method, the salutation at the top of the letter should be “Dear Sir or Madam” where the recipient’s name is unknown to you. You should follow the salutation with a semi-colon even though it is better to take time to learn the recipient’s name. At the end of your letter, simply put “sincerely,” which you should follow with a comma.    

Choosing Language that is Appropriate

Once again, you should remember this document is of a business nature, so it is important it is not presented as a personal communication. The writing should be more formal as opposed to sounding too casual or familiar. Idioms and slang words should be avoided, as should too much or any unnecessary industry-related jargon. It is acceptable to use some industry terms to show you understand the industry and the job, but do not try to impress by over-using these. Sentences should be phrased in such a way that pronouns of the second-person variety are avoided.

Make Sure Your Writing is Concise and Efficient

It is commonplace for HR (human resource) departments to be flooded with job applications and all sorts of queries, and the personnel there have other important responsibilities. Show you know there are restraints on their time and show you value the time they give to you by making your point in a concise and efficient way. Do not use phrases that are vague; replace these with specific, to-the-point words. Where sentences can be combined, consider doing this. Rather than writing, “I was employed by the marketing department. My job was providing information about various events. I created reports about these events,” the following sentence would sound better, “When working in the marketing department I provided information and created reports about events.” Additionally, leave out any information that is not relevant to a particular job.

Make Sure Your Essay Commands Attention

When you are faced with a situation where a lot of positions attract countless applications, you need to make sure your job essay or application letter sets you apart from other applicants. Begin by mentioning a particular concern or issue that someone in that position might face, and say how you have the knowledge, skills, and/or experience to be able to deal with that concern or issue. You could, for instance, get your readers hooked by starting with something like, “When dealing with complaints from customers, it is crucial to be able to remain calm, and my experience at the airport’s front desk has allowed me to put that skill into practice.” This is better than saying, “I would like to apply for the customer services position in you service center.”  

Make Sure Your Writing is Relevant and Specific

You should always fully address the specific responsibilities of a position, and show you match the requirements of the position. Instead of saying you can use a computer, describe to the reader how your ability to create effective presentations will be a great boost to the company’s sales activities. Give the reader examples of how you are reliable, creative, and a good team player, instead of just repeating information from your CV or resume. However, all points should relate directly to the particular position. This probably is not the place to describe your cycling medals unless the position requires you to do some cycling

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