How to apply

Guidance for completing and submitting your online application.

Before you apply

Please ensure you complete and submit your application by midnight on the closing date, as applications submitted after this date will not be accepted.

The information below aims to help you complete an application and answer some questions that you may have about the application process.

Speculative applications

We do not accept speculative applications. You can only apply for advertised jobs. However, you can keep informed of new jobs, by setting up automatic email alerts for jobs that match your search criteria. This will ensure that you are the first to hear about vacancies of interest to you as soon as these are released.

Job profile

Every job we advertise is supported by a job profile. You should read the job profile carefully, so that you understand what the position involves.

The document explains the:

  • Job purpose and duties
  • Selection criteria - values and behaviours
  • Selection criteria - experience, qualifications, training and other requirements

Once you have read the job profile, you can begin to think about:

  • What the job involves and if you have the relevant experience and skills required
  • What interests you about this job
  • If the job opportunity is right for your career development

Please make sure that your application addresses all the areas covered in the job profile and make sure that your application demonstrates the skills and experience you have for the specific job you are applying for.

Support for veterans

We guarantee to invite any Armed Forces veterans to interview if they meet the essential criteria for the post they are applying for. See more about our Veterans' Guaranteed Interview Scheme.

Selection criteria

You are advised to read the following notes carefully as, unless other pre-selection techniques are used, the decision to shortlist you for interview will be based solely on the information you provide in your application.

These notes are designed to help you complete your application as thoroughly as possible. Information you provide in your application will be treated as confidential.

Relatives of Elected Councillors or Senior Council Officers

If you apply for a job with the council you must tell us if you have any relationship with a councillor or senior officer of the council. If you don’t tell us, you may be disqualified from appointment. Councillors and senior officers must also tell us about any relationship they may have with someone applying to work for the council. 

You must not try to influence any councillor or officer of the council in relation to your job application, or you will be disqualified. This means you must not seek the support of a councillor or officer, or attempt to ask them to influence the decision on who to appoint.


You must not canvass members of the Council in relation to your application. This means you must not seek the support of Elected Members or attempt to ask them to influence the outcome regarding your application (if you do, your application will be disqualified).

Disclosing criminal convictions

Under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, certain jobs require applicants to declare all criminal convictions/cautions, regardless of whether or not they are spent. If the job you are applying for is exempted under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 any offer of employment will be conditional upon the receipt of a satisfactory response to a check of police records via Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

All jobs that are exempted under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 will be clearly indicated in the job advertisement or any other supporting information.

Richmond and Wandsworth is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

If there are any issues during your appointment to a role, the Recruitment team will be in contact with the possible next steps.

Help completing your application

You may wish to make contact with any of the below organisations to support you in applying for jobs or training:

  • Workmatch is a council service best placed to help with accessing local jobs and is able to support residents from both boroughs with their job applications.
  • Job Centre Plus provides a range of support for job seekers.

Completing your application

Make sure that you carefully follow the application instructions in the job advertisement.

Applying online

We do not accept paper applications. Apart from your internet browser, you do not need any additional software on your computer to use this site effectively.

If you are having difficulty in applying online, please contact the Recruitment team on to see if we can offer alternative arrangements for you to apply.

Saving your application

During the application process, you can press the ‘Save’ button at the top of the page at any time.

Clicking the 'Next' button at the bottom of the page will also automatically save the information you have entered. If you do not save your application on a regular basis you risk losing your information.

Application types

You could be requested to apply by submitting:

  • A CV only
  • A CV and cover letter
  • An application form

CV applications

Please ensure that you include all the following information in your CV. If any of the criteria is missing your application could be rejected. Your CV should not exceed two sides of A4 (excluding referee details).


  • First name, middle initial(s), last name
  • Email address and a contact telephone number (if we need to call you)
  • Full employment history including start and end dates, role title, key responsibilities and reasons for leaving. Include reasons for any gaps in paid employment and any voluntary work
  • Please ensure you include contact names, emails and phone numbers for a minimum of 2 referees that cover at least 3 years of employment history (one must be your current or most recent employer)
  • Professional qualifications, including date(s) achieved, name of awarding body and any other training relevant to the post being applied for if applicable

Do not include:

  • Your age/date of birth
  • A photograph
  • Other personal data information

Employment experience

Complete this section as fully as possible, giving exact dates. Where you cannot remember specific dates, provide as good an indication of the time involved as possible. For jobs requiring pre-employment Disclosure and Barring Service checks you must provide exact and accurate dates.

Qualifications and Training

Where specific qualifications are required for the position, this will be stated in the Job Profile. You should complete this section giving details of relevant examination results and grades. If your application is successful, you will be required to provide verification of these qualifications. Make sure you include any NVQs which you are working towards or have obtained.

Covering letters

Please ensure that your covering letter includes how you meet the essential criteria of the role description, why you are applying for the role and what skills you would bring to the role. Please note that a covering letter should not exceed two sides of A4.

Application forms

It is important for you to be able to give examples of how you meet the requirements for the job. Before you start your application, you need to spend time thinking about your skills and experience and how they meet the specified criteria for the job you are applying for. You can include the skills and experience you have gained outside of work and through training if they are relevant.

You should give examples from your previous experience which tells us about your achievements and skills which also explains how you have previously demonstrated this.

A useful approach is to use the STAR model, which will help structure your thinking:

  • Situation – set the scene and describe a situation or problem
  • Task - explain the task required to solve the issue or problem
  • Action - describe what you actually did, how and when you did it, and why you made these choices to overcome the issue or problem
  • Result - explain the outcome of your action and the difference it made

You should consider writing a rough draft of your application in Microsoft Word, or other similar software. This will help you to organise and plan your application and avoid mistakes and duplication. You will be able to spell check your work and then cut and paste it into the online form.

