Researching a job application

The first step will be to contact the organisation to request further information about the role or career path.

Organisations vary in the amount of information that they provide to prospective candidates, ranging from an extensive pack of information (including information on the organisation, a full job description and detailed person specification) to a short overview of the role with a brief description of the experience and personal attributes required.

Don’t forget to browse the organisation’s website yourself.

Any information you receive should be read through carefully to identify the skills, competencies, knowledge and experience required for the role. Has the employer indicated which of these are essential (E) and which are desirable (D)?

You can then start to think about the evidence and examples that you can provide against these skills to use in your application to demonstrate that you are a good fit for the role. Break the skills down and think about how they would be applied in the context of the role.

Application processes vary, with some organisations asking applicants to send a CV and cover letter and others requiring an application form to be filled in, perhaps on line. Some employers may ask for a CV to be attached as well.

You should not simply focus on whether you have all the requirements – qualifications, experience or skills. Also consider how you can coherently and robustly demonstrate skills that can be transferable – or those you have the potential to attain.