Dr Laura Bradley
Applying For Jobs
Making a successful job application means
convincing someone else that you are:
• Personally suited
• Timely applications are essential
– It is always good to get your application in on
time, but in a more competence climate it’s
– Start looking for jobs early and keeping closing
dates for application at the forefront of your
• Be a well informed candidate…
– Keep up to date with what’s going on in the
world of for example, IT and
• Most employers in Northern Ireland will not
accept a CV.
– If they are recruiting they will usually respond to
your CV by sending you their company
– This is the result of local fair employment
– Local companies will often include a separate
form for equal opportunities monitoring.
• A CV is widely accepted outside NI and will also
provide a useful summary when you are
completing company forms.
• You need to know about the company and the
vacancy you are applying for.
– You must demonstrate that you have thought
about you application and really want to work for
• The main difference between a CV and a
company form is that you have control of the
design of your CV while an application form is
designed by the employer to provide the
information they regard as relevant to the post.
– Most major companies are looking for job
related knowledge and relevant experience
as well as transferable skills.
• Amass your Evidence
– Look at the selection criteria
– Find evidence to meet these criteria
• Do exactly what they say
– Employers will ask you to send them a CV, a
particular application form or to apply online
SAF Standard Application Form
EAF Employer Application Form
• Target your application
– Target the company – shows that you have
made an effort
• Don’t be afraid of hard forms with difficult
– Answers should be meaty with no waffle
• Don’t leave any gaps
- Account for any gaps in education /
• Get a second opinion
- Get someone to proof read your form
• Be aware that some employers put a lot of
stress on past academic performance e.g. A-
• If your A - levels are weak, stress your more
recent degree course grades. Employers are
also interested in the depth of your
knowledge of IT subjects.
• Being interested in working for the company is
an essential requirement, not just for your own
job satisfaction but from the employer's point of
• Do some research on the company, then use
your answers to application form questions to
demonstrate what you have learned about
• Quote your sources so the selector can see the
trouble you have gone to.
Past experience is considered the
best indicator of future performance.
• When trying to demonstrate your personal
suitability for a job, a good approach is to use
key words from the job description. Try and
match these with examples drawn from your
Try using some of the following to add colour to your
application and to project a positive image.
achieved elected initiated pioneered
advised encouraged launched planned
arranged enhanced led proposed assisted
exceeded managed represented
clarified facilitated mastered researched
completed founded negotiated simplified
• Quicker and easier for the company
• Online forms take as long as paper ones to
complete and require just as much preparation
• If you can, download the form and fill it in
before going live
• Cut and paste your perfect answers from a
word processor if possible
• Save regularly in case of crashes
• Some online forms incorporate an aptitude or
personality test. These may be timed and you only
get one chance, so don’t start them until you are
• Very few forms have spell checkers, so take care
that your English is OK
• Don’t rush it. Only press ‘submit’ when you are
• If you haven’t heard from the organisation after a
few weeks, give them a call. Machines can have
• Fast growing, dynamic….
They won’t want to spend a lot of time holding
your hand. You should demonstrate you are
keen to learn new skills.
• Belfast, London and Dublin
They are mobile, are you?
• Financial Services etc
Do you know what these business sectors do?
Can you provide other examples than the ones in
What are your grades like?
Evidence of achievement.
• One in ten chance
Its competitive. What makes you better?
Legible – spell checked – thorough – differentiating
• The Interview
Introductions – Background – how you ended
where you are
Summer jobs, responsibility
What do you know – How can you apply it
What are YOU looking for
• ‘A good academic background is most important
along with a passion for what the candidate enjoys,
should it be building websites for friends or a love
of music or sport’
Northbrook Technology NI
• ’Information is tailored to the position applied for
• Logical sequence of information
• Information supplied is up to date’
• ‘Short and to the point
• State degree and graduation year
• Correct spelling’
• ’Neatly presented information – type if you don’t
trust your own handwriting
• Relevant information – demonstrate you have the
• Don’t leave blank spaces’
• Example Questions About You
– Describe a situation where you have had to
– Please give one or two recent examples to
illustrate your abilities to work effectively with
– Looking at your life as a whole, indicate three
key events or experiences which you considered
to have been instrumental in shaping who you
– Please identify any major successes in your life
• Example Questions About The Job
– What relevant skills and qualities can you bring
to the organisation?
– Why do you think you would be suited to a
career in consulting?/ banking
– Explain which specific factors attract you to
your choice of career
• Open-ended Questions
• Structure is the key here:
– state why you are interested in this job and this
– describe the key qualities that you can bring to
the job [with evidence that proves you have
– Detail any work experience or course work that
has been of special relevance
– List any technical skills
• Business Awareness
Please indicate any particular sectors of our
business that especially interest you, and give the
• Job Awareness
Please give an indication, with reasons, of the type
of work you would like to pursue, mentioning any
relevant qualities or expertise you possess.
• Problem Solving
Describe a problem or project you have had to
solve. What methods did you use?
• Team Work
Have you ever been a member of a successful
team? In your opinion why was the team
• Planning & Organising
Give details of your main extra curricular
activities to date. What have you contributed and
what have you got out of them?