General Application Advice

Please note that the following is general advice and does not relate specifically to the application forms on this site.

Application Forms

It is not possible to produce a good application without giving yourself the time to do so. You need to read through the form itself, and any accompanying literature, before you begin to draft your answers.

  • Check your dates and details for the factual section
  • Consider which of your achievements / experiences you can use
  • Examples can be drawn from your social life as well as your academic and work experience
  • Think about what the employer is looking for and what you need to show
  • Remember that this is an opportunity to sell yourself
  • If applying online ensure you are using the most up-to-date version of your web browser to ensure compatibility with the online application form.

Tailor your application

You need to be sure that you are applying to the right jobs/companies, otherwise you will find it extremely difficult to complete the application form:

  • Have you thoroughly researched both?
  • Have you a realistic idea of what the job involves?
  • Do you know what the employer is looking for?
  • Could you do the job/fit in to the organisation?


  • List the skills that are required and then list the evidence you will use to match them
  • Try out different answers. It may take several attempts to get balanced answers which fit in the spaces provided
  • Use positive language and write clearly and concisely
  • Check your spelling and grammar
  • Get someone to check what you have written.

Watch the detail

  • Follow any instructions - these often appear at the top of the application form
  • Pay attention to the layout
  • Check with your referees before putting their names down. You may also want to let them know which jobs you have applied for and give them a copy of your application.
  • Make sure that you have answered all the questions and addressed all of the criteria
  • Keep a copy of the completed form - you will need to refer to it if you go for interview.

Before you start

Just as with any printed Application Form, the content of your application is vital. You need to think about the questions and prepare your responses. You should practice your answers in a separate document or on paper. The text boxes will probably expand, but you should try and produce balanced responses. It may help to think about the space usually allocated on a traditional printed form.

After you've completed the form

Check your spelling and grammar, especially as you cannot always use a spell check (NB this does not always pick up on all mistakes eg liaise, driving licence, these are the correct spellings!). Before actually sending the form, read it through, making sure you have completed all sections. Ensure you have access to a copy to consult before your interview.