Contact FutureLearn for Support How to Succeed at: Writing Applications - Free online course Skip main navigation

Watch the trailer

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 15 secondsI'm Hilary and together with colleagues here at the Careers Service at The University of Sheffield we've many years experience helping people enhance their chances of success in getting the job they want or securing a place on their chosen course. On this course, we'll help you sell yourself, create a fantastic CV and online profile, and write the best possible application for the job or course that you want. We're going to share with you some of the best practises you can use when applying for jobs, apprenticeships, placements and university courses. Each week we'll look at a different element of the application process, from preparing to apply, to writing CVs and completing application forms.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 seconds We'll also learn how to understand more about recruiters and what they're looking for, by analysing job adverts and course specifications. As well as helping you think in more detail about what you have to offer them. We'll have insights from employers and admission tutors from a range of different industries, who will share with you what they look for and don't look for in an applicant. We'll show you what you look like online to a potential recruiter, and how to make the most of that opportunity. We'll also give you top tips on how not to be knocked out of a short list.

Skip to 1 minute and 31 seconds We hope that with the help of this course, you will be able to identify your own strengths and skills, and tackle applying for your dream job or course with confidence. And once you've mastered the perfect application, you might also want to check out our next course, which is all about succeeding at interviews and will help you over that final hurdle to securing your dream job or place in a course. So why not take advantage of the insights and expertise that we have put together on this course, and give yourself the best possible chance at getting that interview by making an impressive application.

About the course

This course has been designed and developed by experts from The Careers Service here at The University of Sheffield to help you to write successful applications, whether you are applying for jobs or planning to study at university or college.

Over the three weeks, we’ll look at different parts of the application process. We’ll help you to understand the skills you have gained through work experience and your studies and show you how you can match them to job advertisements or course requirements.

We’ll share top tips with you to help you write exceptional applications, CVs (or résumés), covering letters and personal statements and provide insight from employers and admissions tutors on what they look for in candidates. We’ll go on to help you examine your digital footprint and develop a professional profile online.

The course is highly participative and includes articles for you to read, videos to watch and interactive material to help you master the art of application and CV writing. There will also be discussions where you can learn from and support each other, self-reflective exercises and quizzes. Throughout the course you’ll be encouraged to collect a portfolio of your work which will help you with future applications.

By the end of the three weeks we hope you will have the confidence to apply for your dream job or course. And once you’ve written that perfect application, why not check out our next course: How to Succeed at: Interviews.

You can find out more in Pamela Hafekost’s post for the FutureLearn blog: “How to get that dream job or course.”


This course is designed for anyone applying for jobs or courses. It will be of particular interest to those in the early stages of their career, or those who are out of practice and need to update their skills. No prior knowledge or expertise are needed.

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate

You can buy a Statement of Participation for this course — a personalised certificate in both digital and printed formats, to celebrate taking part.

£34.00 + shipping

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join: