Careers Advice, Preparing for your future

Struggling with application forms? Here are some tips to help

Our Employability Manager shares her tips on Application Forms…


If you’re struggling with an application form for a grad scheme or summer internship, Careers & Employability can help you.  Here I’ve noted the careers resources available to you before you go home for summer and accessible online 24/7 via the Student Intranet.


Application forms are widely used to recruit staff. They are also used by universities to recruit to postgraduate courses. Ultimately, the purpose of an application form is to get you an interview, whether for a job or a course. Your application form will often be your first point of contact with an employer and it is vital that you make a good impression. Understanding the types of form and question that you are likely to encounter, and how you might go about filling in and answering them, will help you make accurate and effective applications which stand out from the crowd. The resources and tips noted here are designed to help you create applications that are successful for you.


Getting started with your application


1) Read our applications forms booklet?

Read this and glean information from our experts before you undertake the challenge of completing an application form.


2) Attended one of our application forms workshops? 

Visit the events pages and book to attend our application forms workshop. Workshops run weekly, book online or pop in to find out more.


3) Meet your Careers Adviser?

If you would like one-to-one help, you can book a 15 minute appointment with a careers adviser. We also hold drop-in appointments 10am – 4pm weekdays, just pop along to  2nd Floor, 50 Park Place and wait for the next available slot with a careers adviser.


Make sure you do these things #beforeyougraduate and whilst you can still access all of our resources!


Application complete, don’t send it yet!

So, your application form is almost complete – now it is time to review what you’ve written and make any changes before you submit it, make sure you’ve giving yourself the best chance of making it to the next stage in the recruitment process, and are one step closer to getting your dream job/internship/placement!


Final checklist

In your content have you…
– adequately researched the role, the employer, the sector?
– used examples to demonstrate your skills and experience?
– answered all sections and addressed all elements of the job description/person specification?

In relation to structure do your answers…
–  follow the STAR method? 
–  capture the readers attention?

When it comes to language have you…
– checked for typos, grammatical errors and avoided unnecessary duplication?
– mirrored the language found in the organisation’s recruitment literature?
– proof-read and reviewed your application?


And the ultimate question to ask yourself  – Is my application interesting to read and distinguished from other candidates?


Hopefully, access to these resources and the tips noted here will or have helped you create a great application.  Let us know how you get on and come back if you need support with any aspect of the recruitment process.


Remember to follow and like us on twitter and Facebook and join us with #beforeyougraduate to get the latest updates from Careers and Employability and to let us know how you’re getting on.


Your feedback and help please

Have you found this blog post useful?  Please help us by commenting in the comments bar below, and  if there is anything further you’d like to know ask your questions there too.

We’d also be grateful if you can share this information by re-tweeting or sharing with your fellow students who may find this useful – you can do this by using the share buttons or via twitter and facebook.


Good luck!

Victoria Rees, Employability Manager
Careers & Employability


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The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice & Money, Careers & Employability, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Disability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.

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