Applying for a job

Applying for a job in a new country can be exciting and slightly stressful. But it doesn’t have to be testing. Impress potential new employers in Scotland with a flawless CV and cover letter, impeccable interview and appropriate business etiquette.


After an interview hearing those magical words – ‘you’re hired’ is absolutely wonderful. But getting there is a multi-step process. Taking time to prepare removes most of the stress and allows you to highlight your best features to your potential new employer.   

Applying for the job

Before you apply for the job, read the job ad carefully to ensure you meet all the requirements. Only apply if you are a perfect fit for the position. You will need to provide examples showing that you have the required skills, qualifications and experience.   

Normally when you apply for a job in Scotland you will need to provide your CV. You may also be required to complete an application form.  

It is good practice to include a cover letter, which can help you stand out from other applicants. In addition to providing a summary of your skills and experience, your cover letter should also outline why you are excited by the job and highlight why you are the ideal candidate for the role. Your cover letter should not be any longer than a single page.

Your CV is your personal resume. It’s an opportunity to promote your professional experience, academic qualifications, strengths and achievements. Often it’s your potential employer’s introduction to you and influences their first impressions. Therefore, it is important that your CV is accurate, up-to-date and grammatically perfect. Your CV should only be two pages maximum.  

The same details in your CV do not necessarily apply to all jobs. You should therefore tailor your CV details to highlight experience relevant to the specific job you are applying for.  

Normally you submit your application online. You may also be able to submit it by post. However, if you submit your application by post, ensure that you allow enough time for it to reach the employer by the closing date for the job. 

The interview

If you are invited to an interview, the employer will expect you to be familiar with the company and what they do. The company’s website is generally an excellent source of information and provides valuable insight into the company.   

In Scotland, the interview can be a two-stage process where you have an initial interview followed by a second final interview. If you are applying from outside Scotland, the employer may arrange the first interview via Skype.

During the interview the employer will normally ask you to provide practical examples that demonstrate how you have applied your skills and experience in a work environment.

Follow up

When you apply for a job you may only receive a response from the employer if you are successful in getting an interview. The response procedure is often stated on the job ad.

If they are interested in interviewing you, an employer will typically contact you within two to three weeks after he or she receives your application. You may receive a letter, email or telephone call. 

If you have been invited to an interview, normally you will hear from the employer about whether you got the job within a week or two after the meeting. You will normally receive a telephone call. However, you may receive a letter or email offering you the position. 

If after the interview you do not hear from the employer, follow up by email or call them to enquire about when they will be making their final decision about the position.