UCL Careers


Applications advice

Our team can provide personalised tips to help you understand how recruiters will shortlist any application and show how to best demonstrate your motivation & relevant skills / experience for the role

applications advice

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What to expect from your appointment

‘Applications advice’ appointments are only suitable for those who have already written a draft application for a particular opportunity or role, (or type of role for speculative applications). The aim of these appointments is to teach you how to identify what recruiters are looking for and how to tailor your applications according to their requirements. 

These applications could be for a wide range of different opportunities including things like:

  • 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 which requires some form of application document

 During the appointment, the adviser will go through the recruiter's requirements with you, (using the job or course description or any other information you have about what you're applying for), so that they are able to review your application from the recruiter's perspective and give you feedback on how it might be improved.

We aim to give you a better understanding of the typical short-listing process and will look at how you can best demonstrate why you are suitable for the role you are applying for.

If you are not applying for something specific but are still at the stage of exploring career options, next steps and job hunting techniques more generally, a ‘Short guidance’ appointment type 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 which ould include:

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

You will also need to provide details of what you're applying for so that the adviser has a clear understanding of the recruiter's requirements. Please bring the job / course description or person specification etc. or at least be prepared to provide the adviser with an overview of the key requirements for your application. Printed copies* of this information will help to save time during your session.

*A 'print@UCL' machine is available for student use at UCL Careers.

What it won't cover

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.

Before making an appointment, please use the resources and / or relevant events highlighted on our Writing effective applications page for tips and guidance on how to write your draft application.

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.

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 which may be useful.

You could also show your 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.

Book now

Log into your myUCLCareers account to see when our next appointment slots are available.

Book an appointment

Appointment limit

To ensure we are able to support as many students as possible with their applications, during busy periods when appointments are in high demand, you will be limited to three Applications Advice appointments per term. (Calculated over an 11 week period).