We get thousands of job applications each year - we put that down to being such rewarding place to work.

Follow these top tips to stand out in your application

8 Steps to applying for a job

  1. visit our job site to search through all our available careers
  2. if you haven't done so already, register for an account
  3. read the job advert carefully:
    • the advert will give you information to help your application, as well as the salary, hours, and location
    • look at any attached documents too – especially the job description and person specification (often on one document), which will tell you even more about the job, plus the skills, experience, knowledge and qualifications you need
  4. click apply to go to the application form
  5. complete the personal details section - the system will save your informaiton so you can re-use them for future applications
  6. complete the equality and diversity section:
    • you don’t need to answer these questions if you don’t want to - just click prefer not to say
    • we use this information to make sure adverts and jobs appeal to a wide range of people and it’s never seen by people who decide who to interview, or your interviewers
    • this information will be saved and can be re-used for future applications.
  7. complete the rest of the application form, which includes your supporting statement
  8. do a final check, then you’re ready to submit your application - good luck!

Your supporting statement

Your supporting statement is probably the most important section on the form. It really helps us decide if we'd like to invite you for an interview.

A good supporting statement clearly and concisely explains how you meet all the essential criteria for a post – and ideally some of the desirable criteria too. If it doesn’t, we could easily assume you aren’t right for the job.

Try to give examples for the essential and desirable criteria

Think about relevant skills and experience you’ve gained in a paid job, volunteer role, work experience placement, school, university or other area of your life. For example, if the job asks for someone who works well in a team, you could write something like:

“I worked on a group project at school. My role included working with others to write and deliver the final presentation. Teamwork was essential to its success.”

Do this for each of the criteria. All person specifications are different so if you save your application form, make sure you change the information to suit each job you apply for.

Now make sure you’ve completed the rest of the form correctly, and included all of your work history (including work experience and volunteering), qualifications and other courses.


Some posts have extra questions for you to answer. They will be included in the person specification and relate to the job. If you don’t answer them in your supporting statement, you might not be shortlisted for interview.


You can help speed the recruitment process up by checking that you:

  • include up-to-date contact details for your referees – including an email address if possible
  • check that your referees are happy to give you a reference
  • inform your referees that we’ll contact them.


You must give the names and contact details of at least two referees who can confirm the information you’ve given, and comment on how suitable you’ll be:

  • your line managers from your most recent or current employer
  • internal candidates can give their head of department 
  • students can give the name of their teacher/tutor.

If you can’t give referees, please tell us clearly why.

If you don’t want your referees to be contacted before your interview, please tell us on your application form. However, we can’t offer you the job without satisfactory references.

Personal references won’t be accepted and will delay the process.

If you have a disability

A positive about disabilities employer

We welcome applications from people with disabilities or long-term health conditions, and work hard to retain our Two Ticks award – a quality standard created by Job Centre Plus.

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) covers a wide range of conditions, including long-term health issues such as migraine, asthma, eczema, heart conditions and mental health issues.

A condition is covered by the DDA if it has a significant negative effect on your ability to carry out day-to-day activities and has lasted, or is likely to last, for more than 12 months.

Reasonable adjustments

If you’d like us to make any adjustments for your interview, then please make sure you complete the relevant section of the application form.

Remember, you don’t have to discuss your disability or health condition at interview.

Guaranteed interview scheme

We guarantee an interview to anyone with a disability if you meet the essential criteria for the post.

If you’d like to apply under the guaranteed interview scheme tick the box on the application form and make sure you state that you have a disability in the equality and diversity section (the scheme is only open to people who are covered by the DDA).

In your supporting statement, make sure you explain how you meet all the essential criteria, giving examples where possible. If you meet them, you’ll be invited for an interview.

If you're successful

It’s important you tell us about your disability as soon as possible after you receive your offer. That means we're able to make adjustments, ready for your first day.

Declaring a criminal conviction

Having a criminal conviction doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be offered a job.

Each case is considered on an individual basis, in compliance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and the Criminal Records Bureau policy.

We’ll look at things like how relevant the incident was to the post you’ve applied for, how recent it was, and if there appears to be a pattern of offending.

It’s important that you're honest about any conviction, caution, warning, reprimand or bind-over.

If you don’t, we will consider your actions fraudulent, and:

  • any job offer may be withdrawn
  • or in some circumstances, you could be dismissed from a job.

Depending on the post, you may also need to:

  • declare a criminal conviction even if they are considered spent
  • have a Criminal Records Bureau check
  • have an additional Protection of Children Act (POCA) check.

Submitting your application

Remember, an application form is a legal document, so it’s vital to complete it honestly and accurately.

  • you can save your application at any time and come back to complete it later
  • make sure you’ve answered all the madatory questions - your application will be rejected otherwise, and you won't make it through to shortlisting
  • once you've completed your application, make sure everthing is correct – double check your spelling, names, and dates, and ask someone else to read it if possible

All done? Click submit before the closing date or it won’t be accepted.

Shortlisting and interviews

When the application closes, we’ll start selecting people we’d like to invite to an interview. We call this shortlisting.

If you're successful, we'll let you know, usually by email. Remember to check your email, and tell us if you'd like to come in for an interview as soon as possible.

We'll let you know:

  • when, and where, your interview is
  • if there are any extra requirements - for example, we might ask you do a presentation or take a typing test

If you don’t hear from us within 10 days, you haven’t been shortlisted. However, we're always looking for people to join our team, so please do consider applying for other jobs in the future.

What happens next

If you’re successful

Firstly, welcome on board – we can’t wait to meet you!

If you’re successful, we’ll make you an offer of employment. Your job offer is subject to:

  • satisfactory references
  • health clearance
  • Criminal Records Bureau clearance (if applicable)

If you accept, we’ll ask you when you’d like to start. You’ll then get a confirmation letter before you start.

If you’re unsuccessful

If you’re unsuccessful in your interview, we’ll let you know by email.

You can get feedback on your interview – simply contact the recruitment administrator you’ve been dealing with.

We're always looking for people to join our team, so please do consider applying for other jobs in the future.

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