Student Guidance Centre


Whatever you plan to do after your degree, the application, online applications are normally the first step. Many graduate jobs and postgraduate courses are highly competitive so make sure your application is effective and takes you through to the next stage.

Preparation is the key and here are some helpful tips:

Establish the company's requirements

Read the job description to find out what the job entails.

  • The job advert and personnel specification will specify the job criteria-ensure that you indicate how you meet the essential and desirable criteria on the application form.
  • Research the company e.g. website - use this to identify the culture of the organisation and to help you answer why you want to work for this company.

From your research, draw out the skills, qualifications and experience that the recruiter is looking for. Attend Careers Events that involve the companies you are interested in. Details are on MyFuture

Completing the application form

  • Keep a note of your login and password. 
  • For long answers, the form may time-out if you try to complete it online. Read the questions first, then draft your answers, then copy and paste into the form. This also means you can spell and grammar check your answers.
  • Keep a note of the answers you submitted.

Personal Interests and Achievements

Use examples of both team oriented activities and personal interests where possible. Utilise the space to explain what you gained from your interests. Differentiate yourself from other candidates by highlighting any areas of responsibility or achievement. Employers will expect you to describe the activities, your involvement in them and how you have developed by taking part in them.

Specific evidence

Use the STAR format when answering questions about competencies: Situation, Task, Action, Result.

The competencies frequently sought by employers include the following:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Initiative
  • Problem solving
  • Flexibility/ adaptability
  • Self- awareness
  • Commitment/ motivation
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Numeracy

Further Help

It is good to get someone to read your application form. You can make an appointment to speak to a Careers Consultant via MyFuture

Useful booklets, online and multi media materials are available from the Careers, Employability and Skills. Details are available in Information Resources section of MyFuture

The Careers, Employablity and Skills also holds relevant workshops throughout the academic year, advertised on our MyFuture