UK job application standards

Hey gang,

I’m applying for a few jobs in the LME area in the next few days, but I have very little experience with the job application process in the UK. There’s obviously a bunch of stuff out there when I google, but I thought I’d ask you guys for some input as well.

So basically: What are the demands or unspoken standards that must be met in a good job application in the UK? Things to avoid, and things to definitely include? And how about my CV, what setup or layout should I go for?


your foreign pal,

as discussed on here the other day we don’t include pictures? other than that good luck, very keen for you to come join the LME once more :heart:

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Just send a single A4 page selfie like @Ruffers does


Don’t make your CV too lengthy or wordy.

I used to do recruitment so can have a look over anything if you would like

what level of employment are you going for?

it’s quite difficult to know the differences without really knowing how non-UK places do it.

i think knowing recruiters spend like eight seconds looking at your CV is the thing that’s stuck with me the most, so make it easy to follow but also sell yourself

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like with all my work, i spend 30 mins on the content, 8 hours deliberating over things like the millimetre size of the space between the title and text


in early 2017 i did recruitment for entry level call centre workers

the main thing i remember was that about 70% of people would send their CV through and the title of the file would be “Joe Bloggs CV updated March 2013”

i mean ffs, at least change the bloody file name to be within the last 12 months

this clearly won’t apply to you but i felt the need to share anyway


there’s no harm in asking, but, and sorry to be blunt, if it’s been a while it’s probably not going to go your way.

i’d phrase it as a decision/ feedback question to avoid looking at all needy.

i went for a job at the bbc last year, going for an interview just two hours after they said they wanted to see me, and they didn’t give me the decency of getting back to me

I found i got more interviews when i condensed my work history to three or four key bulletpoints per job rather than going into too much detail. It was only when looking at other peoples CVs did i start to appreciate that you completely glaze over blocks of text.

That said, everybody will tell you different. I’ve had recruiters completely dismiss my CV after other recruiters had helped me write it, and it probably depends what sort of work you’re doing as well. There are likely to be different standards between, say, entry level jobs and professional jobs.

Everything in Comic Sans, obviously.


If I could PM you my current CV so you could take a look at the setup, that would be really helpful! Sound ok?

We’re talking professional jobs at varying levels (from freelance gig to manager lever) within the culture and entertainment field.

I absolutely appreciate this, so I guess this was more to see if there are some definite standards that everyone knows you should adhere to (or avoid…). I mean, Britain does like to have their formalities well in order tbf.

i always make this same post but people i’ve known that apply from even outside london let alone the UK usually find it very difficult. i’d usually suggest using a pal’s address but then you might get called for an interview on relatively short notice and that could go tits up, so… idk :grimacing:

Be to the point, only focus on previous jobs that are relevant to the one you are applying for, try to make it in some way hold peoples attention, don’t lie.

It’s pretty hard to say what’s important beyond that as it’s so subjective based on who is looking at it. I’ve spent the last three or four years running recruitment companies but my views might well be very different to internal HR/Recruiters at the sort of companies you are applying for. For example I am personally sometimes wary of people whose CV is too well formatted etc because I’ve found from past experience it can suggest that people are more style than substance, but others might feel the opposite way.
I am also always very pleased to get calls following up on people’s applications but recruitment is pretty stocked up with dreadful people who don’t like responding to people who haven’t got the job.


Definitely call. It might be a waste of your time because they’ve already filled the job, but even then at least you know. And if they haven’t then chances are they will at least take longer to look at your CV, which they might not have done previously. Aside from being told you’ve missed out there isn’t really a downside to doing this as long as you aren’t doing it repeatedly every day to the same people.


I’ll just have to make it clear that I’ve lived in the UK for years and am eligible to work and would have no problem moving over on short notice etc., I guess. I have some kick ass UK references too.

Yeah absolutely! Im just on the train back to Manchester so may not be able to view it until tonight though

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Well, I’ve worked with text editing and formatting for years so it would send a pretty weird signal if my CV was not well formatted :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, it’s not even a case of needing to BCC all the applicants into an email. All recruitment software allows you to save a generic rejection template and select certain applicants to group send it to. It is ridiculous not to be doing it.

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I think it can be useful if the interviewer is willing to advise why they didnt go for you

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