Getting more information

Read job adverts or notices carefully. Some explain the job and duties briefly, the academic/experience requirements, training and how to apply. Others are less helpful and give very little information. If you have only heard about the job from someone else, you might also know very little about it.

You need to find out as much as possible about the job so that you can do a good application. Depending on the advert or how you heard about the job, there are different ways to do this: the internet, by email, or by telephone.

Once you have the information you need, you can complete your application. You can find help on our application forms pages.

Internet

Some adverts give an internet link where you can see or download job details and/or an application form. Read the documents carefully to find out what you need to do. Save the documents or internet links on your computer so that you can look at them again when you need to.

Tip

Always follow the employer’s instructions. For example, do not send a CV if they say they want you to complete an online form. Or if they want details of your referees with the application, be sure to include those.

Email

If you email for further information, think carefully about what you write so that you make a good first impression. Here are some tips and an example email:

  • Use a "serious" email address that includes your real name. Avoid nickname emails, such as "brightonbabe", "sexypants", or similar!
  • In the subject line, include the title of the job you are applying for. If there is a reference number, include that too.
  • If a contact name is given, start the email by using the name of the person: "Dear Mr/Ms Smith" or "Dear Sam Smith". If you don’t know the name, use "Dear Sir or Madam"
  • In the body of the email, say where you have seen or heard about the job. Say that you would like more information about the job and how to apply.
  • Include your telephone number, in case the person wants to get in touch with you.
  • Always check your spelling and grammar before you send an email. Remember: first impressions count.

Telephone

Some adverts ask you to telephone for details. If so, be prepared to make a good impression:

  • Have a copy of the advert and any reference numbers on the advert.
  • Have a pen and paper to take down any details.
  • Make sure you phone from a quiet place where you will not be interrupted.
  • If the advert includes a name, ask for this person. When you get through greet the person by name, introduce yourself, and explain why you are calling.
  • If you do not have a named contact, introduce yourself to the person who answers and explain that you are phoning to find out what you need to do to apply for the job (give details).
  • Be polite and speak clearly.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your qualifications, skills, and experience. This may be part of the interview process. (For more information, see our telephone interviews page.)
  • Check names and addresses carefully in case you have to send in a written application. This might be an application form, or a CV and covering letter.
  • If you are asked to go for an interview, make sure you get all the details: when, where, and with whom.
  • Say thank you at the end of the call.

Last updated 13 November, 2014