Career Advice

HELP! SHOULD I SEND HAND WRITTEN JOB APPLICATIONS?

Dear Aunty,  Please can you confirm the best way to send job application letters? I mean should I send written or typed job application letters?   Aunty says, Thank you for your letter. This is a question that I am often asked and I am happy to help clarify this issue for you. In most cases you should submit typed application letters. Typed applications are appropriate for job applications as they are: suitable for business use easier for employers and recruiters to read easier for you to spell check and amend The only exception is when the job advertisement specifically stipulated that job applications should be hand written. If this is the case then you should submit a hand-written application. When typing an application you should use a clearly recognizable font (such as Arial, Times New Roman), a suitable font size (12pt) and a black or grey font colour. Job applications usually consist of an application letter detailing why an employer might want to consider offering you employment, together with a CV outlining your relevant skills and experience. I hope that this information will of use to you and others in Zimbabwe and wish you all the best with your speculative job applications. Want to submit a problem to Aunty? You can send your career questions and problems to askaunty@jobszimbabwe.co.zw. Each problem will appear anonymously ensuring that your name and contact details will be kept private at all times.

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HELP! SHOULD I MENTION MY SELF-EMPLOYMENT?

Dear Aunty, I have been self-employed and at the same time studying through distance learning. I have decided to look for a job, so my question is when writing my CV do I include the fact that I had my own business or will it get in the way of me being considered for the job? Aunty says, Firstly, let me congratulate you on your work ethic and commitment to education. Combining self-employment and study is a big achievement and demonstrates the strength of your character. It also shows that you must have excellent organisation and time-management skills. Also, I am sure that you will have developed many other transferable skills during this time that will be of interest to employers. My advice is not to hide this information from employers but to highlight it as part of your CV. Show the experience and skills you have gained and demonstrate your work ethic and commitment to education. I suspect that you feel that your business was not a success but this does not mean that you will not have acquired vital experience and skills. Employers value experience and education and want employees with character who are prepared to work hard. From what you have told me this is the type of person you are. All experience is good experience so try and think about the experience you have developed and how it could be used in the future. I hope that this information will of use to you and hope that others in Zimbabwe will read your letter and follow your example. Want to submit a problem to Aunty? You can send your career questions and problems to askaunty@jobszimbabwe.co.zw. Each problem will appear anonymously ensuring that your name and contact details will be kept private at all times.

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