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Preparing Your CV and Application Form. Lecture 8. Making Effective Applications:. “Past behaviour is really the best indicator of future behaviour. That’s what application forms and CV’s are all about” (A graduate employer). General Advice :. Expect to spend several hours on an application

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making effective applications
Making Effective Applications:

“Past behaviour is really the best indicator of future behaviour. That’s what application forms and CV’s are all about”

(A graduate employer)

general advice
General Advice :
  • Expect to spend several hours on an application
  • It takes on average 2 minutes to read!
  • Know yourself
  • Know the employer – target CV to the job/employer
  • Make your application/CV focused
  • Clear presentation/layout
  • Use appropriate language – avoid jargon
  • Seek advice – get it checked
  • Keep copies
cv s when to use them
CV’s : When to use them
  • Only use when requested
  • For speculative applications
  • When asked for “applications in writing”
  • To register with employment agencies
  • As an introduction at fairs or in networking
cv s continued
CV’s continued :
  • 3 types : Chronological, Skills-based/ Functional, and Targeted
  • Many law firms prefer Chronological
  • Expect to adapt your CV for different applications
  • Keep to 2 pages – prioritise your information
cv s what to include
CV’s - What to include :
  • Personal details
  • Education and Qualifications
  • Personal Statement ?
  • Work Experience
  • Skills
  • Activities/interests
  • References
types of cv
Types of CV:
  • Chronological

√ Standard and familiar × Gaps are obvious

√ Progression is clear × Skills can get buried

  • Skills Based

√ Skills are highlighted × More difficult to write

√ Matches Person Spec × Can be difficult to follow

  • Targeted

√ Evidence of exp/strengths × More difficult to compose

√ Matches employers needs × Difficult to follow

covering letters
Covering Letters :
  • Briefly introduce yourself; what job you are applying for; where you saw the advert, etc.
  • Give reasons why you are applying for this job in this organisation. Demonstrate your enthusiasm and understanding of the job/employer
  • Explain why you are a good candidate; highlight important points from your CV; add any relevant information or explanations not in the CV.
  • If necessary explain any gaps or anomalies in your CV. Explain how these have helped you in a positive way.
  • Tell them when you are available for interview, and finish on a positive note, eg “look forward to hearing from you”.
application forms
Read through the whole form before you begin

Photocopy the blank form

Keep to the prescribed format – read the instructions!

Use the space provided

Complete all sections – even if N/A

Download the form and word process if possible

Do each form individually- don’t cut and paste from your CV

Use positive language

Check spelling and grammar; language and tone

Application Forms :
what do employers want to see
What do employers want to see ?
  • A well-structured application that lists examples from across your work, life and study
  • Relevant (transferable) skills and experience – provide evidence and examples of achievements in education/work
  • That you ‘fit’ the job and organisation
  • Information about your career motivation – why have you applied ?
  • Detail : responsibilities; successes; outcomes; what you gained
on line applications
On-line Applications :
  • A growing number of larger firms use online application procedures
  • The rules generally are the same
  • Drop-down boxes may not always offer relevant options
  • Download the form if you can
  • Remember it is a formal application
  • Look at : for help with online forms
Resources :
  • OU Careers Advisory Service :

Career Planning and Job Seeking Resource Pack

OU Study and Your Career

  • The college of Law :
  • Graduate Prospects Website :

Making Applications Prospects Planner

Legal Sector Briefing Postgraduate Study

Options with Law etc

  • Law Careers Advice Network:
  • Law Careers :
  • Institute of Legal Executives :
careers advisory service the open university www open ac uk careers
Careers Advisory ServiceThe Open