CV and Application Advice
We strongly recommend that you read through the relevant helpsheets and other resources we provide for tips and guidance on recommended structure, format and content of different application types and advice on how to analyse and promote your skills and experience based on a particular recruiter's requirements.
Throughout the year, we also offer a range of workshops, talks and other events which can provide an overview on writing successful applications so it's worth booking on to these even if you're not yet writing a specific application.
Visit our CVs and Applications page for more information on these before booking to see an Applications Adviser.
Applications Advice appointments take place at UCL Careers - make sure you know how to find us. Arriving late for your appointment will lead to a shorter or cancelled appointment as detailed below.
Things to bring and Print@UCL
Appointments can be more effective if the Adviser can make notes on a paper copy of your application. We have PC / wifi access at UCL Careers or, any relevant documents can be sent to your Print@UCL account in advance and collected from our printer when you arrive - please aim to arrive early so you don't waste any of your appointment
Graduates who don't have access to Print@UCL can email us in advance with requests for printing.
SHORT GUIDANCE - Would careers advice be more useful?
if you're unsure about your career or further study options and don't
yet have an application written for something specific, a Short Guidance
session will be more useful than Applications Advice.
appointments can be used to explore options in terms of what areas your
skills, experience, qualifications and interests might be suited to rather than providing tips on how to improve a CV.
The Applications Advisers will not write your application
for you so you should use the resources and/or events suggested above
before booking to ensure you have a well written draft before meeting them.
We're also unable to provide advice on an application without knowing what it's being used for as content / structure is likely to vary based on a particular recruiter's requirements.
therefore give advice on a "general CV" without at least having some
idea of who it's being sent to and why.
Spelling, grammar and general proof reading
As the advice concentrates on the content and relevance of an application for the target area of work or study, while we may point out grammatical or spelling errors in passing, it is our policy not to proof-read applications, nor to give detailed feedback or coaching against English Language competency. Such coaching falls beyond the remit of our specialist area.
This also means the sessions aren't designed for repeated checks of the same application or multiple applications which are similar in content to make each one word perfect.
Where the English demonstrated in applications is clearly unlikely to meet recruiters’ requirements, we would encourage students to take advantage of the wide range of English language courses offered by UCL Language Centre. Our downloadable Spelling and Grammar Guide can also help with common errors.
UCLU also offer a Writing and Language Support Programme (WaLS) to assist non-native English speaking students with their academic writing and speaking.
You could also show the application to someone whose first language is English to proofread it or for help with spelling/grammar - e.g. a friend, work colleague, someone on your course etc.
Foreign Language applications
We are aware that UCL students go on to live, work or study in a wide range of countries. However, we are only able to read and give advice on applications written in English.
Our Work and Study Abroad page does provide links to resources with very detailed information on how application procedures/formats may vary in different countries so these can be used with the advice on content as detailed above to draft an application in English which you can later translate into the relevant language.
In addition to these Applications Advice appointments at UCL Careers which are open to all UCL students, each Department at UCL will be linked with one of our team of Careers Consultants who may run one-to-one appointments to look at applications in your own department building to save you coming to us.
Different departments will organise these at different times throughout the year and may have different methods for booking them. Please speak to a member of staff in your department to find out if / when these are planned.
There are some departments where these appointments are offered more regularly and so can be self-booked online as detailed below using your My UCL Careers account.
- Institute of Education (IoE)
- Engineering Faculty (engineering disciplines only - NOT Computer Science)
- Laws Faculty
- School of Management*
When logged in, simply select "UCL Departmental Appointment" from the Appointment Type drop-down menu instead of Applications Advice to check your department's availability.
In addition to these Applications Advice appointments, PhD students and recent graduates also have access to appointments which are designed to be more suitable for your needs as detailed at:
These are booked in the same way as Applications Advice through your My UCL Careers account - simply select the relevant appointment type from the drop-down menu to check availability.
