Whether you are applying with a CV, cover letter and/or application form, we can help you prepare a stand out application for jobs or further study.

However, before putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), we recommend you do your homework. Showing an awareness of what you are applying for and why you are interested in this particular organisation and sector, can make the difference between a successful and a failed application.

Research the job or course

Employers and postgraduate course providers will usually give you details of the job or course you are applying to and tell you what they are looking for in potential applicants – read these carefully. Think about what relevant qualifications, knowledge, skills and experience you can offer from your education, work experience and extra-curricular activities and why you are attracted to this role or area of study.

Research the organisation and the sector

You will also need to consider why you want to work or study at this particular organisation and are attracted to this sector through research via their website, trade journals and other news sites. 

Our Industry Reports can provide valuable data for each sector including annual turnover and profit, details of the market structure and employment, current and future trends, top 100 companies and a SWOT analysis of the sector.

The library subscribes to a number of business databases that can help you research more detailed sector and company information if required. Databases you can use for job seeking include:

  • Factiva: full text database of both global newspapers and company reports, includes the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal
  • Business Source Complete: full text database containing over 3,000 business journals, includes company profiles, SWOT analyses and market research reports
  • Mintel: UK market research reports, useful for overviews of sectors

Find these using Library Search or contact your Academic Liaison Librarians for an introductory session.

You're now ready to write. 


We can help you prepare a tailored CV that will stand out from the crowd and give you a chance to get to through to the next stage of the application process.

Read moreGo to CVs page

Cover letters

CVs are almost always accompanied by a well written and targeted cover letter. A cover letter is as much a part of your marketing strategy as your CV and should clearly communicate why you want to work for this particular employer in this specific role. Read our top tips on writing cover letters that will leave an impression on potential employers.

Read moreGo to Cover letters page

Application forms

Some jobs and most further study courses require you to complete an application form. Find our top tips and advice on how to complete an application form effectively to maximise your chances of progressing.

Read moreGo to Application forms page

Useful downloads


Visit Safer Jobs for advice on how to avoid identity theft, phishing, recruitment agency and CV writing scams during your job hunt.