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Employment advice

If you'd like to apply for a role with Surrey County Council, then this advice section will assist you with your job application. Containing helpful hints, handy tips and employment advice, it will help to make sure your application sells you in the best possible way.

Every job has a job description and a person specification/ selection criteria. Shortlisting will be carried out by assessing the evidence provided in your personal statement against the selection criteria.

The job description gives information about the duties of the job for which you are applying, who you would report to and where you would work. The selection criteria outline the experience, skills and qualifications we are looking for to fulfil the requirements of the job. The information given in your application is matched against the selection criteria to decide whether to invite you to interview.

  • Before you apply, take time to read the person specification and job description.
  • Prepare a personal statement that includes relevant examples to demonstrate your experience against the job competencies and job description.
  • Make sure all the information you supply in your personal statement relates back to the job profile.
  • Think about the structure of your personal statement. Life experience counts as well as your employment history. You can include community and voluntary work, leisure interests and your home life to provide examples of transferable skills.
  • Check you have shown how you meet all the essential and desirable requirements on the person specification. The shortlisting panel cannot guess or make assumptions about your knowledge and experience.
  • Remember to spend time on your personal statement and to check and double check spelling and grammar.
  • Keep the personal statement to less than 2000 words.
  • Where you can, save it as a pdf so that you can upload it to the recruitment system when you apply.
  • It is important that you complete the application form in full, if there are gaps in your employment history, then please note that these will be explored if you are invited for an interview.
  • Make sure that your referees are previous employers who know about your work skills and cover the last 3 years.
  • Should you make it to the interview stage, your interview will be competency based. It is recommended that you use examples to illustrate the competencies being asked – one method of doing this is to structure your interview responses around CAR: Context; Actions; Result (PDF).

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