Careers ServiceApplications

So, you've found the job you want to apply for. Whether it's a part-time job, a summer placement or a graduate role, starting your first application can be daunting. Check out our FAQs for advice and support in applying for jobs.


Only include a covering letter with your CV if requested to do so by the employer.

You'll find some examples in our CV booklet which you can download from MyCareer.

For a part-time job, try and keep it to a single page.

For other opportunities such as internships or graduate programmes, the general rule is two pages.

Use our advice on Application Forms where you'll find help and some examples.

Check out this article, from TARGETjobs, written by a Careers Adviser, about commercial awareness.

Most employers will ask for the contact details of two people who can provide a reference for you; for an academic role it is typical to ask for 3 references.

Below are some suggestions of who you could approach for a reference:

  • A member of academic staff, perhaps your dissertation supervisor, or a personal tutor/PDA (if you have one) – preferably someone who knows you well but even if they don’t they can still write a reference for you regarding your academic knowledge and skills. If you are unsure who to ask check with your department.
  • A recent employer or someone who has supervised, or mentored you in a voluntary role.
  • Sports Union - if you have been on a Sports Union committee contact Ann Taylor or Abby Irvine
  • Strath Union - if you have been involved in the committee for a student society you can ask Strath Union for a reference; email If you have been a volunteer for Strath Union contact the staff member responsible for the department or the staff member you have been working most closely with.
  • Someone who knows you through a position of responsibility you have, for example, a Scout/Guide/Boys Brigade leader or external club or organisation you are involved with.

Some employers have strict policies on who they will accept as a reference but others will be flexible and accept a reference from anyone that knows you well and has good standing in the community.

If an employer requires confirmation of your studies at Strathclyde follow these instructions from Student Lifecycle.

Please note that the Careers Service is unable to provide references.

Yes. You can practice online with our interview simulation tool (DS login required).

It may be possible to arrange a practice interview with a Careers Consultant. However, it can be difficult to schedule this at short notice, so it is worthwhile thinking about this before you get notified about your first real interview. Contact us at to arrange something suitable.

Sometimes we may also organise practice interviews with employers. These will be advertised on our events calendar on MyCareer.

Most major graduate employers will use psychometric tests as part of their selection process in order to establish certain capabilities and skills.

Check out our advice on the making applications pages to help you prepare.

Try our practice psychometric tests online.