UCL Careers Blog

Considering the charity sector? The pros and cons

Thu, 22 Jan 2015 10:46:30 +0000

Aaron Marchant from All About Group, gives us his take on the pros and cons of the Charity sector. Don’t forget to register for our Charities and NGOs week starting w/c 2nd Feb 2015! When hunting for a career, many students don’t consider the charity and not-for-profit sector, choosing instead to focus on other career […]


VSU’s Winter Volunteering Fair

Mon, 19 Jan 2015 15:02:13 +0000

UCLU WINTER VOLUNTEERING FAIR 12 NOON – 3PM THIS THURSDAY SOUTH CLOISERS & MAIN QUAD MARQUEE Will 2015 be the year that you make a big difference?  If so, a good place to get started will be our Winter Volunteering Fair on Thursday 22nd January. In the South Cloisters we’ll be hosting over 50 different […]


Research Officer: Inspire Me

Thu, 15 Jan 2015 13:29:40 +0000

As part of our #UCLInspireMe series, Joni Brown, Research Officer at the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) part of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)  talks to us about how she got his role and shares some tips for UCL students who want to get into the Research sector. How did you get into […]


CV and Application Advice

What to expect from this appointment

If you already know what you're applying for and why* and would like advice on how to improve a specific application for something before sending it off, our Applications Advisers can help. These appointments can cover applications for:

  • any type of job / internship
  • a volunteering project
  • a further / postgraduate study course
  • a PhD position
  • funding
  • or anything else you might be applying for

Whether your application is in the form of a CV, covering letter, personal statement or answers to specific questions on an application form, simply bring in a draft copy plus details of what the recruiter is looking for*.

The Adviser will review the application from a recruiter's perspective and give you tips and advice on how to improve it where necessary.

*Applications Advisers will not be able to give tips on how to improve a CV if you don't yet know what you're applying to and what the recruiter is looking for. A Short Guidance appointment will be more useful at this stage to discuss your options and to research areas of interest first.

Appointment availability and how to book


Applications Advice appointments run at the same time every week:

  • Monday to Thursday: 10am - 5pm (term time only*)
  • Friday: 11am - 5pm (term time only*)
  • Thursday evenings: 5pm - 7pm (Autumn and Spring terms 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.

Multiple Bookings: There is no limit on the number of Applications Advice appointments you can book whilst on your course but, due to high demand for these appointments, you can only book one appointment at a time. Please do not book anything if you already have a future appointment booked.

*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 personduring our opening hours. Please see our Contact Details page for details. You will need your student ID card when booking.

How to make the most of your appointment

Advance Preparation

Knowing the basics on how to write an effective application can go a long way in making your one-to-one appointment more productive. We provide access to a wide range of information resources and highlight details of relevant events and workshops in our CVs and Applications pages which will provide a great start point when writing your application before meeting the Applications Adviser.

You'll also find similar resources and event information in the Career Planning or Further Study pages which will give you a better insight into the area you're applying to in terms of what you should be including in your application.

Our Location

Make sure you're familiar with where we are. Arriving late for your appointment can lead to a shorter or cancelled appointment as detailed below.


If you have any materials which you feel would aid your discussion with the Careers Consultant, we have printing facilities in our Information Library. Please aim to arrive 5-10 minutes before your appointment is due to start so you don't waste any of your appointment time printing documents.

SHORT GUIDANCE - Would careers advice be more useful?

Remember, 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. These appointments can be used to explore options in terms of what areas your skills, experience, qualifications and interests might be suited to.

What we don't / can't cover?

The Applications Advisers will not write your application for you so you should use the resources and/or events suggested below 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. We cannot 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.

PhD Students, recent Graduates and advice in your Department

In addition to these Applications Advice appointments, PhD students and recent graduates also have access to alternative appointments as detailed at:

  • PhD Appointments
  • GradClub (recent graduates) Appointments

which may be more suitable for your needs if available before your application deadline.

Our Careers Consultants may also offer one-to-one appointments within academic departments at certain times of year as detailed in our Departmental Support pages.

If you are late or unable to attend


If you know you won't be able to make your appointment, you can cancel it up to 1 hour before through your My UCL Careers account so that it can be offered to another student.

Late arrival

If you call in advance to tell us you're running late, we will hold the appointment for 5 minutes so that you can make use of the remaining 10 minutes on arrival. However, if you are more than 5 minutes late, your appointment will be cancelled so that later appointments are not affected and you will be asked to re-book for a later date.

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.

Employer giving CV advice