1. Read before you write
The first thing to do is to read through the application form carefully, along with the job profile and person specification. Make a note of areas that need special attention and ensure you have a clear idea of what is expected of you on completing the form. Completing an application form should be given as much care and attention as writing your CV. Do not rush it. Make a note of the closing date and make sure you give yourself enough time to complete it.
If possible, take a photocopy to practice on first, then fill in the original. Keep the draft copy for future reference.
2. Filling in the form
- Complete the form in black ink or type
- Write neatly and check spellings
- Do not leave gaps, do not be put off by sections that seem outside your experience. For example, if the section on computer skills is not relevant for the post you have applied for, you then simply write "Not Applicable" in the box concerned
- Complete all the sections you are able to as clearly and fully as possible
- You can mention any experience gained at school or in training, work experience, voluntary work, at home and through hobbies
- Do not exaggerate or devalue, focus on positive information
3. Have evidence to back up your skills
On filling out the form, you need to provide evidence or examples that show you have the skills needed to do the job. So identify what is needed. Being invited to interview will depend on whether the information you have written in your application form shows that you meet the requirements of the person specification. If your skills do not match what is being asked for, it is unlikely you will be selected, so address all points on the person specification and job profile.
You should include a statement to fully explain how you meet the job requirements. For example, if the person specification asks for experience of working with young people - then writing "I have experience of working with young people" is not enough, you need to explain when, where, and what was involved.
"I was a children's entertainer at Pontin's Holiday Centre during my school holidays. This experience helped me to become outgoing, confident and willing to try new things."
4. Be honest with your answers
Be honest when answering the questions, if selected for an interview, you may have to talk about your answers. So do not pretend to have qualifications you have not got, as you will be asked to bring the certificates to an interview.
5. When you have finished
- Get someone to check it for you
- If you wish, include a covering letter stating what job you are applying for and any job reference number. It should briefly state your key skills and reasons for applying
- Post your form to reach us before the closing date
6. Make a copy of all documents
Keep copies of all documents associated with the application, and especially your completed application form, so you have something to refer to if called for an interview.
If an internal or external applicant feels that they have been unlawfully or unfairly discriminated against at any stage of the recruitment procedure they must write to the Human Resources Department within one month of the alleged event taking place, stating the reasons for the complaint. The matter will then be investigated and a written response to the allegation will be sent within ten working days.
If the complainant is still not satisfied with the response; internal applicants may invoke the grievance procedure, external candidates may request a copy of the council's complaint form.