Careers and Employability Centre

Applying for jobs

Introductory Events - Start here for help with your application!


Your CV or application is your chance to promote your achievements, experiences and skills to potential employers. The aim is to be shortlisted for the next stage of the selection process, which is usually an interview. 

You should try to make connections between what you have done (at university, in a club/society or in work) and their description of the ideal applicant. So, if they want a good communicator, give real examples of how you have used your communication skills.

Reflect on what you bring to the job or course you are applying for. Which of your strengths, skills and experience are relevant? Have a look at the Tips for writing CVs [PDF 148.28KB] which will help you identify these, and help you prepare evidence and examples to show that you have those skills (or have potential to develop them further).


  • Match what you’ve got to what they’re looking for - before you start writing, research the skills required in the job or course you’re going for
  • Where’s the evidence - find examples that show where and how you have developed these skills and that illustrate your strengths
  • Make it easy for the selector - make sure your applications are well structured, easy to read, not too long, and relevant. Use sub headings and bullet points


  • It is good practice to ask before giving someone as your reference
  • Usually employers will want to see a reference from your last employer and a tutor
  • Your personal tutor is usually the person to write your references
  • If you don't have much contact with your personal tutor you can ask someone else in your department