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Application method

You'll need to consider whether candidates should apply by CV or application form. CV's are easier for candidates - and may yield more applications - but it's harder for you to collect all the information you need in the same format. Application forms are generally considered to be best practice in supporting equal opportunities.

If you are going to use application forms, it is common practice to ask candidates to contact you for an application pack. This is a good opportunity to highlight what you offer and to give candidates a good feel for the business and the vacancy. It also gives you the opportunity to monitor and compare the response to the advert and the actual number of applications received.

Application forms should include the following sections:

  • Personal details: Name, address, contact telephone number, email address etc. Do not ask for nationality, marital status, date of birth etc. It is good practice to detach the personal details from the rest of the application prior to shortlisting so that you make objective judgements about the candidate (but remember to code each application so that you can link it back to the person!)
  • Education and training: Formal qualifications, professional accreditation and work based training.
  • Employment History (including voluntary work): Name of employer, dates employed, job title and key responsibilities.
  • Additional Information: This is where the candidate can explain how they meet the requirements of the job descriptions and person specification.
  • References: Make sure that the candidate can indicate whether references can be taken up prior to interview.

An application pack could include:

  • Standard covering letter thanking the candidate for their interest, outlining key deadlines and indicating whether you will or won't be in touch with unsuccessful candidates.
  • Further information about the business; achievements, priorities, working styles, employee benefits etc.
  • Job description and person specification.
  • Application form.
  • Equal opportunities monitoring form.
  • Any other relevant literature such as your Annual Report, promotional leaflets etc.

Once you've advertised your vacancy, you'll need to think about how you will select the best candidate.