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Who are you writing your job application to?

30 August 2021

A common mistake made when writing a job application is to write generically - to write to the 'panel', or to 'the manager', or to 'the organisation'.  This dehumanising of your reader can put up blocks and barriers in your writing that make it more difficult for the individuals reading your job application to connect with you and be engaged by your writing.

Instead have in mind just one person as you write your job application. Image that person, get an image of them in your mind as you write, see them reading your application, or better still imagine reading your application letter to them.  This will make you more sincere, authentic, and genuine as you write; characteristics that elevate the readers trust in your writing.

Great writers always have a central reader in mind.  This focus on a single person makes the writing sharper and more compelling.  It is easier to empathise with and become clear on the most important bits when you have this central reader in mind.  You can put yourself into their shoes and, from their perspective, hear what will be important to them.  It is easier to imagine what their needs are, what they fear, what would delight them, and what would make them curious when you have just one person in mind.

Now this doesn't mean that you ignore that others will read your application.  What happens in writing to a central reader is that all readers feel like you are writing just for them. 

If you already know one of your readers (e.g. you are an internal applicant) then have the person you know in mind as you write.  If you don't personally know a reader use your call to the contact person to get an image in your mind.

As always wishing you a flourishing career



I talk further on this in this video


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