CVs covering letters and applications
Sending a good covering letter with a targeted CV (speculative application) to relevant employers, is a really effective way of convincing an employer to meet you and potentially create an opportunity for you. Our cover letters section on the Career Toolkit contains all the information you need to create a standout covering letter including:
- covering letter essentials
- what to include
- examples for different work situations
- standard covering letters
- speculative covering letter top tips
Your covering letter is the first thing an employer sees when you apply for a job, and it is important to make a good first impression. The employer will read your covering letter and form judgements about you as a person and your suitability for the job. Always send a CV with a covering letter.
Feedback on your covering letter
Send your cover letter via My Questions to get feedback from one of our Career Coaches within five days.
A well-written CV will show your career interests and highlight your most relevant skills and experience to match the requirements of the vacancy and the employer.
The Career Toolkit has a wide range of resources to help you write your CV, including:
- how to create your CV and what to include
- CVs for different types of jobs
- templates for specific job sectors.
Our example CVs offer a range of content and format options for you to consider.
You can transform your CV and boost your chances of getting through to an interview with CV360. Our artificial intelligence (AI)-powered CV360 tool can help you build your CV from scratch, select a template or score your current CV to get instant feedback.
CV360 analyses your CV in the same way as the applicant tracking systems used by many recruiters, giving you feedback against more than 50 checks and increasing your chances of getting through the first stage of recruitment. It gives you the chance to have your CV reviewed by one of our professional career coaches. Score 75% or over and submit for review. Our coaches will then provide you with tailored feedback within five working days.
Not all job opportunities are advertised. In fact, up to 70 per cent of jobs are not advertised. Some employers don't want to generate large numbers of applications or pay for expensive advertising and others already get lots of applications without needing to advertise. Tap into this 'hidden' graduate job market by making a speculative application.
View the Career Toolkit resources on preparing speculative application forms and identifying 'hidden' opportunities.
A common method to apply for an advertised job opportunity is to complete an application form.
Many companies use online applications forms. When completing the form, ensure that you follow all of the instructions. Fill in each section accurately and provide detailed evidence of how your skills, knowledge and experience match the requirements of the role.
Log in to the Career Toolkit for resources and information on how to make successful applications.
Preparing for interviews
There are different types of interviews – competency-based interviews, panel interviews, technical interviews and telephone interviews – interview preparation is essential.
Our Interview360 tool in the Career Toolkit will help you build confidence and optimise your performance for in-person and video interviews. It gives you:
- mock interviews and practice questions that you can customise for your interview practice
- a mock interview with specific questions based on the actual content of your CV, simulating a real (human) interview situation
- AI-powered instant feedback providing you with unique insights on your video responses, including: your body language, communication and speech, camera position and voice quality
- an extensive range of over 100 interview training resources, containing the latest employer insights and best practices
- advice on how to answer a comprehensive list of common interview questions.
Preparing for assessment centres
Assessment centres vary in structure from employer to employer. Their purpose is to create an environment where you and other applicants can demonstrate key skills required in the workplace. Rather than competing against other candidates, you are assessed against a set of competencies and will need to meet a minimum standard to progress to the next stage.
Assessment centre activities include group work exercises, presentations, case studies and assessment tests. View the Career Toolkit assessment tool for all the information you need to help prepare you for the assessment centre including:
- making an impression
- presentation advice
- practice in-tray exercises
- case studies
- what to expect from group exercises.
Find out what graduate jobs may suit you
Use the Career Assessments on the Career Toolkit to help you gain self-awareness including:
- Self-help diagnostic tools – resources to help assess your skills, interests, strengths and personality and find out what graduate jobs may suit you.
- Personality tests – these look at your preferences or how you are likely to react and behave in different circumstances, and suggests suitable career areas.
Psychometric tests give applicants an equal opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities. They show employers how you are likely to perform in a job, particularly if you have little or no previous experience of the job, and give you feedback as to whether the job is really for you. Psychometric tests may include aptitude or ability tests, personality questionnaires or a combination of both.
Psychometric practice tests
Practise numerical, verbal and analytical tests online. Please note: these resources are only available within the UWE Bristol network.
You may have developed skills and attributes that employers are looking for through a variety of sources including your studies, work, volunteering, hobbies or other parts of your life. Use our resources to help learn what employers are looking for and how to demonstrate your own skills and attributes.
Job hunting and networking
Log in to the Career Toolkit to see useful resources to help you build your networking and job hunting skills including:
- building a network
- tips and techniques for networking
- finding network events
- accessing the hidden graduate job market
- networking sites
- finding companies
- using LinkedIn
- job hunting on Twitter
- social networking and graduate recruitment.
Networking is a powerful tool and a valuable alternative route into the job market. In some sectors, such as the creative sector, it is normal practice to network to find opportunities. It is not about asking for a job, but building up relationships and letting people know what you can do so they can help you market yourself and identify relevant opportunities.
Develop your skills
Log in to the Career Toolkit to read all the information you need to build upon and demonstrate your skills and attributes including:
- What employers are looking for.
- Graduate skills and competencies.
- Transferable skills from your degree.
- How to demonstrate employability skills.
- How to demonstrate specific skills like commercial awareness, problem solving, communication skills etc.
UWE Career Pulse
UWE Career Pulse combines a self-assessment tool with personalised reporting and a structured workbook helping you to visualise and navigate your career management journey.
Taking the Pulse assessment enables you to assess where you are on your career journey and evaluate your strengths and weakness. Each of the eight sections of your report and linked workbook can help you to understand, develop and harness a different set of skills and attributes needed at each stage in your journey.
As you progress through the workbook not only will you get help with things like understanding and developing your skills, figuring out your career options, getting the experience you want and making a success of it but you’ll also earn points towards achieving your bronze, silver and gold level UWE Career Pulse certificates.
Get the toolkit app
Your very own careers and enterprise team in your pocket – 24/7, 365 days a year. This app helps you finesse your interview skills, build your CV, career test yourself and loads more.
Follow these steps to download the app:
- Using your phone's browser click or type the following address: uwe.careercentre.me/myprofile/mobile-app and log into Infohub using your UWE Bristol username and password.
- Click on "Text Activation Link".
- Enter your mobile number to receive a text message containing your 4-digit PIN code.
- Once you have received the text message, enter the 4-digit PIN to receive another text message with your activation link.
- Click the activation link in the text message to download the UWE Career Toolkit app.