UCL Careers


Applications advice

applications advice

If you have written a draft application for an opportunity, you can receive advice and support from our team. These appointments can help you understand what employers are looking for and how to demonstrate your best qualities.

What to expect

‘Applications advice’ appointments are only suitable for those who have already written a draft application.

These applications could be for:

  • Jobs or internships
  • Work experience or work shadowing (including speculative applications)
  • Volunteering projects
  • Further study or postgraduate courses
  • PhD or research positions
  • Scholarships or other funding opportunities
  • Anything else you might be applying for

 The adviser will go through the recruiter's requirements with you. This includes the job or course description. Your application will be reviewed from the recruiter's perspective and you will receive feedback on how it might be improved.

We aim to give you a better understanding of the typical short-listing process. We will look at how you can best demonstrate your relevant skills and experience, based on what you're applying for.

If you are not applying for something specific, but you are exploring career options, next steps and job hunting techniques, a ‘Short guidance’ appointment will be more useful.

Please bring with you

The adviser will need to see a printed copy of your draft application. This should be in the format requested by the recruiter.

This could include:

  • CV
  • Covering letter
  • Speculative application letter
  • Personal statement
  • Answers to specific questions on an application form

You will need to provide details of what you're applying for. This allows the adviser to have a clear understanding of the recruiter's requirements.

Please bring the:

  • Job description
  • Person specification

If possible, bring a printed versions of these documents. This will help to save time during your session.

What it won't cover

Generic CVs

If you're not sure what you want to apply for, we are unable to provide useful advice on how to improve your CV. The appointment is designed to focus on a specific recruiter's requirements and how your application can best evidence your suitability for a particular opportunity.

If you are exploring your career options, next steps and job hunting techniques, a ‘Short guidance’ appointment will be more useful.

General guidelines on writing applications

These appointments are not designed to give you a detailed overview of how to write a specific type of application. This includes topics such as typical formatting, content and design.

As a starting point, use our resources, guides and events provided on writing effective applications. Use these to write your draft application before coming to an ‘Applications advice’ appointment.

Spelling, grammar and proof reading

Our advice concentrates on the content and relevance of an application for the target area of work or study. We may point out grammatical or spelling errors, but it is our policy not to proof-read applications, nor to give detailed feedback or coaching against English language competency.

If the English demonstrated in applications is unlikely to meet recruiters' requirements, we encourage students to take advantage of the English language courses offered by the UCL Language Centre.

Students' Union UCL offer a Writing and Language Support Programme (WaLS) to assist non-native English speaking students with their academic writing and speaking.

You could show the application to someone whose first language is English. They could help proof-read or help with spelling and grammar. This could be a friend, colleague or someone on your course.

Foreign language applications

If you are applying for roles outside the UK, your application may be written in a language other than English. We are only able to provide advice on applications written in English.

Our information on ‘Applying globally’ provides links to resources with information on country-specific application procedures and formats. These can be used with our advice on content to draft an application in English which you can translate into the relevant language.

Unable to visit in person

Not a problem - you can get tips on any application by phone. Simply book an appointment and reply to the booking confirmation email to let us know that you'll be phoning in rather than coming in person.

Please send your draft application and information about what you are applying for to usby email. Give as much notice possible, (no less than one hour before your appointment). This allows the information to be passed on to the relevant adviser.

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All currently available appointment slots will show up when you log into your myUCLCareers account. Please ensure you book the appropriate appointment type for your query.

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