Applications and CVs

The aim of an application form is to secure you an interview with an employer; the aim of an interview is to get you the job. Below is advice on completing effective job applications and CVs.

Tips for writing good applications

Get as much help as you can with your application and remember to talk to an Ealing Connexions Adviser. 

If you are applying for an apprenticeship through the National Apprenticeship Service, take a look at their Find an Apprenticeship website. To find out more about apprenticeships in the local area, click here

What to include in an application

Most application forms will include the sections below

Personal Details

Make sure these details are accurate, include your National Insurance number if you are asked to and make sure you provide a phone number that they can use to contact you easily. Make sure email addresses are professional such as: and not

Employment History

Unless you’re given different instructions, start with your most recent job first and work backwards, making sure that the dates are accurate to the month. Make sure employment addresses are correct too. Include a small list of main duties; ideally these will be duties that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Include any part time or voluntary work and your work experience placement at school.

Education History

Again start with the most recent place you studied and work backwards. Include secondary/high school details but you don’t have to include your primary school details.


You will be asked to provide contact details for two people who can give you a reference. They may be asked to comment on your: reliability, motivation, time-keeping, sickness, ability to work without supervision. You should ask someone who knows you well. The first reference should be your last employer or tutor from your last place of education. The other should ideally be another professional you have worked with.

Skills and abilities/Person specification

The job description, the document that describes the tasks you will be required to do, will have a person specification section. This is a list of skills, abilities, knowledge and understanding the employer expects an applicant to have to do the job well.

To secure an interview you need to write a statement for each point. Ideally you should include a specific example to demonstrate that you have the skill, ability, knowledge or understanding they require. Your Connexions PA can help you get this right.

You may also be asked to write about why you want the job. Stay away from talking about the perks they may offer and concentrate on two or three points such as the type of work on offer, what the organisations does, what you like about it and how it fits into your long term plans.

Other headings may include:


If you have a disability and need adjustments for the interview it is important to complete this part of the form. It is your personal choice to use this box. The idea is to make sure you will be treated fairly and have every opportunity to highlight your skills and knowledge. It is vital that they assess you based on what you can do rather than something you may need support with. Keep in mind that many employers have a positive disability scheme.

Criminal Records Bureau permission or enhanced vetting

You may be asked to sign an agreement to allow your employer to carry out a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check on you. They hold records on all people who have a conviction in the UK. There are some jobs where a CRB check is required by law, such as working with young people and vulnerable adults. They will only do this when you have been offered the job. It is very important that you disclose any convictions, even if they are a long time ago, in your application form. Talk to your Connexions PA about the best way to do this.

Monitoring information

The monitoring form will be separated from the rest of your application before a potential employer looks at your application form. It is important that you complete it fully as the information is used to make sure the employer’s recruitment process is fair.

Useful websites


A Curriculum Vitae (CV)  is a written overview of your skills, education, and work experience, that is sent to a prospective employer when you are looking for employment.

Your CV needs to clearly show an employer that you can meet the requirements for the job outlined in their job specification.

Some key points to remember:

Your CV will show the employer that you have:

A good CV should: