Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Job applications: the Essential Guide

Job applications: the Essential GuideFind out how to write an application that gets noticed and impress employers at interview.


Haven't found the job you want to apply for yet? Read our guide to jobhunting.

CVs, application forms and cover letters

Your CV, cover letter or application form is the first thing an employer sees when you apply for a job, so it's important to get it right.

A CV, curriculum vitae or résumé is a summary of your skills, qualifications and work experience. A cover letter goes alongside your CV, summarising why you think you would be a good fit for the job. Application forms normally cover both, and may also include more detailed questions about the job and how you would approach it.

Get the essentials:

Avoid common pitfalls:

If you're applying for your first job, it can be difficult to work out what to put on your CV. Find out how to identify the skills you have and build new ones that employers will love:

Job interviews

If your application makes a good impression, you'll be invited to a job interview. This is a chance for you to talk face-to-face with the employer, so that they can decide whether you are a good choice for the job and you can find out more about the job and the organization. You'll often have to attend two rounds of interviews for a job.

Find out more:

Job interviews come in many different varieties. You might be expected to complete a test, be interviewed as part of a group or even attend an all-day assessment. Find out more about the different styles of interview you can expect:

Most people find job interviews difficult. Find out how to approach some common problems:

If you're offered the job

You won't normally be offered the job there and then when you go for an interview. You can usually expect to hear back within a few days.

If you are offered the job, the employer will normally want to contact your references: people who can independently verify the things you have said about your experience and skills. Depending on the job, you may also have to complete security or criminal record checks before you can start.

Find out more:

Dealing with problems

Job hunting can be a difficult and stressful experience, and things can go wrong for anyone. Find out more how to handle some common problems: