Seen these icons?

If we have events, jobs or news that are relevant to the page topic, you can access them by clicking on icons next to the print button.

Demonstrate You Fit the Job Criteria | The Careers Service Demonstrate You Fit the Job Criteria – Oxford University Careers Service
Oxford logo
Key advice

Identify the job criteria

Throughout the application process, you should aim to demonstrate evidence of the skills and qualities specified in the job description and person specification.

If these are not provided, or if you are making a speculative application, then create a list of the skills and qualities you would expect the organisation are looking for.

You could create this list from your knowledge of the sector, by networking with professionals, or by reading adverts for similar positions.

Choose examples from your life

Having made the list of job criteria, you should then jot down examples that demonstrate you have the skills or experience they are looking for.

You can demonstrate these by using examples from your academic life and extracurricular activities: tutorials, team projects, work experience, fieldwork, dissertations, sport, music, and societies in the University or your College. Try to find examples from a range of activities.

  • Give specific examples and evidence – don’t generalise
  • Think of evidence that you can quantify: how much, how many, how often
  • Vary your use of examples, and draw from different areas of your life
  • Draw on your most recent relevant experiences and achievements wherever possible
An example of the process

Sample Job Description

The Maximal Group Graduate Openings for Planning Researchers

We are specialist advisers to corporate owners and high net worth individuals. We have built up a reputation for working with companies and individuals, to enhance their business and personal finances. This has been achieved through the development of highly specialised products and services, designed specifically for those markets.

We offer outstanding opportunities for top quality graduates. Starting as a Planning Researcher, you will be trained and qualified to advance to the role of Planning Associate and then the prestigious role of Corporate Consultant. You will have

  • A 2:1 or above in any degree discipline
  • At least 300 UCAS points
  • Solid communication skills
  • Well-developed IT skills
  • The ability to manage your workload and responsibilities, either on a solo or teamwork basis
  • A genuine interest in business, finance and people

Starting salaries will be in the range £16k-£20k, with share options and unrivalled training and career advancement opportunities. To apply, send your CV and a covering letter to Mr J. Hawes, Recruitment Manager, The Maximal Group, PO Box 3746, Essex, CM19 7HN.

My Evidence

  • 2:1
    • Yes
  • 300 UCAS points
    • Yes
  • Communication skills
    • Written: Reports during work experience at Wests; Emphasise variety within studies (essays, dissertations, reports, etc); College Debating Society publicity material
    • Oral: GCSE private tutoring; Presentation of final-year project; College Debating Society
  • IT skills
    • MS Office (at uni and for jobs) Word, Excel, PowerPoint
    • Internet – basic html writing webpage for Debating Soc
  • Managing workload & responsibilities
    • Solo: Study at Oxford! Successful final-year project
    • Self-starter: Organising useful work experience & tutoring service
    • Team: Debating Society committee; well-attended debates; outside speakers; promotion of society
  • Interest in business/finance/people
    • Read FT & The Economist; Work experience (Wests and Tesco); Tutoring & debating
Presenting experience

You should then make sure you use these examples when presenting yourself in your CV and cover letter – or application form – and at interview. (At interview, do not be afraid to repeat the examples you used in your written application if you have limited experience. Your interviewers will have read large numbers of applications, and will not have memorised all the points in yours!)

Structuring responses: the STAR technique

In cover letters, application forms and interviews, you may find the STAR approach (Situation, Task, Action, Result) helps you to frame a clear structure when providing  an example experience.

  • Describe a situation
  • Explain the task you had to do
  • Set out – clearly, specifically, and with detail – the actions you took
  • And finally, describe the result and what you learned

The ‘Action’ should account for about 70 per cent of your answer, with the other parts taking up 10 per cent each.

Action verbs

In written applications, you should convey your relevant skills and experience with impact by using action verbs. These can help make an application stand out, particularly if you start bullet-points with them. Here are some examples:

Accomplished • Achieved • Administered • Advised • Advocated • Analysed • Assembled • Authorised • Awarded • Budgeted • Captained • Chaired • Coached • Completed • Conducted • Co-ordinated • Counselled • Created • Decided • Delivered • Demonstrated • Designed • Determined • Developed • Devised • Directed • Discovered • Earned • Edited • Employed • Enabled • Encouraged • Engineered • Enjoyed • Ensured •  Established • Evaluated • Examined • Expanded • Explained • Facilitated • Founded • Gained • Generated • Handled • Identified • Implemented • Improved • Increased • Initiated • Instituted • Instructed • Interviewed • Invented • Launched • Led • Managed • Marketed • Maximised • Mediated • Negotiated • Obtained • Operated • Organised • Oversaw • Performed • Planned • Prepared • Presented • Prioritised • Produced • Promoted • Raised • Ran • Recognised  • Recommended • Reconciled • Recruited • Represented • Responsible • Saved • Set up • Simplified • Solved • Supervised • Targeted • Transformed

If you lack experience

If you feel you lack experience, and don’t have time before an application to gain more, don’t panic! You can always reference the knowledge and skills developed during your course at Oxford.

For example, you could:

  • Mention particularly relevant subjects / modules; extended essay / dissertation / thesis; field work and other research projects.
  • Highlight the tutorial system: ability to see both sides of an argument; thinking on your feet; explaining your views to others; presenting information; and coping with pressure.
  • Remember skills gained from personal study: time management; research skills; analytical and critical thinking; identifying key points; summarising/synthesising information; structuring arguments.
This information was last updated on 19 July 2018.
Loading... Please wait
Recent blogs about Demonstrate You Fit the Job Criteria

KPMG Graduate Scheme for mainland Chinese / Hong Kong students

Posted on behalf of KPMG . Blogged by Julia Hilton on 19/07/2018.

