Guidance notes on completing your application form
Why is it important that I complete my application form correctly?
The decision to invite you for interview is based entirely on what you include on your application form and how this relates to the job you are applying for.
What to do first
You should read through all of the information about the role you wish to apply for carefully, especially the Job Description, which outlines the duties of the post and the Person Specification which states the skills, experience and qualifications we think a candidate needs to be able to do the job.
You should make note of the closing date to ensure you submit your application before this date. If you begin an application, you will be reminded by email to submit before the closing date if you have not yet submitted the application.
How to apply
Before you apply you must register as a new user or sign into our online application system.
You must use our standard online application form unless you have a disability or for any other reason arrangements have been made for you to use a different method of application.
You must answer all the mandatory questions on the application form.
The online application will include the following sections.
In this section we will ask basic information about you so that we can contact you easily. If you do not wish to be contacted at work, please ensure you provide your personal phone number and email address.
It is our policy to ensure all appointments are made on merit. The details that you disclose in the personal details section will be removed before shortlisting begins to ensure that our recruitment processes remain fair for all applicants.
Equality and Diversity
We are committed to the principle of equal opportunity in employment. Our policy is that no job applicant and no employee shall receive less favourable treatment than another person because of their gender, marital status, sexuality, age, disability, religion, political persuasion, race, colour, nationality, (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origin and are not disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be justified.
In order to make sure this policy is working; we need to collect and analyse equality and diversity information of applicants. Any information you provide in this section will be removed prior to shortlisting.
The details you disclose will only be used for monitoring and reporting purposes and will be held in accordance with the UK General Data Protection Regulation and any other subsequent legislation.
Guaranteed Assessment Scheme
We have made a commitment to improve the employment opportunities for people with disabilities and ex-military personnel.
If you answer yes to any of the questions in this section, and meet the essential job role criteria as shown in the Person Specification, you will be shortlisted for assessment.
When answering the question on disability please note that under the Equality Act 2010 you are considered disabled if you:
- have a physical or mental impairment
- this impairment has an adverse effect which is substantial
- the effect is long term (usually lasting for 12 months or more)
- the effect has an adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day to day activities.
If you tell us you have a disability in your application form and you are successful for interview, we will ask you to provide information to help us to consider what reasonable adjustments or aids you need:
- for the interview
- to be able to carry out the duties of the job if you are appointed
We will also try to accommodate any adjustments you may require whilst completing your application.
All the information you provide will be treated as confidential.
In this section you should provide details of your current and past employers, if applicable. You will also have the option to provide additional employment history that you feel is relevant to the job role you are applying for such as any voluntary work you have done.
Please complete this section in date order, beginning with your most recent job and listing all work since leaving school/college. We may ask about any gaps in your employment history during the interview stage.
In this section you should give details of two referees, one of which must be from your current/last employer, higher education, if recently qualified, school or unemployment office.
References will not be accepted from relatives, or persons who only know you as a friend.
In all cases make sure you use someone who knows your capabilities and can comment on your reliability.
Education and training
In this section you should include details of any essential qualifications required for this role which will be included in the job advert or accompanying documents. You should also provide any additional qualifications or training you feel is relevant to the role.
In this section, you should also give details of any professional bodies of which you are a member, including the membership grade and the date of membership.
For some roles, the application form will ask you to provide information on the knowledge and experience you have for the role. This is the really important part of your application as it's where you can tell us what you can do and how we decide if we think you could have the necessary skills to undertake the role.
Have a good read through the Job Description and Person Specification information and think about the roles you have undertaken before and how your skills, knowledge and experience match what we are looking for. You should give examples that match the requirements of the role information - these can be from any previous employment, voluntary work or any other transferable life skills. For example, you may have lots of domestic responsibilities or may organise social/community activities in your spare time - it all counts!
Try to be as clear and organised in your responses as possible and talk about your specific responsibilities, not those of your section or department.
Be positive about your skills and specify your own responsibilities. It is important to try and relate these to the Job Description and Person Specification paying particular attention to how well you can meet the essential and desirable criteria.
If you do not meet the essential criteria, you will not be interviewed, so make sure you document how you meet the essential and desirable criteria on your application form. For example; if an essential criteria is 'IT Literate with Strong Microsoft Office software knowledge' please make sure you document this and include the packages (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint) you have knowledge of. We cannot assume you have these skills therefore if it is not documented, we cannot score it.
Curriculum Vitae (CV's)
For some roles a Curriculum Vitae (CV) will be requested as part of the application form. Please ensure you upload your most up to date CV.
When a CV is requested on the application form, we will also request that a covering letter is provided. Please refer back to the Job Description and Person Specification when writing your covering letter and include information to tell us how your knowledge and experience match what we are looking for. It is important to try and relate these to the Job Description and Person Specification paying particular attention to how well you can meet the essential and desirable criteria.
You should use the upload option to attach your CV and covering letter to the application.
It is important to read the job advert carefully before applying for any role. For some roles there may be further instructions in the job advert regarding information to include in a covering letter.
This is the final part of the application. This section is to confirm that the information you have entered in the application is correct and that you understand that your application may be rejected or that you may be dismissed without notice for withholding or giving false information.
You should check all the information in your application is correct before selecting the confirm option and entering the date you are submitting your application.
After you have submitted your application
Once you have submitted your online application you will receive email notification to advise it has been successfully submitted.
You will be able to log in to view your application at any time, alternatively you may download a copy.
Your completed application form will be used to decide whether or not you are selected for an interview.
If you are shortlisted, you should hear within 3 weeks of the closing date via email and we aim to give 1 weeks' notice before interviews.
Interviews are arranged using our online system. You will receive a link via email to log into your online account and select which interview slot is best for you. It is important to note that these are done on a first come first serve basis.
If you are unable to attend any of the interview slots you should contact us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we will try to arrange a date and time that suits you.
Once you have selected your interview slot, you will receive an email to confirm the date, time and location of interview as well as the name of the recruiting manager you should ask for when you arrive.
If you have been unsuccessful with your application, you will receive an email advising you that you have not been successful on this occasion.
Alternative ways of applying
If you are unable to complete an online application for any reason you should email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call us on 01257 515178 so we can arrange an alternative method for you to apply.
If you have filled in a hard copy application form or wish to send a hard copy CV and covering letter, you should return it (marked "Private & Confidential" Application Form) to:
If you have not heard from us within 3 weeks of the closing date, you can assume you have not been shortlisted.