It also means that you will have a copy of your application for future reference.

Once you have completed your draft application, we recommend asking someone you trust to read it and give their opinion.

You should check that any dates are listed in the correct order and that there are no unexplained gaps in your employment history.

Do not submit the same application for different jobs. You need to look at the requirements listed as they will be different for each role.

Information accuracy

You will need to ensure the information you provide is accurate irrespective of the format requested. Applicants who conceal or misrepresent relevant information at any stage during the recruitment process are liable to be disqualified. Please read the job profile carefully, so that you understand what the position involves.

Equality and diversity monitoring

You will also be asked to provide details of your gender, ethnicity, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, and whether you have a disability.

This information is confidential and any information you provide will not be made available to the selection panel. We will only use information to help us measure how effective our equal opportunities and diversity policies are, and to inform future policy decisions.

Disability Confident

We are a Disability Confident Employer, and we actively encourage you if you have a disability to apply for our roles. We have a proud track record of supporting those with disabilities into employment and supporting them throughout their employment.

If your disability means you require reasonable adjustments to make an application, attend an interview or to perform you role, please let us know on your application form or by contacting the recruitment team

Each case will be considered individually. Examples of adjustments that can be made include:

  • Changing interview locations
  • Providing questions in advance or written down
  • Allowing more time for assessments or interviews
  • Allowing a support worker to attend the interview as well
  • Undertaking a practical assessment in an alternative format

Any candidate that has a disability and meets the essential criteria for a role as outlined in the job description is eligible for an interview. We also ensure that our website, applications and system are fully accessible and cater for the needs of those with disabilities.

We also offer reasonable adjustments throughout the recruitment process. All candidates are reminded of this for all elements of the selection process, including interviews, assessments and presentations. 

We have a guaranteed interview scheme in place, in which if a candidate who has declared a disability will be guaranteed an interviewed if they meet the essential criteria for the role. The commitment to interview candidates that have a disability and meet the essential criteria (from the job profile) is communicated publicly within the 'how to apply' section of the website.

Hiring managers are able to identify those candidates with a disability easily with the help of our recruitment system. The candidate moves to the top of the shortlisting pile and are guaranteed an interview.

We use Microsoft systems at Richmond and Wandsworth, whilst we do everything we can to ensure that every document and link published is accessible to candidates, there is support that can be used to make tools like screen readers and other accessibility tools work better. They can be found on the Microsoft website.


You must declare certain information when you complete an application. This is to ensure both you as the applicant, and us as the employer comply with legislation.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), provides wider access to criminal record information. This service helps organisations to make safer recruitment decisions by identifying candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work (especially work which involves children or vulnerable adults).

As an organisation assessing applicants’ suitability for positions which are included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order using criminal record checks processed through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), Richmond and Wandsworth Councils comply fully with the DBS code of practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly.

Once you have submitted your application

When you submit your application, we will send an automated email to your inbox to confirm this.

You may experience a delay in receiving this email. Also, some email providers may flag your confirmation as junk mail, so remember to check your junk/spam folder.


Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to make your application form available for editing once it has been submitted.


Once your application is submitted, your application will progress to the shortlisting stage.

The selection panel will look at all applications submitted and assess them against the criteria listed in the job profile. Your completed application will be used to decide whether you are asked to attend an interview.

If your application is not shortlisted for interview, you will be informed by email shortly after the closing date. If your application is unsuccessful, please do not let this deter you from applying for future positions.

Withdrawing your application

Please login to your Careers Account to withdraw your application.


Applicants who are invited to attend an interview will be contacted by email once shortlisting has taken place. 

An interview is essentially a business meeting. The interviewer promotes the job and you promote the skills and experience you have to do the job. Like all meetings preparation is important.

How to prepare

These tips may help you prepare towards a successful interview:

  • Know all the interview details (e.g. time and location, duration, number of people on the panel)
  • Re-read your application form
  • Prepare for any tests
  • Prepare examples to demonstrate your skills and abilities
  • Think of questions you might be asked and questions you would like to ask the panel
  • Practice being interviewed with a person you trust
  • Be positive about your strengths
  • Arrive in good time
  • Take any relevant documents with you (e.g. qualification certificates)
  • Have a glass of water during the interview, this can help you clear your throat and also give you an opportunity to think about the question you are being asked
  • Visualise success

Competency-based interviews

A competency based interview looks at how you have performed a task in the past, to indicate how you may perform a similar task in the future. It looks at how you do things, not just what you do.

Competency-based questions focus on how a candidate has handled specific situations in the past.

This helps to give the interviewer a better understanding of what they can expect from a candidate in the workplace.

It is important that you give examples of actual situations you have experienced, or you may struggle to provide enough detail on the spur of the moment.

Competency based questions usually begin with phrases such as:

  • Tell me about a time when…
  • Give an example of…
  • Describe a situation….
  • Can you describe an occasion when…
  • Tell me what you have done…

Before you start working for us

If you are successful after your interview, you will be sent a conditional offer of employment letter.

We will need to complete some pre-employment checks as part of any offer.

These include:

  • Pre-employment health declaration
  • Employment references
  • Eligibility to work in the UK
  • DBS check (if applicable)
  • Qualifications (if applicable)

Probationary policy

All new entrants to Richmond and Wandsworth will be subject to a probationary period.


If you wish to make a complaint about the recruitment process, you will need to contact the recruitment team by email on

We are open from 9am to 5pm on Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays). We will respond to your query within 2 working days.