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  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Aug 2012
    • Posts: 4

    Plz, help decipher one Job Application...

    Hello everybody,

    I have a very sensitive question for you. This IS about English but it concerns a discourse of a business letter rather than a meaning of a specific word or expression.

    The situation is as follows: I work at a small company and in our office there are three specialists of some Occupation A including myself. We know for sure that our boss is not going to hire a fourth specialist of Occupation A since he (the fourth) will simply not have what to do. The three of us are more than enough to cover all the bases.

    Time after time we get by fax a resume of some job seeker who is just looking for a job in our industry and sends out his resume to everybody in the field he can find in the Yellow Pages. I am quite familiar with format of such letters - they look very generic and never mention or refer to any specific job ad that job seeker was responding to. I also know that whenever someone applies for a job s/he it is considered to be a good tone to mention where you found that job add...

    However yesterday we received a fax that kind of made all three of us wary. Please read below.

    - - -
    Fax Cover Sheet


    TO: Personnel Officer / Office Manager
    FROM: NAME of the applicant
    RE: (OUR OCCUPATION) position
    No. Pages: 3

    Please find attached my resume in application for a position with your firm.

    I am very interested in such a post and would be most pleased to hear from you at your earliest convenience so that an interview might be arranged.

    Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
    - - -

    In this fax an applicant applies for a job at our company but what makes it different from all other generic faxes is that it mentions words like 'PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL' (we were not supposed to see it, it was supposed to come to some email but for some reason was sent by fax and therefore that 'private and confidential', 'application for a position with your firm' ('POSITION' means that there is a certain open position available?), 'Interested in such a post' (there is a POSTED somewhere job ad?). Moreover the applicant already talks about arranging job interview.

    We have a reason to be concerned: we know that our employer might replace us with some other new employees since their salaries will be immediately lower... BTW, this is how we came to the company with various degrees 6 years ago - we replaced people who by that moment were let go/dismissed and worked at the company for around 10 years each.

    So my questions is:

    Because I do not really understand nuances of English: Does this job application sound to you like it is just generic pro-active job search applying to all the companies in our industry or it all sounds like there is a job ad somewhere posted (which means we are likely to be replaced in some future?)

    Would it be OK to contact the applicant (kind of playing polite) and ask to what job ad she is responding, i.e. where it was posted (for future reference)?

    Thank you in advance for your response,

  2. SlickVic9000's Avatar
    Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Oct 2011
    • Posts: 1,019

    Re: Plz, help decipher one Job Application...

    It's hard to tell whether this is a response to a job ad or this person is just casting a wide net in search of a particular position. I suppose you could search the local classifieds and online job sites to see if there is a wanted ad for a post within your company. You could also just ask your boss, though that could turn into a rather uncomfortable conversation if he is actually looking to replace one of you, and is attempting to do so on the sly.
    Were you able to get a look at the application itself? That would probably tell you what you want to know.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 43,837

    Re: Plz, help decipher one Job Application...

    I think the question is whether or not you were meant to see the contents of the fax. If it came in on a generic fax machine which everyone has access to, then there is no reason why you shouldn't show it to your boss and say "This is very strange. There aren't any jobs in our department being advertised, are there?!" in an incredulous voice.

    If you don't work for the HR/Personnel department, then I don't think you should contact the writer of the letter asking them anything.

    It shouldn't be too difficult to find out if a job in your department is being advertised, surely. Just Google "Job/Employment vacancies at [company name]". Almost all job ads are online these days.

    You could go down the other route, of course. If you don't think anyone else saw the fax, just shred it!

    As far as my opinion about the letter is concerned, I would assume that it's just someone sending their CV etc to every relevant company. Anyone applying for a job knows that you start your letter with "I would like to apply for the position of [job title] as advertised in [name of publication] on [date]."
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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