Careers and Employability Skills Centre

Careers and Employability Skills Centre

CVs and Application Forms

Tips for Completing an Application Form

  • Make several copies of the form so you can prepare a number of drafts in rough.
  • Read the form carefully and make sure you understand what is being asked.
  • Make sure you follow the instructions; e.g. Use black ink, use block capitals etc.
  • Check dates; make sure you have all the information requested.
  • Your answers need to include evidence from all aspects of your life - academic, school experience, personal achievements, societies and sport.
  • Always ask: why are they asking this question? What do they need to know?
  • Under School Experience; list in reverse chronological order.
  • Use the power word list when framing your answers - concise, positive, to the point and within the space allowed.
  • Always fill the space allocated for an answer.
  • Cigarettes, food, drinks can all leave disqualifying traces, and music may distract - best avoid them all while completing forms.
  • Personal information (biodata) - Some forms or sections of forms ask you to tick basic data about yourself. Make sure to complete this fully.
  • Referees - Use an academic referee and one who can speak about your practice (unless otherwise instructed).


  • Personal details
  • Career objective
  • Education - reverse chronological order
  • Work experience - reverse chronological order
  • Additional skills
  • Interests and Achievements
  • Referees - one academic, one school experience

A CV should be on A4 pages if possible.

If you have a lot of school experience, 3 pages is permissible.

Never exceed 3 pages.

Sample CV cover letter