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Guide Working at East Devon District Council

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2. How to apply for employment

Completing the application form is the first step of the recruitment process.

It is therefore important that you complete all sections of the form as clearly and as fully as possible.

To ensure you don’t lose information as you complete the form, please type any long text information on a separate text editor document (for example, Microsoft Word or Notepad), then copy and paste it into the relevant section of the application form. 

This means if you leave the application form open and it times out before you have saved it, you still have your wording. You will also have the wording to use in any further job applications you may wish to make.

Guide to completing the application form

Section One: Personal Details

Enter your personal details fully and clearly so that we can contact you about your application. You can find your National Insurance number on a recent payslip, P60, P45 or any advice slip from the Inland Revenue or Child / Tax credits. If you do not have a National Insurance Number, leave this blank.

Sections Two and Three: Employment history

We require information on past and present employment history and it is important to ensure you explain any gaps in your employment history.

If you have recently left school or college and have not yet had any permanent employment, please give details of any other employment that you may have had such as work experience, holiday work or voluntary work.

Section Four: Education, training and development

We are interested in any form of education you have had, including any courses that did not lead to an examination or qualification.

Please ensure that you state any qualifications or learning/development programmes that are relevant to the post you are applying. You can also provide details of any professional memberships of organisations or institutes relevant to the job you are applying for in this section.

Section Five: Supporting statement

This section is to provide you with an opportunity to explain how your knowledge, competencies, skills and experience meet each of the essential requirements of the person specification. 

Please read the job description and the person specification and think about how you can meet the criteria for the post. We will be looking for demonstrable experience so avoid statements such as “I feel I meet all the requirements of the person specification.”

Instead, try to fully explain how you meet the requirements – for example, if the person specification asks for ‘experience of working with elderly people’ you need to explain, when, where and what was involved. Even if you have not had employment before you can draw on life experiences – for example, “I helped volunteer as organiser of events at my local cricket club.”

Section Six: Additional information

If you have a disability, please let us know. We guarantee an interview for any person with a disability who meets the essential criteria.

It will also help us to make any arrangements for the interview and/or a work based exercise to ensure you are not disadvantaged in the selection process.

We will discuss with you at interview if there are any reasonable adjustments that we can implement in order to help you to work with us such as providing specific equipment.

If you are related to a councillor or an employee of the council, we ask you to tell us so that we can make sure all applications are treated fairly. You need to tell us if the councillor or employee is a parent, grandparent, partner, child, stepchild, adopted child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, or a partner of such person.

Soliciting any employee or East Devon councillor to gain an unfair advantage in your application may disqualify you from consideration for the role.

Section Seven: References

Please ensure that your referees cover at least the last three years of your employment or academic history as it is a requirement that we check this as a minimum if you are successful. This may mean that you will need to provide more than two referees.

If you are unable to provide referees to support your last three years employment history, please contact Human Resources on 01395 517553 for advice.

Section Eight: Declaration

If you are submitting a paper application, please ensure that you sign and date the application form.

If you are submitting an application electronically, you will be asked to sign the form either at interview or on your first day of work if successful.

Please be aware that any falsification of information will result either in your application not being pursued or dismissal if you have already been appointed.

Diversity monitoring form

We believe in valuing diversity and to help us monitor the effectiveness of our policies we ask you to complete this form.

It is helpful if you could complete as a minimum the personal details, for example, your name and date of birth, but you need not answer some questions if you prefer not to.

This form is separated from the application form prior to shortlisting and does not form part of the recruitment and selection process. The contents will form part of your employment record if you are successful.

Criminal record check

As a responsible employer we ask all applicants to complete the criminal record declaration form so that we are aware of any criminal convictions.

We only require you to declare any unspent convictions at this stage. Unspent convictions are custodial sentences of more than two and a half years. They are also sentences of less than two and a half years where the rehabilitation period has not yet expired.

The completed form will be separated from the application form and not be seen by recruiting officers until short listing has taken place.

If you declare an unspent conviction we may write to you requesting further information. In these circumstances you are advised to seek guidance from Nacro and prepare a written disclosure statement. You may be asked about unspent convictions at interview.

All offers of employment will be subject to a minimum of a basic disclosure from Disclosure Scotland to verify the information you provide, unless the role which you have applied for requires a higher level of check from the Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS), in which case we will state clearly the level of DBS disclosure required on the job description paperwork.

Problems with completing the application form?

If you are unable to complete the application form, you may ask someone to do it on your behalf or you could contact Pluss by email at pluss@pluss.org.uk or 0800 917 7792.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to submit your application form on tape or in another format you may do so but it should aim to follow the format of the application form.

If you need the application form in another format please phone 01395 517553 or email jobs@eastdevon.gov.uk so that we can discuss your requirements. Completed application forms should be submitted electronically or returned to Human Resources. Please check the closing date of the vacancy.

Useful links taking you to external recruitment sites:

First Stop for Jobs

Jobs go Public

Local Government Jobs

This is Devon

Pluss

If you have a disability or long term health issue and would like help with applying for a job - then you could contact Pluss, an organisation which helps people with a disability find and keep work.

We are a Mindful Employer making it healthier to talk about mental health.

You can search for all our jobs and apply online through our online recruitment section.