At KPMG, our purpose is to “Inspire Confidence and Empower Change”, helping China to open its doors to the rest of the world and work with our clients to create the future. As one of the world’s leading professional firms offering audit, tax and advisory services, we have around 12,000 partners and staff working across 19 cities in China.

With our first-class learning and development programme for new joiners, you will be able to unleash your potential and become an integral part of a multi-disciplinary team to help our clients excel in the changing market environment. Our reputation as a leading professional service provider is reinforced by the wide range of awards KPMG has received over the years as the employer of choice, for our strong community involvement and our wealth of knowledge in the professional industries. A perfect place to start an extraordinary career!

Early offer opportunity
This year, you have an ‘early offer opportunity’ which will allow you to secure a place on our world-class graduate programme before returning back to university for your final year thus allowing you to focus on your studies. Don’t miss your chance to stay one step ahead of your peers! All degree disciplines are welcome. This unique opportunity means that you can go through the selection process in August. We strongly encourage you to complete the application now or before 5 August to ensure that you don’t miss out on the chance to secure a position for 2019 before you enter your final year, leaving you free to focus on your studies.

If you’re interested in our 2018/19 KPMG graduate programme, please apply here
(select “2019 Graduate Programme” in the system). For further details, please visit
our website. Personal data will be collected for recruitment purposes only.
Should you have any queries, feel free to email us at graduates.hk@kpmg.com or call
our hotline (+852) 2525 5845.

We have a team member – Maria Forrest, dedicated to mainland Chinese / Hong Kong
students wishing to return home after graduation. Please feel free to contact her with
any enquiries at maria.forrest@kpmg.com.

Accenture – BAME Insight Day

Posted on behalf of Accenture. Blogged by Polly Metcalfe on 19/07/2018.

When: 22 and 23 August 2018

Where: Plantation Place, 30 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 3BD

Be yourself, make a difference

At Accenture, we feel strongly about the importance of inclusion and diversity. We’re holding two events for students and graduates this August as a fantastic opportunity to help you explore career options as you plan your future. Each event will have panel discussions where you can ask questions about everything from employability skills, the work we do and our culture.

You will have a tour of our innovation centre, get involved in employability and recruitment sessions, as well as network with experts across various business areas over drinks and nibbles. To attend, students should be in their second year of study (about to go into their third), or recently graduated with 340+ UCAS points (or equivalent) in their top three A-Levels and be from a BAME background.

There are limited spaces available. So, apply today by sending your CV and a covering letter stating why you wish to attend to events@staffordlong.co.uk

Civil Service Fast Stream Offer-holders panel: June 2018

Blogged by James Salas on 13/07/2018.

In 6th week Trinity Term, the Careers Service invited five Finalist who all held offers for the UK Civil Service (3x Fast Streamers; +1 Direct entry; +1 HMT Graduate programme) to talk about their experiences in the application and interview process, including their attendance of numerous assessment centres:

  • Fast Stream Assessment Centre (everyone does this one);
  • Economics FS;
  • Social Researchers FS;
  • FCO Diplomatic FS;
  • HMT graduate programme.

The Careers Service has a comprehensive written account of this presentation that is available to current students through the Careers Service’s Interview Database.

If you are considering an application for the civil service this autumn, expect positions to open from mid-August or early September, and to close in the 3rd week of October. Last year, all Fast Stream programmes, including the early and summer diversity internship programmes had the same early application deadline.

If you are well prepared, you should be able to navigate the early stages before term starts, which will mean you have ample time to prepare for each new phase. You can use the account of our offer-holders panel together with our Government and Public Sector briefing paper to get your bearings and make a start with your preparations. And remember, support from the Careers Service is available throughout the summer, wherever you are.

*Alumni cannot access our interview database. Any recent alumni considering applications to the Civil Service can request their own copy of the panel session by writing to reception@careers.ox.ac.uk with details of their College, Oxford Degree course and their year of completion.

Applications Open for Prestigious Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs

Blogged by Annie Dutton on 09/07/2018.

The Stelios Award is a business award run in partnership between Leonard Cheshire and with the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation. It recognises the exceptional spirit and business ability of disabled entrepreneurs. It is open to disabled applicants operating in the UK exclusively, the award uses the Equality Act 2010 definition of disability, which includes long-term mental and physical health conditions, to measure eligibility.

Each of the five finalists win £10,000 with the winner receiving an extra £20,000 to help kickstart their business or take it to the next level.

All forms of entrepreneurship and planned business activity in the UK, including start-ups, social enterprise or up-and-running businesses, can apply.

Deadline for applications is 1 October 2018. For more information and how to apply visit the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation Facebook page, or the Leonard Cheshire website.

Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award 2018

Posted on behalf of Haymarket Media. Blogged by Elleanor Thornton on 05/07/2018.

Aged between 17 and 25 and want to kick-start your career in the automotive industry?

Come up with a problem-solving idea or innovation that will improve the UK automotive business and you could win £8,000 plus a five-month work experience placement at Horiba Mira, Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren Automotive, Nissan and Toyota.

How to enter

Describe an idea or innovation that would improve the UK automotive business. The idea should fall into one of five categories – Mobility, Connectivity, Sustainability, Customer Experience, or Marketing and Communications – and it could focus on any area of the automotive business, from concept through to the sales showroom, car ownership and the aftermarket.

The deadline for entries is 17:00 on Friday, 31 August 2018.

Visit the website and enter today.

Terms and conditions apply. See website for details.

This page displays current related blog posts. If none display, you can still stay up-to-date with our newsletter sent regularly to all Oxford students.

Older posts can be found in our archive of past blogs.