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Applying for a job at the Council

Your application form plays an important part of your selection. The completed form is the only basis we have to consider your initial suitability for the post. The following advice should help you to complete the application form as effectively as possible.

Before you start

  • Consider the contents of the job description and application form. Ask yourself why you are interested in the job. Don't copy the same application for a series of jobs.
  • Study the person specification carefully. This outlines the type and range of skills/experience etc. that ideally we would like the candidate to possess or have the potential to develop. Use this as a guide and nothing more. 
  • Try to complete your application in a concise, well organised and positive way. 
  • Please do not send standard details of your own i.e. in the form of a curriculum vitae, as this will not be accepted.
  • Check for spelling or grammatical errors if this is important in the job that you are applying for, do not rely on spell check.

Forms you will need

On the application form

The following headings correspond to some of the sections in the application form:

  • Present and previous employment: starting with your current or last employer, list all the employers you have worked for, provide job title and the period you worked for them. This information may be used to assess whether you meet the experience requirement for the vacancy.
  • Education and professional qualifications and training: give a list of formal and informal qualifications and any relevant training. Information may be necessary here to assess whether you meet the required qualifications for the vacancy. Ensure nothing important has been omitted. 
  • Relevant knowledge, experience, skills and abilities: This is probably the most important part of your application, as you have to demonstrate how you meet the requirements of the post.  These are the criteria that we shortlist on. Be concise, well organised and positive. Do not repeat your career history, use only the relevant parts. Read through the advertisement and the job description to get a clear view of what the job involves.  The person specification details the skills, experience and knowledge etc. that are required for the post.  It is important that you pay particular attention to those criteria that have been identified as essential. These should be addressed under the headings as detailed in the person specification. It is important to include details of any relevant competencies gained through undertaking voluntary work or unpaid duties you have performed, particularly any positions of responsibility held, e.g. parent governor, committee member, VSO, treasurer of a club, CAB volunteer etc. This is particularly important if you have been out of paid work for some time. Provide examples to demonstrate how you meet the criteria; explain how you went about it and the outcome, don’t just confirm that you meet the criteria.  Always use examples that specify your responsibilities, rather than those of your section.
  • References: It is the Council's policy to approach current and relevant previous employers in the interests of the service concerned. References are requested via email where possible after an offer of appointment has been made. Please ensure that:
    • you have provided a work email address for each of your referees on your application and that this is correct and up to date
    • you have provided a contact name and number (where possible) that we can use to chase your reference if needed
    • you provided at least two references on your application, one being from your current or most recent employer and one from a previous employer
    • these references cover your employment history and/or full time education courses over the last three years
    • you have provided details regarding any gaps in employment/full time education
    • if you have never had a job, a teacher or lecturer can comment on your ability to do a job
    • if you are unemployed, you have specified your most recent employers or details of a referee at a full time place of study
    • if you are not able to provide employment history or full time education courses over the last three years, a personal reference can be provided, however this must not be a relative or person who only knows you as a friend

We must protect the public funds we handle and so we may use the information you have provided on this form to prevent and detect fraud. We may also share this information, for the same purposes, with other organisations which handle public funds.

Returning the application form

Completed application forms (along with a completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form) should be emailed to recruitment@westlancs.gov.uk by the closing date and time stated on the advert. Please submit these documents in MS Word format. If you are unable to download the application form, or require the application pack in an alternative format, then please call our Human Resources Section on 01695 577177

If you are unable to return the application form by email, then you can send your completed application form to: West Lancashire Borough Council, Human Resources Section, 52 Derby Street, Ormskirk, L39 2DF.

Interview arrangements

Candidates who are successfully shortlisted will be invited to attend a panel interview. Candidates who have been successful in obtaining an interview will usually be contacted via email with details of their interview so please keep an eye on your inbox!

Unfortunately, we are unable to contact candidates who have been unsuccessful at the shortlisting stage, so if you have not been invited to interview within 4 weeks of the closing date you should assume you have not been successful at the shortlisting stage.

Expenses incurred by candidates during the recruitment process will not be reimbursed by the Council.

Offers and new starter checks

Please be advised that it is expected that appointment within a grade will normally be at the minimum point.

Any offer of appointment will be made subject to the following conditions being satisfied:

  • medical clearance;
  • documentary evidence of your right to work in the UK;
  • two satisfactory written references, one of which should be from your current or most recent employer;
  • satisfactory Baseline Personnel Security Standard Checks for accessing Government records, including Satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service Clearance (Basic/Standard/Enhanced depending on job position);
  • probationary period of 6 months.

Please be aware that the checks can take around 2-6 weeks to be completed (longer for Standard/Enhanced DBS clearance), and a successful candidate’s start date will not be confirmed until all these checks have been finalized.

Further information