Citizens Advice guidance notes for applicants
Application form alternative formats
If you need this information or any of our job application forms in an alternative format, for example, large print, audiotape, Braille or Easy Read, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to receive applications in alternative formats.
The electronic application form plays a key part in our recruitment and selection process. We use the information you provide to decide whether or not to invite you for an interview. It is important that you complete the application form as fully and accurately as possible, ensuring that you give specific examples which demonstrate how you meet the essential and desirable criteria for the role for which you are applying. Incomplete applications are unlikely to pass shortlisting. Please read this document for guidance on how to complete the form.
We have made a positive commitment to employing disabled people and guarantee to interview disabled candidates who meet the minimum essential criteria for the role as set out in the role profile and person specification. If you wish to apply for consideration under the Guaranteed interview scheme, please complete the appropriate section on the application form. You can read more information about this here.
You can email email@example.com to advise if you have any reasonable adjustments throughout the recruitment process.
If you are selected for interview, we will ask you to let us know if you have any access needs or may require reasonable adjustments to the interview or assessment (if applicable) at that stage. Please be assured that we will be supportive in discussing reasonable adjustments with you at any stage of the recruitment and selection process.
Instructions on how to complete the Supporting information page: Information, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities section of the application form
This is a key section of the application form which allows you to provide evidence of your experience, knowledge, skills and abilities that are relevant to the role as described in the role profile. Selection is based on an assessment of the evidence you provide against the requirements of the role as set out in the person specification. It is important that you tailor your response to clearly demonstrate how you meet each requirement. No assumptions will be made about your achievements and abilities.
Please provide one example for the relevant essential criteria highlighted in the person specification (found in the job pack). You should choose examples of past experience that clearly demonstrate what we are looking for, and be precise about what you did, how you did it and the outcome or result of your actions. Please note that there is a word limit of 300 words per criteria; the system will not allow you to progress to the next page of the application if you exceed this limit.
A useful guide is the S.T.A.R method:
- Specific – give a specific example
- Task – briefly describe the task/objective/problem
- Action – tell us what you did
- Results – describe what results were achieved
Please provide recent work examples wherever possible. However, do remember that relevant examples from other aspects of your life, for example: voluntary or unpaid work, school or college work, family or home responsibilities, can also be given.
Entitlement to work in the UK
A job offer will be subject to confirmation that you are permitted to work in the UK in accordance with the provisions of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996. You will be asked to provide evidence of your entitlement to work in the UK if you are successful and an offer of employment is made.
Please note that Citizens Advice does not hold a sponsor licence and, therefore, cannot issue certificates of sponsorship under the points-based system.
National Citizens Advice does not pay for interview travel expenses. However we may reimburse candidates' on job seeker allowance for reasonable travel expenses up to a maximum of £50, to attend an interview if prior authorisation has been obtained.
Please see link to our guidance here .
Citizens Advice values diversity and promotes equality. We encourage and welcome applications from suitably skilled candidates from all backgrounds. Monitoring recruitment and selection procedures is one way of helping us to ensure that there is no unfair discrimination in the way that we recruit people. To do this we need to know about the diversity profile of people who apply for posts at Citizens Advice. This information is given in confidence for monitoring purposes only and is not seen by anyone responsible for making recruitment decisions. However, if you would prefer not to answer any of the questions we ask, please pick ‘prefer not to specify’ from the drop down menus.
GDPR: How we will use your information
The information you provide on this form will be used to help us decide whether to recruit you as a member of staff - this is our ‘legitimate interest’ under data protection law. It will only be seen by staff involved in the recruitment process, and will be stored securely.
If you are recruited we will retain your contact information in order to involve and support you. We will also collect additional information, such as next of kin details, and over time records of training, support meetings and where relevant, appraisals. Again, it will be kept securely, and only those people who need to see your information in order to involve you will have access to it.
All use of applicants' information will be relevant to their involvement, and may include:
- Contacting applicants when necessary
- Making reasonable adjustments to improve accessibility
- Monitoring statistical details of our applicants
- Providing ongoing support to applicants
- Addressing problems or complaints
You have legal rights over your data, including access to it, and the right to ask that it is corrected, restricted or deleted. There is more information on these rights on the Information Commissioner’s Office website: www.ico.org.uk
See here for further information on Citizens Advice applicant data and GDPR.
If you have any questions about the use of your data, please contact the Recruitment Team by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please log into your account on Jobtrain - our applicant tracking system, to check the status of your application – we will email you with the outcome once a decision has been made by the shortlisting panel.
Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview. Some positions may require additional assessments (practical task/test or assessment centre). If this is the case, you will have received details either with the application pack or further details will be provided if you are shortlisted.
All job offers are subject to the receipt of two satisfactory references: one of these should be your present or most recent employer, the other could be someone who knows you in a work related, voluntary or academic capacity. Both referees should be able to comment on your suitability for the post applied for.
All job offers will be subject to a medical assessment. If you are successful at interview, we will ask you to complete a confidential health questionnaire which will be screened by our independent occupational health provider.
The health questionnaire is not viewed by Citizens Advice staff and is sent directly by applicants who have been offered employment, to our occupational health provider. The advice they give us will not identify specific health problems.
Any applicant who considers that they have been unfairly treated or discriminated against should be advised to contact the Head of People Operations, in writing, or by email, as soon as possible. Complaints received within one month will be taken seriously and investigated promptly and sensitively by the People Team and Equality Division, who will advise of the outcome. This does not affect your legal rights.