Six Moar Ways too Write Your Jobbatical Application Good*

by Jobbatical March 29, 2016

The long-awaited sequel to an award-winning [citation needed] blog post.

*How many errors did you spot?

You probably already know better than to underestimate the power of a well-written application in the hunt for your dream jobbatical (especially after reading our series of advice posts). Here’s a fresh batch of tips from Jobbatical’s writing department to get you from dreary cubical to beachside office in no time!

Capitalize your own name.

Sure, it might not be a capital offense—unlike this pun—if you don’t (although it would be if they left it up to the language department). But capitalizing names, and proper nouns in general, is one of those rules you’re simply better off following. You’re the star of your application. You deserve that uppercase letter. Plus, it really does look that much nicer.

Don’t over-emote.

The odd emoticon in a cover letter can serve you well if you know your audience, but overdoing it is dangerously, treacherously easy. As with most things in life, this simple principle applies here: Use common sense (and do your research).

Don’t refer to yourself in the third person.

Unless you’re applying on behalf of your invisible friend (which we hope you’re not), first person is the way to go. If, for some reason beyond our understanding, you really want to use the third person (but please don’t), at least be consistent: Don’t mix first and third.

Never mind the Sirs, Madams, and Hiring Managers.

We covered the welcome demise of “Dear Sir/Madam” in an earlier post, but while you’re at it, do away with “Dear Hiring Manager” and “To whom it may concern” too. Don’t just open with “Dear” either (it happens), unless you know for a fact that the person reading your application is your grandchild.

Editor’s note: spot Maria, author of this article, in this picture from our Malaysian team jobbatical. She’s the one with the colorful pants and the impressive writing skills — you can’t miss her.

Use full sentences.

While sentence fragments might make sense in a good old-fashioned rigid CV where brevity is a huge deal, a jobbatical application calls for a more natural, human approach. We’re not asking you to go on and on about yourself at novel length either—find that sweet spot.

Don’t repeat yourself. We repeat: Don’t repeat yourself.

We’ve said it before and we’ll keep saying it until it sticks: Potential employers love it when your application looks like you’ve put thought into it. Pasting your personal introduction into the cover letter field is what scientists in the field call being lazy. Pay attention to what you’re doing, and you’re golden.

Now, imagine what an application sounds like with all of the aforementioned errors in a row. Those poor hiring managers…

What’s next? Take another glimpse into the minds of potential employers with our Application Secrets series, or start searching for your dream jobbatical!

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