Applying for a vacancy

Some great advice on completing your job application form

Applying for a job

  • You can apply and search for jobs by visiting or type NHS Jobs into google and it will take you to the website. Registering means you are one step ahead! There are many NHS organisations listed on NHS Jobs.  You will find our job adverts listed under Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
  • We will now cover:
    • What an application looks like
    • Top tips
    • What we need from you for a quick recruitment process
  • Review all information in the vacancy description
  • Read the advert and job description to ensure you can fulfil the requirements of the role
  • If you have any questions about what you have read – contact the person listed in the advert who will be able to help
  • Review all additional documents carefully. These will tell you information about:
    • The recruitment process
    • Top tips and guidance
    • Trust benefits
    • What its like to work here
    • Any additional job details
  • Review any links to the Trust website and helpful sites for information – these are here to help
  • Once complete click ‘Apply for this Job’
  • On the next screen; if you are not already logged in you will be asked to log on, or register to TRAC – the system we use to administer our application process.  If you are not already registered do not worry you can still do this now!
  • On the next screen; you will need to complete questions about your right to work in the UK. Complete this section and press the green button
  • Click on ‘Start Section’ to complete the information required and click on ‘open’ to start each sub section
  • Click on ‘Mark Section as Complete’ when you are satisfied you have completed all the information that is required
  • You will then have a number of application sections to work through. Work through each section, completing all relevant fields
  • Once you have completed a section remember to press the ‘Save’ button to ensure you do not lose your progress. Alternatively you can press the ‘Save and Next’ button to take you to the next section. Please note, you do not have to work through the sections in order
  • Press ‘Mark each section as complete’ when you are happy with the content
  • You can save your progress at anytime, review and come back to it
  • You can have the job description open on your screen to refer to throughout

Education and Professional Qualifications

The first section covers your education, professional qualifications and employment history. For your qualifications, make sure the dates provided are accurate as you will be asked to provide evidence of these qualifications.

All NHS Trusts will ask you to cover your job history and/or education for the past three years. If you have gaps in employment you will need to enter details of these in the ‘Gaps in Employment’ section.

  • Please ensure that all relevant qualifications are added to this section and all fields are complete
  • If you are studying please include this, and state the year you are due to qualify/complete the course or qualification
  • Ensure dates are accurate – you will be asked to provide evidence of qualifications. You can add rows, and move relevant qualifications into date order once entered
  • Clearances into the NHS are covered by a number of Recruitment Standards
  • It is important to include any job history that would be relevant for the role. If you have gaps in employment you will need to enter details of these in  the ‘Gaps in Employment’  section. If this is the case the Trust will ask for character references
  • You can add up to 10 previous employers. Ensure you enter accurate details particularly around dates employed
  • This information will be used to shortlist your application.

This section is where you tell us about you, your experience, the skills you believe you have for the job and how you fulfil the requirements in the Job Description.

  • It is a personal statement letting the shortlisting managers know why you would be good for the job you are applying for
  • When completing the supporting information fields it may be useful to copy and paste from Microsoft word as this will enable you to spelling and grammar check your supporting information.  You are limited to 1500 words, so be sure to include everything you think relevant, but be concise
  • Organisations can ask you additional information here in a separate text box e.g. Tell us what you know about …
  • This information will be used to shortlist your application

Tips for writing your supporting information

  • This is the part of the form where you should dedicate the most time. Top tip – use essential criteria as sub-headings
  • Use examples when demonstrating your suitability – Don’t be afraid to sell yourself!
  • Demonstrate your passion for the organisation or job and any past achievements you can relate to the role
  • Use your research to provide relevant examples – how does it support goals and objectives?

How to give good examples: STAR

  • Situation/Task Set the context/introduction
  • Action Most important part. This is all about you. What you did, when, where, why, and who was involved?
  • Result What was the outcome of your action?
  • Reflection Alternative action/result– how could things be done differently?


  • S: I completed a group work project on marketing with four colleagues.
  • T: Our task was to plan a relaunch of a brand using a range of research methods, to provide a written report and present our findings to a panel.
  • A: I planned, marketed and analysed the results of an online ‘brand-awareness’ survey and took responsibility for co-ordinating other activities with colleagues. I proposed that we met regularly to discuss progress so we could support each other in achieving our aims. This also helped us to identify each others strengths, which helped when we planned our joint presentation.
  • R: We submitted the report on time. The panel commended us for bringing our findings together professionally and well-presented. I learned through regular catch ups that different working styles can be accommodated with effective communication

Fine Tune Your Application

  • Refine your writing style to improve the quality of your application
  • Use power verbs such as transformed, delivered, achieved and inspired
  • Choose descriptive words like effective, consistent, determined and adaptable
  • Keep examples focused on the essential criteria you are trying to demonstrate
  • Select appropriate examples, those from similar working environments will be more relevant (e.g. examples of teamwork in an accountancy office for an accountant job)
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm for the role

Watch out for!

  • Incorrect details – phone number, email
  • Not covering every essential criteria
  • Using generic examples
  • Focusing on responsibilities not accomplishments
  • Unsubstantiated claims
  • Repeating mistakes
  • Submitting too soon
  • Missing the deadline – take note of the closing date as no new applications may be submitted after this time


  • NHS standards require that references are obtained for the last three years of job / education history, starting with your most recent employers, they must also be continuous
  • You can add any number of referees to cover the period of three years. At the top of each referees details you can tell us whether they are covering you for employment, education, character referee etc
  • Please enter a valid professional email address as this will speed up the recruitment process if you are successful. If this section is not completed fully, you will be asked to clarify
  • Gaps in employment will need to be covered by a character referee, there is list available from recruitment teams to aid with these. Missing or inappropriate referees will be queried, so be sure to follow the guidance

Submit your Application

  • You have the opportunity to view the completed application, you can also download a copy of your application. You are strongly advised to carefully check your application prior to pressing the bright green submit button. Alternatively, you can save and come back to review at another time – just don’t miss the closing date!
  • Once you have submitted your application you will be unable to make any changes, apart from contact details
  • Please allow yourself plenty of time before the closing date to complete your application
  • Make sure you review all sections
  • Refer to the job description, advert and additional documents they will help you
  • If you are using a saved application make sure it fits the job you are applying for as well as the Organisation

Good luck!