Writing Applications

Making an application for a job can be very daunting, there are normally 2 different ways that employers use to manage their applications. Some ask for a CV and cover letter others have their own application process.

The video below explains how you can access support with your CV. The rest of this blog is based on an application form or online process, but the main principles can also be applied to your CV.

It’s always good to start from scratch (or Nuzzle, if you have kids or younger siblings, you will get that), what is the point of the job?

Most job advertisements include a Job Description and a Person Specification.  Basically an employer decides that they need to recruit someone for a role (either to replace someone or introduce a new position). They will have a list of responsibilities that the new post holder will be accountable for, this will become the Job Description. They will then look at the Job Description and consider what level of education is needed, any specific qualifications and review what skills and experiences will be needed in order to be able to successfully achieve the demands of the role. This becomes the Person Specification. They set a recruitment process up, agree a time period for the position to be open for and advertise the job through their preferred channels.

This is  where you come in!

Firstly you will need to find a post, pop into Careers Express in the Employability Hub on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10:30 and 12:30 to speak to one of our advisers, Creative campus students – you can e-mail Chris on biggsc@hope.ac.uk to arrange to meet him in the Student Success Zone (he is a great guy and will help out, if I do say so myself, as he is myself!!!).

Our Careers and Employability Team regularly upload opportunities to the My Jobs section of My Career Centre, click here to check it out: My Jobs

We have links to graduate recruitment websites here

We also have an imodule on job hunting techniques here

Now that you have found a job, check that you meet all of the essential criteria and as many as the desirable as possible.

You need to complete all of the sections in the form or online form. Your contact details, no silly e-mail addresses please!!! Make sure you put your correct grades down in the education section, some companies want to see certificates for every GCSE qualification and above that you list, so make sure you have the certificates or evidence. You also need to get credit for every job that you have had, list them all, even if you think they are irrelevant. If there is limited space you will need to list the most recent first, then use common sense or provide an additional sheet with them on.

Some companies use competency or behavioural questions which are normally based on the skills and behaviours which would have been identified in the Person Specification. If you come across any questions like this, I would suggest you use the STAR framework to answer the questions. Describe the Situation that you were in, then the relevant Task, what Action you took, and finally what was the Result, what was the positive outcome? It is very important to prove that you have the relevant level of competence in that skill, the employer will assess you on this answer so you need to prove to them that you have what it takes.

If there is a section asking for a personal statement, you need to use this space to sell yourself, If I had a quid for every time someone showed me an old application form and they put N/A in this section, I wouldn’t be writing this blog now, I’d be on a beach retired!!! This is a very important part of the form.  You need to have a start, middle and end. Introduce why you are interested and suited for the position, then prove why you are suited for the position and then end politely and respectfully. In the middle bit you should copy and paste all of the skills and experiences from the Person Specification and then start writing examples which demonstrate how you have that skill or experience. There may be some examples that if you reshape you could cover more than one of the listed skills or experiences, this is fine. Just don’t over complicate things. You should not go over more than 2 pages. If you have to then you do, but I would suggest getting it checked by a Careers Adviser in Careers Express (see above).

To help you get shortlisted for an interview we will be running a comprehensive workshop on how to write applications and get shortlisted for an interview.

Time: 2pm,

Date: Wednesday 7th Feb,

Venue: Employability Hub

Log in to My Careers Centre via My Hope to book on to this talk, Limited availability, or click here

If you are unable to attend, please watch the clip below to find out how our Careers and Employability service can help you with writing applications.

Keep checking the My Events page on My Careers Centre to book on to other workshops which will help guide you through those important next steps in your career.

This section doesn’t cover making use of social media, check out this blog to learn more about that!!!!


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