Applying for a Job

You can apply for a job by writing a CV and writing a Covering Letter.

However, many jobs require an alternative approach: an application form specific to the company or organisation. Unlike your CV, if you are offered a job based on an application form, it forms part of your employment contract with the company so it is absolutely vital that it contains correct information.

The Golden Rule of Job Applications

The most important thing to remember when applying for a job is that your application needs to stand out for the right reasons.

This means:

  • No spelling mistakes
  • No grammatical errors
  • No lying - it's just too easy to check using Google

If you have to hand-write an application form, which is rare, keep your writing neat, and don't write entirely in block capitals unless that is specified.

5 tips for submitting a great application

1. Why is the company advertising this job?

It could be a new role, or one that's now empty because of a promotion or someone leaving. Either way, the company has decided to hire a new employee. So have a think for yourself what the expectations might be around the role, and how your performance might be measured.

2. What will the job involve?

What kind of tasks will you have to undertake to get things done? Some of these may be included in the job ad. Make a list and see if there's anything there that takes you out of your comfort zone. Or perhaps it feels like a good fit.

3. What skills might you need?

Think about what you're good at - both practical things like IT, details, writing, mechanics etc and what are called people skills like listening, problem solving and team building. Perhaps you can match your skills to those identified in the ad. Are there new skills that you'd like to learn on the job?

4. What experiences might be relevant?

Many employers like to know a bit about the kind of person you are. Run through the things you've done in your life, beyond work and education. Have you volunteered, belonged to a club, traveled, set up a group, had an interesting hobby? These types of experiences say something about your confidence, enthusiasm and commitment.

5. How will you make a difference?

Imagine that you get the job; your employers will expect you to make a difference. Can you picture what you'd like to achieve for the company, and for yourself? At interview, candidates are often asked the question: "Where do you see yourself in five years' time?". If you've already had a think about the ways you can make a difference, you'll be perfectly placed to answer it.


Dictionary of skills

An A to Z of the skills employers look for in the workplace. Find the ones that best describe you and include them on your CV.


  • Discover the definition of key skills that are relevant to work.
  • Pick the words that best describe you.
  • Include them on your CV when applying for jobs.

Job Quiz

Understanding what an employer is looking for can help you tailor your CV and covering letter for your job application.


  1. Read the job advert carefully
  2. Answer the 5 multiple-choice questions
  3. See how well you did

* In order to complete the activity you will need to register on the LifeSkills created with Barclays website.