Excuse me folks, I’m just typing out loud to make these rules stick in my head. I’ve spent so long in the real world that I wrote an easily-read and – horror! – honest first draft for a job application. Shame on me.
HOW TO WRITE LIKE A SUIT
1) Never mention money as a reason for wanting a job.
2) Never use contractions (e.g. “I’m”, “I’ve”).
3) Use the passive voice wherever possible, to avoid saying “I want” or anything so crass.
4) Never use an ordinary word where a fancier synonym is available (e.g. replace “get” with “obtain”, and “create” with “develop”).
5) Your job application is not about showcasing your good points, it’s about writing a showcase of the company’s good points, and incidentally happening to mention some evidence to support your claim that you’re a brilliant choice for a cog for their well-oiled corporate machine.
6) Remember, you never did anything if you didn’t “drive” or “lead” it.
7) Your CV duties explain your reason for existing in that job. Co-opt your team’s reason for existing if that makes you sound better. Even if all you did was the photocopying for the group that did the admin for team who wrote the specifications for the tender for the International Space Station loo paper, you should write that YOU personally were responsible for sending humanity into space.
Now to see if I get that job…