As part of Capital City College Group, London’s leading and largest further education provider, our commitment to equality and diversity will help to ensure that we are the first choice for students, staff, employers and partners.
Our college attracts students from all over the world who are seeking a first rate education and we recognise our responsibility to provide a positive and inspiring experience in terms of equality of opportunity.
Your CV is the ‘course of your life’ (literally translated from the Latin, curriculum vitae), detailing your personal details, qualifications, work experience and skills, to show potential employers why you are the best person for the job that you are applying for. Download our CV template to help you build yours:
You’ll also need to send a cover letter with your CV. Your cover letter should be customised to the company you want to work for, talking about some of your key skills, why you are applying for that specific job vacancy and how you are the perfect match for their organisation.
The aim of the cover letter is to convince an employer to read your CV. It is usually the first contact they have with you, so it’s important to get it right. You can use your cover letter to explain what interests you about the company, why you are the perfect candidate and to highlight particularly relevant areas of your CV.
– Make your cover letter to the point. Aim for around three or four paragraphs – outline why you want the job, why you’d be good at it and what you like about the company.
– Check your spelling, grammar and overall presentation.
– Address your letter to a named person, even if this means you have to phone the company. This will ensure that it reaches the right person. It also gives you a contact name for a follow-up call or email.
– Think from the employer’s perspective, rather than your own. Tell them what you can contribute to the organisation rather than how it can benefit you.
– Make it personal and relevant to the organisation – don’t send them a standard letter with only some details changed.
– Do some research on the company you are applying to so you can be specific about why you want to work for them e.g. mention their successes, values or clients.
– Show you understand the job by highlighting aspects of the role that interests you.
– Show how your key strengths match their requirements.
If necessary, you can use your cover letter to explain any gaps in employment, or ways in which you do not match the selection criteria, but use these in a positive way – talk about how you overcame the issues, or how you will gain the skills you need through training and a willingness to learn
– At the end of your letter respectfully request an interview or an opportunity for an informal meeting.
– Remember – use ‘yours sincerely’ if you are writing to someone by name. If you cannot find out who to address the letter to, use ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ and ‘Yours faithfully’.
Many employers use their own application process rather than accepting a CV and cover letter. The main difference between a CV and a job application form is the ‘statement’ where you have to demonstrate, in detail with examples, your skills and abilities which are needed to do the job that you are applying for. However, other parts of the job application form will be similar to your CV and can be copied across, such as personal details, work history, qualifications and references. It always helps to have your CV to hand when filling in your application form.
Things to think about before submitting your job application form include:
If you get invited for an interview, make sure you have a final readthrough of your application, as they may ask you questions about your work history or the things you have written about in your statement.
Writing a personal statement gives you the chance to write about why you want the job, or course, you’re applying for.
You will need several drafts – don’t expect to start and finish it in one go!
You can show your draft to one of our Careers Advisers to get feedback and get some confidence that you’re developing it along the right guidelines.
For UCAS, your personal statement should be:
Take a look at the UCAS personal statement worksheet to help you get started.
Dress appropriately, so you feel confident and self-assured. Most employers will expect you to dress smartly and a suite can make a good first impression. Make sure you are well-groomed – that means tidy hair, a clean, ironed outfit and clean shoes.
Make sure you have investigated how to get to the interview. Check for travel updates to see if there are any delays and allow yourself plenty of time to get there.
Practice interview questions well in advance. Take a look at the Prospects website for more tips. Make sure you have done your research about the company, what they offer and their values.
Interview preparation resources: