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Advertised Jobs and Vacancies

Vacancies are advertised in a wide range of publications from national daily papers such as The Times, The Financial Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian and The Independent, to local and regional daily/weekly papers.

There are also regional and national papers devoted solely to jobs. Consult your local newsagent to find out which papers are available in your area. If you are planning to move to a new area you may want to get the local/regional papers from that area as well.

Jobs are also advertised in journals/trade magazines for your profession/industry and you should subscribe to these publications if possible. Subscription is often free if you are already in the profession/industry. As well as carrying job vacancies, there will also be news on which companies are expanding and those which have won new contracts - you may want to approach these companies (see the section on speculative applications and networking below).

Other places where you will find job vacancies advertised include your local job centre, teletext and radio 'job spots'. Job Centres may well not have any advertisements for the sort of job you are looking for, but it costs nothing to look!

Advertised vacancies, especially those in the national papers, often attract 100s of applicants so do not spend all of your time applying for advertised jobs, unless of course you are one of those lucky people who land an interview every time they make an application. When you reply to an advertisement please ensure that you meet most of the employer's criteria, otherwise you will be wasting your time. The employer will have decided on the factors they feel are essential for the job before advertising the vacancy. If you do not match these factors fairly closely your CV will end up in the bin.

Replying to Advertised Vacancies

If you meet the criteria of an employer's job advertisement and you want to apply, how can you entice an employer to invite you for an interview? As mentioned above, advertised vacancies can attract 100s of replies so you need to make both your CV and cover letter stand out. Far too many people put a CV and cover letter in the post with very little thought and are then surprised when a rejection letter arrives through their letter box.

To get a good response you need to tell an employer in your cover letter why you are the ideal candidate for the position. If you write your letter properly you can really make an employer want to meet you. You have to tell them just enough about yourself and what you can do for them. An employer will only ever invite you for an interview if they can see a benefit in it for themselves. You must, however, keep your cover letter to a maximum of one side of A4 paper (in fact you should always keep any letter you write to one page - brevity is important).

When you write your cover letter it is essential that you analyse the advertisement carefully and try and work out what an employer is looking for. If you want to increase your chances of being selected for an interview make sure that your reply identifies how you match the employer's requirements - but do not copy out bits of the advertisement.

Make sure you use paper which matches your CV when you write your cover letter. A matching A4 envelope adds that finishing touch which distinguishes you from everyone else who will use either plain white or brown business envelopes. It is important that you always use an A4 envelope for sending your CV and cover letter, as folding these documents will create a poor impression - you want them to arrive in good condition and not all crumpled. A laser printed label looks much more professional than a hand-written envelope, so, if you have access to a PC and laser printer, invest in some laser labels.

When you reply to an advertisement you should make sure that you include everything which has been mentioned. For example, if two references are required, you should supply two references. Do not include the following (unless specifically asked for): salary details, current photo and references.

Salary information can only ever be used at this stage to reject your application, i.e. if you earn too much (or too little!). If the advertisement specifically asks for your salary history you should therefore note that this may be used to weed out your application. If you do earn more than is being offered in the advertisement you might want to leave out your salary details or leave out your fringe benefits. However, if you do leave out your salary, your application may be rejected on the grounds that you failed to supply all the information required.

Next: 1. Letter writing.

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