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How to apply for a job


Normally when you apply for a job you will need to complete an application form and/or send a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a Covering letter (sometimes called a Cover letter).

Filling in an application form

Many employers prefer application forms to CVs. Forms are easier to compare because they follow the same  format. You will be asked to complete a paper application form or an online application form.

On Line application forms

If the form is online, it is a good idea to write a draft of your application first – in a word processing package like Word – and save it to your computer. This way you’ll be able to run a spell check before you copy the information into the online system. It also means you’ll have a back-up if there’s a problem with the form.

Paper application forms 

If you’re filling in a form by hand, write as neatly as you can in black ink. Use block capital letters if the form asks you to.

TOP TIPS: checking your application form

Get it right — whether your form is online or on paper you should:

  • read it over a few times to check for spelling and grammatical errors – these are one of the most common reasons applications are rejected
  • ask someone else to proof read it and check it for you
  • check you’ve filled in all the boxes you need to. If you leave an empty box the employer might think your form is incomplete. If a box isn’t relevant, put ‘N/A’ (not applicable) in the space provided
  • photocopy or print out the finished form, so that you have a record of what you’ve written. It will be useful to remind yourself if you get an interview
  • take note of the closing date and send your application form to arrive in good time.



Page last reviewed: 12/06/2023

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