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The University of Sheffield

How to Succeed at: Writing Applications

The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn


Experts from The Careers Service here at The University of Sheffield share their top tips to help you write exceptional applications, CVs (or résumés), covering letters and personal statements.

You’ll also hear from employers and admissions tutors to find out what they really look for in a candidate. And once you’ve written that perfect application, prepare for the next stage with our course: How to Succeed at: Interviews.

This course is designed for anyone applying for jobs or courses. It will be of particular interest to those in the early stages of their career, or those who are out of practice and need to update their skills. No prior knowledge or expertise are needed.


  • Preparing to apply
    • Welcome to Week 1
    • Understanding yourself
    • Understanding jobs and courses
    • Making the match
    • Summary of the week
  • CVs and covering letters
    • Welcome to Week 2
    • Create an effective CV
    • Develop a professional online profile
    • Sell yourself in your covering letter
    • End of week summary
  • Application forms and personal statements
    • Welcome to Week 3
    • Outstanding application forms
    • Brilliant personal statements
    • End of course summary

Taught by

Hilary Jones and Pamela Hafekost


4.7 rating, based on 436 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at FutureLearn based on 399 ratings

Start your review of How to Succeed at: Writing Applications

  • I've taken a lot of writing courses in my life, but I must confess that "How to Succeed at: Writing Applications" organised by the University of Sheffield via FutureLearn is exceptional. The course teaches modern approaches to preparing applications that guarantee employment at workplaces and admission at institutions. We, the course-takers, are provided with real-time materials to assist us to gain insights into the world of applications and sell ourselves to recruiters. If anyone is looking forward to "upping" their application writing skills, the course is a must.
  • Sylvia Amar completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.

    It's a very easy course to prepare resumes, linkedin profiles and job / courses applications. It's well documented with recruiters interviews.
  • Ih San

    Ih San completed this course.

    - A wonderful course! - I liked the pedagogical approach the course used to attract attention from the first till the last step, with various activities (videos, articles, exercises and successful samples with analysis - I liked the discussions, th…
  • Anonymous
    If you are struggling with job applications or university/college applications then I would highly recommend this course as it provides a great deal of useful information such as preparing CVs and covering letters, STAR, the type of questions you might be asked at an interview and the best way to answer them. It provides information on how to approach an application form, sample CVs and covering letters.
    The videos are quite good too. The people involved know what is expected of potential candidates whether it's for a job or an application to a university or college. I would definitely recommend listening to what they have to say and taking onboard their advice.
  • Anonymous
    I'm a mature aged professional looking to make a career change. I found the course a valuable exercise as it has helped get up to date with current recruitment trends, writing application, especially streamlining them). The STAR model a very useful tool. I would recommend this course to all age groups.

    The handouts very helpful.

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to join the course.
  • Anonymous
    I greatly appreciate your valuable insights on how to approach introducing oneself to a new company in a logical and motivating manner. Your solutions have proven to be incredibly helpful and I am grateful for the guidance you have provided. Thank you for sharing your expertise with me.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course. The content is the complete package of drafting profile, written and video CV and cover letter. Moreover, the questions regarding the process of drafting CV, profile and cover letter and their answers analysis are really very important.
  • Anonymous
    The course is very good, very useful and quite complete, but you have to be really committed if you want to get the most out of it and not forget the knowledge they give us. They really teach you what fits reality and give you good examples
  • Anonymous
    It has been an informative, educative and insightful course. It has assisted me in writing better applications and writing better cv. The course is quite rich and prepares one to apply for vacancies better.
  • Anonymous
    This course helps me for creating a cover letter and resume. I hope that in the future you have the same or better programs for people.
  • Anonymous
    This course helped to understand basic important point to write application best ways. You can understand what's active style , and brand yourself in a better way on front of any organizations / recruiters /manager . You can also learn basic important principal of writing application . It's very helpful specially for biggner . Must be checked it . learned to write proper application methods . In this way you can build confidence to show yourself on paper form of writing style . I like it . Thanks future learning .
  • Anonymous
    I liked this course very much. This course was to my expectation level. I can see the guidance through out the course to improve writing application. I hope this will enable me to qualify for the job position or phd study.I can see the postgraduate, research and phd opportunity at the last part of your program. I hope that this course will provide me the guidance for opportunity to advance in my academic and professional career. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of the programme and I would be very grateful if I get the opportunity to join the advance programme to get advance research and phd to broaden my knowledge at your prestigious university. Please help me and guide me.
  • Anonymous
    That's incredible course. I enjoyed learning writing for the first time in my life. Thanks for organizers. From starting to finishing your application you must give relevant information in correct order and size. Giving reference is new to me. Preparing video application can be helpful. All the activities and examples are great. I find participating in this course interesting and amazing opportunity to boost my career goals.
  • Chunfang Zhang
    I very much like the course “How to Succeed at: Writing Applications” provided by the University of Sheffield via FutureLearn, the duration of which is 3 weeks. There are 51 sections, including 22 articles, 16 videos, 3 quizzes, 6 discussions and 4 exercises. I am happy to have completed the course and do appreciate the diligent, friendly and excellent course team, attractive instructional design, helpful contents, rich resources, and diversified teaching methods. I have benefited a lot from the tips and techniques, together with the brilliant samples and detailed analysis for making more effective applications. I do recommend you to attend the course.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Writng application must be accurate , clear and related to the a job . First of all write clear info. about youself. List of education , date ,grade and format specified in the instruction.Then give brief details of each period of employment and wo…
  • Riaz Laghari is taking this course right now.

    It is an effective course to develop your skills.It shares tips ,techniques and ways to write best applications.If you learn it ,your chances of getting a job might increase significantly.Good luck!
  • Profile image for Olivia Farley
    Olivia Farley
    What was so wonderful is how mine opening it can really be! So I just kept an open mind and let me tell you I’ve learned so much my brain hurts!!
    I love learning new thing and finding things to discover all the time! These courses are complex but simple in some way or another. Crazy how that works but , it’s the fact of how much our brains can improve like this learning and growing to open our minds to become smarter! Makes you feel like you could do anything!! Thank you to everyone who created this to the public to learn seriously!!
  • Anonymous
    Even I have done the course quickly because I was very busy during the first week, I enjoyed and find it very useful for applying to any job. I could rebuilt my CV following the tips and valuable advices the professors give.
    I have learned how to write a personal letter including what is necessary, and avoiding redundant details.
    The course is very complete and help me a lot. It deserves five stars. I can recommend it to anyone interested in applying for a job or a course
  • Anonymous
    It has been an amazing journey this far. I had to delay an application so that I'll immediately implement whatever I'll learn front his course. I look forward to landing my first ever interview for my dream job after implementing what I've taken out time to learn for the past few days of this course. Thank you to the University of Sheffield for bringing this course to us for free and thanks to the team for an amazing task so far.
  • Profile image for Radia Benmenni
    Radia Benmenni
    The best course about writing applications I found on the internet, very useful tips, the method of presentation is great and the explanation was comprehensive.

    Thank you.

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