Preparing your application

This might mean filling out a paper form by hand, but more likely you will fill it out on a computer and submit it or email it back.

There are several different ways that application forms are used. You may be asked to:

  • Fill out a form on paper which you have downloaded from an email or website, or had posted to you
  • Input information directly into online forms
  • Download forms and complete them on your computer before emailing them back
  • Download forms, and complete them in a standard software package such as Microsoft Word, before emailing them back
  • Download forms, print them and complete them by hand before posting them back

You should use the information you collected on your job advert analysis to give you most of the answers. You may be asked to upload other documents, for example your CV or copies of your qualifications.

Be sure to follow all the instructions you are given, complete all the mandatory elements and submit your application before the deadline!


Potential employers will often ask for the names of people who can provide a reference for you and vouch for you. This may be a previous employer, or if you haven’t worked, then someone who knows you well, although it should usually not be a family member. You may be asked for the names of referees as part of the application or it may be later in the process, but it a good idea to think in advance of who would make a good referee. If it is a previous employer then they usually expect to be asked for references, but if it is non-work reference, you should ask their permission to use their name.

There is more information on references in the section on ‘Answering and asking questions at interview’.