Whether you are applying with a CV, cover letter and/or application form, we can help you prepare a stand out application to secure an interview.

Here's how we recommend you begin.

Do your homework: research the role and the sector

The first step – before putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard – is to research the organisation you're apply to.

Showing an awareness of the job you are applying for and the sector you will be working in, as well as showing evidence of having researched the company you will be working for, can make the difference between a successful application and a failed application.

Our Industry Reports 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 company information. 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.

Skills spotting: identify and match key competencies with your experience

Read the job description and person specification closely. Consider what skills, work experiences and life experiences you can offer. Think of a number of examples you can use in your CV, application form or cover letter to demonstrate your value in the key areas outlined in the job description. 

You're now ready to write. Read these pages for more advice or download our full guide to CVs, covering letters and application forms to refer to along the way.


We can help you prepare a CV that will stand out from the crowd and give you a chance to get to through to the interview stage. 

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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. Read our top tips on writing cover letters that will leave an impression on potential employers. 


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Application forms

Some jobs require you to complete an applcation form. Find our top tips and advice on how to complete an application form effectively to maximise your chances of being invited for an interview. 

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Useful downloads


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