This page contains advice about what to write on your job application forms. Please
note the CILL policy on proof-reading job application letters - we don't
do it! What we do is help you to improve your English by going through your
writing with you and showing you your common errors, and telling you what to
study to correct them. We can also make general comments on your applications;
e.g. on the organisation and content.
This means that you should not bring your application to us on the day you
need to submit it! Come early.
Now scroll down to see example sections from
job application forms, and our advice about what to write.
Please choose from:
- Please give a brief summary of your current recreational
and leisure activities, including sports and hobbies.
- What clubs and societies are you a member of, and in what capacity?
- To what community associations and social clubs do you belong?
- What are your interests and pastimes? Please demonstrate your commitment to them
and list your specific achievements.
- Please state your position / responsibilities in your participation in
extra-curricular activities, if any.
- Major leisure and sporting activities including positions of responsibility.
Try to demonstrate your ability to work in a team with these questions. Best of
all show how you have successfully led teams.
Notice the words 'brief summary' and 'current'.
You could emphasise an intellectual club or society to show your intellectual and
Notice that these questions are in the present tense and therefore are asking about clubs
and societies that you are presently a member of.
Grammar: Use present tenses; e.g. "I am vice-secretary of the chess club."
"I am a member of my department's student badminton team." You can also
use the present perfect tense; e.g. "I've been playing badminton since I was in
Career Choice Questions
- What factors have influenced your career choice?
Here it's good to show your experience, and say how you enjoyed / got job
your experience working in your field; e.g. in a summer job. If there is enough space you
could give a very short example.
You could also mention your interest (and good results) in some relevant
subjects at school. Mention some of the duties of the job and your interest
in and suitability for them.
Grammar: Use the present tense, especially the present perfect; e.g. "I have always
been good at maths, especially maths with a practical application." You can also use
the past tense to talk about your previous summer jobs; e.g. "Last summer I worked
for ABC company."
- Outline your career ambitions and objectives.
Here you should balance ambition with realism to show your knowledge of careers in your
- Please state your short and long-term career goals and how you are planning to
obtain these goals.
- What are your specific career goals after achieving your professional
For a short-term goal you could talk about further professional qualifications
for example in accountancy or engineering.
For a long-term goal you could talk about the type of job you are aiming for in the middle
of your career, or perhaps later as head of a regional office. You need to have a detailed
plan to show how you are going to get to this position.
- Describe why you want to join (name of company) and the reasons why you believe
you will be successful with the firm.
- Please explain how your personal qualities, education,
experience and skills have made you a suitable candidate for a career in professional
- Please describe briefly why you have chosen the position for which you are now
applying and refer to any alternative careers you may have considered.
- Please explain how you believe your personal qualities, experience, skills and
education will help you to be successful in the position for which you are applying.
Read the company's annual report and the annual reports of its competitors. Find out what
makes the company different. Highlight this as one reason you want to join the company.
Reasons you might be successful with a company may include:
- Communication skills; e.g. you are tri-lingual in English, Mandarin
and Cantonese, and bi-literate in English and Chinese.
- Your social skills; e.g. in teamwork and leadership. You need to be
able to give examples.
- Your professional skills; e.g. your high grades on your course and
your high-quality final year project.
- Your mental skills; e.g. your analytical ability. Have an example.
- Your experience; e.g. your summer jobs and placements, in which you
have been successful, which your referees will confirm.
For alternative careers, you will look good if you are qualified to do another career, for
example, accountancy students could also consider jobs in other parts of the finance
sector. You should prepare reasons why you would prefer the job that you are applying for.
- Describe your greatest success or a situation when you exceeded your own
- Describe a specific achievement of which you are particularly proud, outside of
school, university or college, and describe how this has contributed to your development
as an individual.
- Describe a recent experience working as part of a team. What did you learn about
This should be something where you showed personal qualities that a professional in your
- What personal goals do you have of a non-career nature?
Here you can show that you have a plan of action to reach the goal.
- Have you ever undertaken any public speaking? If so what?
It is good to be an experienced public speaker, as managers often have to speak
in public and for presentations.
- Don't make it too long - the personnel department staff will have to read hundreds of
job applications. They are looking for staff who can write concisely (efficiently).
- Give supporting evidence of any claims to be hard-working etc.
This is the code we use to alert you to grammar problems in your writing.
Getting the job you want may depend on the quality of your application letter, so it is
important to get it checked.
A ~~~ G P Prep S Sp T (
She had the
glass of milk and the apple for lunch.
She had a glass of milk and an apple for lunch.
|I am hard to find a job in Hong Kong.
It is difficult for me to find a job in Hong Kong.
Grammar - different parts of
speech, subject/verb agreement, number, use of gerund and infinitive.
He want do good
in the test.
He wants to do well in the test.
girl smiled and said tomorrow will be a
bright clear and sunny day.
The weather girl smiled and said, "tomorrow will be a
bright, clear and sunny day".
She got on
a taxi and went to the airport.
She got in a taxi and went to the airport.
Sentence Construction - The
sentence is too long or doesnt contain a subject, verb or object.
Walking down the
street singing a song.
She walked down the street singing a song.
He asked for a bowl
He asked for a bowl of soup.
Last Sunday they cycle
from Shatin to Tai Po.
Last Sunday they cycled from Shatin to Tai Po.
|She works part-time at (the) Mac
She works part-time at Mac Donalds.
|He ran to office.
ran to the office.
They like playing tennis.
My father is a cooker.
My father is a cook.
If you have any suggestions or questions, please e-mail us at
Last updated on:
Thursday, December 15, 2016.
hits since 28 September 2005.