• The University of Sheffield

How to Succeed at: Writing Applications

This free three week course will help you produce a perfect CV, application and online profile when applying for a job or course.

265,402 enrolled on this course

A desk during the application process with computer, note pad and CV
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  • Course access expires 2 Sep 2022
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Experts from The Careers Service here at The University of Sheffield share their top tips to help you write exceptional applications, CVs (or résumés), covering letters and personal statements.

You’ll also hear from employers and admissions tutors to find out what they really look for in a candidate. And once you’ve written that perfect application, prepare for the next stage with our course: How to Succeed at: Interviews.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds Hello. I’m Katie, and together with colleagues here at the Careers Service at The University of Sheffield, we have many years experience of 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 to sell yourself, create a fantastic CV, an 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 practices 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 50 seconds We’ll also learn how to understand more about recruiters, and what they are 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 admissions 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 26 seconds We hope that with the help of this course, you’ll 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 on a course. So, why not take advantage of the insights and expertise we’ve put together on this course, and give yourself the best possible chance at getting that interview by making an impressive application.

What topics will you cover?

Understanding your skills

  • Analysing job adverts and course descriptions
  • Researching the organisation
  • Promoting yourself through positive writing
  • Mastering applicant tracking systems
  • Creating a personal brand
  • Dealing with gaps in your application

CVs and covering letters

  • Making a positive impression
  • Creating an effective CV
  • Developing a professional online profile
  • Selling yourself in your covering letter
  • Exploring sample CVs and covering letters

Application forms and personal statements

  • How to approach application forms
  • Structuring your responses with the STAR technique
  • Responding to competency-based, strength-based, motivational and situational judgement questions
  • How to write a brilliant personal statement

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Improve your chances of success in getting a job or securing a place on a university course
  • Apply best practice techniques when applying for jobs, apprenticeships, placements and university courses, from preparing to apply, to writing CVs and completing application forms
  • Identify what recruiters are looking for by analysing job adverts and researching employers and institutions, to find out how to adapt your offer to suit their requirements
  • Develop a better understanding of your strengths and skills to tackle applying for your dream job or course with confidence
  • Improve the way you promote yourself effectively through positive writing and a strong personal brand, creating an identity that looks impressive to a recruiter, whether that's an employer or admissions tutor

Who is the course for?

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.

Who will you learn with?

I lead the Information Team within the Careers Service. I strive to keep abreast of technological changes which enable the Service to develop a range of interactive & engaging resources for all users.

I am a part of the Careers Service information team providing employability support.

I am an Employability Project Assistant at The University of Sheffield Careers service. My role incorporates projects that help students from disadvantaged backgrounds enhance their employability.

I work at The University of Sheffield Careers Service. I organise employment opportunities for students and graduates with a particular focus on those from underrepresented backgrounds.

Who developed the course?

The University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield is one of the world’s top 100 universities with a reputation for teaching and research excellence.

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  • Access to ALL eligible short courses
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  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Buy this course

$44

One-off payment

Unlock your expertise

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
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