Step 1 Prepare yourself
•    Get all your basic information together: personal details, education etc.
•    Contact the people you want to use as referees, to get their permission and to confirm their contact details.
•    Think about why you want the job.
•    Think about what you have to offer and what makes you stand out.

Step 2 Find out what the employer wants
•    Check closing dates; if possible, apply before the deadline. Some employers start processing applications before the closing date – and they are usually deluged by last-minute applications – so if you submit yours early you may get more attention.
•    Read the job description and personal specification to find out what skills and experience they are looking for.
•    Research the organisation for more clues about the kind of applicant who would be successful.

Step 3 Write your application
•    Give yourself enough time: writing a good job application is likely to take longer than you expect.
•    Draft your answers first, before you start filling in the form.
•    Read the application form right through before you write anything. Follow all instructions and answer the questions asked (yes, it is a bit like an exam!).
•    If there is a question that does not apply to you, write ‘not applicable’ or ‘N/A’ in the appropriate box. This shows that you have considered the question and is better than leaving blanks.
•    Make your answers relevant, interesting and personal. Your aim is to write your own interview invitation, so you want to stand out.

Step 4 Final checks


•    Spell check and proof read your application. If possible, ask a friend or careers adviser to check it too.
•    Check that you have included everything you’ve been asked for.
•    Keep a copy of your application, so you can go over it before the interview.
•    Sign and send!

Ref: Grad Ireland 7/06/12

CMSE Placement & Recruitment Department