Due to the nature and format of these one-to-one advice appointments, we strongly recommend that you attend in person where possible.
However, if you're not based in London or will find it difficult to come to UCL Careers for your appointment, the Applications Adviser can look at your application and the recruiter's requirements and discuss these with you over the phone.
If you would like a phone appointment, you must notify us and email a copy of your application and information on what you're applying for BEFORE 9.30am on the day that your appointment is booked.
Please use: "Phone Appointment Request" in the subject line.
You will then need to call our general enquiries number, (020 3549 5900), at your appointment time to be put through to the Applications Adviser on duty.*
Please note however that we are unable to conduct Applications Advice appointments by Skype.
*Please be aware, as detailed below, one-to-one appointments do sometimes overrun which can mean some start later than scheduled so you may be asked to call back if the Adviser isn't ready when you call.
If you know you won't be able to make your appointment, you can cancel it at any point up to 1 hour before it takes place through your My UCL Careers account so that it can be offered to another student.
Our Advisers are unable to provide effective advice on an application in under 10 minutes. Therefore, if you are more than 5 minutes late, your appointment will be automatically cancelled so that later appointments are not affected and you will be asked to re-book for a later
Repeated missed appointments
If you book and miss 3 appointments, your My UCL Careers account will be suspended to ensure you don't book and waste any more. You will then need to book on the day in person at the UCL Careers office for any subsequent appointments this academic year.
Please note: Due to the nature of 1-1 advice, some appointments can last slightly longer than 15 minutes which means we cannot guarantee that you will always be seen exactly on time. However, you should still aim to arrive on time so that your appointment isn't cancelled.
Applications Advice is only suitable for those who are in the process of applying for something specific.*
This might include:
- any type of job / internship (part-time, temporary, full-time or permanent roles)
- a work experience / work shadowing opportunity
- a volunteering project
- a further / postgraduate study course
- a PhD position
- a scholarship or other funding opportunity
- or anything else you might be applying for
During your 15 minute one-to-one appointment, one of our Advisers will go through the recruiter's requirements with you then review your application from the recruiter's perspective.
The aim of the session is to give you a better understanding of the typical short-listing process and look at how you can best promote relevant skills and experience based on what you're applying to.
Whether your application is in the form of a:
- Covering letter
- Speculative application
- Personal statement
- Answers to specific questions on an application form etc.
simply bring in a draft copy of what you're working on PLUS details of what you're applying to / what the recruiter is looking for*.
After the appointment, if you amend your application based on the advice received and then have further questions about it before sending it off, it will be possible to book a follow up appointment(s) if necessary.
*If you're not yet applying for something specific and you need advice on exploring career options, next steps, job hunting techniques etc. a Short Guidance appointment is likely to be more useful.
Applications Advice appointments run at the same time every week:
- Monday to Thursday: 10am - 5pm (term time only*)
- Thursday evenings: 5pm - 7pm (Autumn and Spring terms only*)
- Friday: 11am - 5pm (term time only*)
- Monday to Friday: 2pm - 5pm (outside of term time*)
Appointments are available at 15 minute intervals during these times.
How to Book an Appointment
- Book online** up to 7 days in advance
- Book using your My UCL Careers account
- Once logged in, select 'I want to... / Make Appointment' and choose 'UCL Applications Advice' from the list of appointment types to check availability.
As appointment slots are pre-bookable 7 days in advance, they may not be available at short notice or for same day booking if demand is high. However, appointments booked by others may be cancelled at short notice so it's worth checking availability online regularly.
There is no limit to the number of Applications Advice appointments you can book whilst on your course but, to give all students equal access to available appointments, you can only book one appointment at a time. (Multiple bookings will be cancelled automatically until you've had your first appointment).
*Please check the main UCL Website for details of term dates and College closure days.
**If you are unable to book online, it is possible to book by phone or in person during our opening hours. Please see our Contact Details page for details. You will need your student ID card when booking.