Making successful applications
If your application does you justice it will give you the best chance of getting an interview. So take time over crafting your application form, and keep the following tips in mind.
The people shortlisted for interview will be those that most closely match the person specification. How do the skills and experience you have outlined in your previous work history match the requirements of the post? What about your duties and responsibilities?
Make this all very clear in your application - and never submit the same form twice. Always adapt it to show how you meet the person specification of the specific role.
Complete all the parts of the form
Read the instructions very carefully and fill in every section of the application form. The information you give in the 'application for employment' section will be used to decide if you should be shortlisted for interview. The 'personal details' and 'monitoring information' sections will not be used for shortlisting, but will be kept for administrative purposes.
Back it up with good supporting information
The 'supporting information' section is your opportunity to sell yourself - so make sure you use it to your advantage. You can include any information here that is not already covered elsewhere on the form. This is about convincing the recruiter you have the required skills, knowledge and experience - and that they really should be inviting you for interview.
You can include, among other things, more details about:
- your duties and responsibilities
- your skills, knowledge or experience relevant to the post
- apparent gaps in your career profile
- any voluntary work you have carried out
- your research experience
- publications or presentations
- clinical care or clinical audit.
Specific information is much better than vague generalisation. Always back up what you are saying with relevant examples of your experience, achievements and any resulting lessons. So rather than just saying 'I am a good team-player', give examples of teams you have been part of, describe your role within those teams, and explain what you achieved by working collectively. Examples also help to bring your form to life, and get across your personality. The recruiter will be trying to gauge what kind of person you are, as well as looking at your qualifications and experience.
Check, check and check again.
If you can, give your form the 'overnight test' and go back to it the next day, to read it with fresh eyes. It can also be useful to get someone else to read it for you. And remember, no matter how good your form is, spelling mistakes will really let it down - so do a spell check!