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Applications Advice

What to expect...

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

  • a job / internship
  • a volunteering project
  • a further 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 of your application
  • details of what the recruiter is looking for* (e.g. a job description or course overview)

and the Adviser can go through these with you.They will focus on whether your application is fit for purpose and give you advice on how to improve it if necessary. They can also help you analyse your skills and experience in relation to how these fit with the recruiter's requirements and help you understand how to promote them effectively so that you can use the same techniques on similar applications.

*If you're not sure yet what you're going to apply for, you should first book a Short Guidance appointment to discuss your options and to research areas of interest first instead. You can then book for Applications Advice when your CV / application is more tailored to something specific.

Appointment Availability and Booking


Applications sessions run at the same time every week:

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


  • Monday to Friday: 2pm - 5pm (outside term time*)

Appointments are available at 15 minute intervals during these times.


Bookings can be made online up to 7 days in advance using your My Careers Service account.

Once logged in, use the 'I want to... / Make Appointment' option and select 'UCL Applications Advice' from the list of options to check appointment availability.

If you are unable to book online or would prefer to book by phone or in person at UCL Careers, please see our Contact Details. You will need your student ID card when booking.

Multiple Bookings: Due to high demand, students can only book one appointment at a time. If you do book multiple appointments, only the earliest appointment will be recognised and any bookings on subsequent dates will be automatically deleted.

Please also note: As appointment slots are pre-bookable in advance, they may not be available at short notice / for same day booking if demand is high. However, appointments may be cancelled at short notice so it's worth checking availability regularly through your My Careers Service account.

*Please check the main UCL Website for details of term dates and College closure days.

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 an Adviser.

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 guidance and feedback 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.

How to prepare...

Before booking for Applications Advice, you will need to write a draft application, (CV, cover letter, personal statement or application form), based on the requirements of the recruiter that you're applying to and bring this with the job / course description to the appointment.

RESEARCH - Do you know what the recruiter is looking for?
In addition to the job or course description and company / institution profile, (which will obviously give you a clear idea of what a particular recruiter is looking for), the Researching your Career or the Postgraduate Study pages on our website will suggest resources that you can use to gain more in-depth information on the area you're applying to which will help with your application.

They will also highlight other services we offer such as recruitment / networking events or other ways of speaking to recruiters directly to get information and advice on writing effective applications. 

WRITING THE APPLICATION - What should you include?
Once you know what a recruiter is looking for, the way you provide evidence that you're "it" is also important. The Writing Applications section of our website suggests a range of resources which provide practical guidelines and examples for writing any type of application which should be used before speaking to an Adviser.

This page will also highlight other services we offer such as talks and group workshops on writing applications led by recruiters or our own Careers Consultants which can be useful before you speak to an Adviser on a 1-1 basis.

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.

Who Will I See?

We have a team of Applications Advisers all of whom have specialist training on current recruitment methods, (for work or further study), and what employers/course providers look for.

They can all review any type of application and the Adviser on duty may be different each day so you will be seen by whoever is on duty when you book. It won't be possible to check in advance who is on duty on any given day.

If you are late or unable to attend...

Cancellations can be made up to 1 hour before your appointment time through your My Careers Service 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.

If you book and miss 3 appointments, your My Careers Service account will be deactivated to ensure you don't book and waste any more. You will then need to book in person at the UCL Careers office for any subsequent appointments and events this academic year.

Please note: Due to the nature of 1-1 guidance, 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 avoid arriving late so that your appointment isn't cancelled.

Access to other 1-1 Appointments...

In addition to running department specific talks on writing applications, all of our Careers Consultants will run  1-1 appointments throughout term time in the departments that they have responsibility for that can be used for reviewing applications as well as getting careers advice.

Timings and availability will be different in each department - please see the information on Departmental Support for more details.

To find out more about our Careers Consultants, their backgrounds and their Departmental responsibilities at UCL, please see the information about Our Team.

Page last modified on 15 nov 11 11:53 by Martin Brown

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