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Writing applications

Whether you're applying for a job or internship, a work experience or shadowing opportunity (including speculative applications), a volunteering project, a further study or postgraduate course, a PhD or postdoctoral research post, a scholarship or other funding opportunity or anything else, there is a lot of support available to help you write your application, (CV, cover letter, personal statement etc).

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Guides on applications

Career Essentials online

This is our modular e-Learning course. It comprises information, video tutorials, interactive quizzes and exercises, action sets and key resources, helping you move forward and take ownership of your future.

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Careers Tagged

Log in to our online library to download our range of help sheets on writing applications which are also available to collect from UCL Careers.

You can also use specific search tags such as, 'CVs', 'cover letters' for additional general resources or search by sector and refine your search using the applications tag for example, 'finance', 'PhD', 'teaching', 'engineering'.


Employer directories and sector guides

In our Information library we stock a range of graduate recruiter directories and sector specific guides which include detailed information on writing successful applications.

Drop in during our opening hours to collect your free take away copies!

Alternatively, download copies, (where available online), from our online resource library, Careers Tagged.


Applying globally

Many of the sites and resources above will focus on UK-based applications. For those seeking work overseas, more specific resources are available.

GoinGlobal

UCL Careers subscribes to this online resource to give you direct access to country specific guides on writing successful applications.

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Careers Tagged

Use search tags such as 'working abroad', 'study abroad' and/or the name of a country to get listings of resources including "Country profile" guides to working or study overseas which will include tips on applications.


Come to an event

We organise a wide range of events where you can find out more about writing successful applications.

  • Career Essentials programme (Repeated throughout the year) A series of Careers Consultant led talks aimed at all students and recent graduates which includes different sessions on writing job or PhD applications amongst other topics.
  • Skills4Work events (Autumn and Spring terms) A series of employer led Q&A panels and interactive workshops which cover writing applications generally plus sessions on how to provide evidence of specific skills when applying for jobs.
  • Researchers employability programme (Repeated throughout the year) A series of Careers Consultant led talks and employer led skills development events aimed at research students and staff which includes sessions on writing academic or other applications for those with a research background.
  • Sector-specific recruitment fairs (Autumn Term only) A chance to network with large numbers of major graduate recruiters from a specific sector to get insider tips on improving your applications.
  • Jobs market (Summer Term only) A chance to network with large numbers of major graduate recruiters from a variety of different sectors at one event to ask about applications tips.
  • Employer presentations (Autumn and Spring Terms) Talks by individual companies about their current vacancies which will usually include tips on what they're looking for and how to ensure your application stands out.
  • Sector themed weeks (Autumn and Spring Terms) Network with professionals from a range of sectors popular with UCL students to learn more about what makes a successful application for that sector.

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Get one-to-one advice

If you are in the process of applying for something specific, (this could be a job, course, PhD or anything else), and have written a draft application using the resources suggested above, you can get one-to-advice on it before sending it off to the recruiter.

  • Applications advice appointments: Our team of Advisers will work through the recruiter's requirements with you and give tips on how you might improve your application.
  • Skills4Work coaching: A range of graduate recruiters who regularly shortlist applications will be on campus to share their experience and give you tips on your application.

English language support

If the English demonstrated in applications is 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

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.

Other proofreading services may be advertised around campus for a fee but UCL Careers is unable to recommend or endorse any of these.

Alumni mentoring

Speaking to UCL graduates who are working in the roles or sectors you're interested in is a great way to get an insider's view on what makes a great application.

Through the UCL alumni office, all UCL students and graduates have access to the  UCL alumni online community.

Once logged in*, simply follow the 'Careers mentoring' link and you can then search for contact details of UCL alumni by:

  • UCL Course or Department
  • Year of graduation from UCL
  • Current occupation or field of work
  • The country they're now based in

Before making use of this resource, we would recommend you look at the range of networking guides available on Careers Tagged or attend the LinkedIn talks run through our Career Essentials programme.

*Note: Any queries relating to the Alumni Web Community should be directed to the UCL Alumni Office.

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