Practical tips for applying for a job

We asked a selection of our hiring managers and HR colleagues to share some practical, actionable tips that you can use to prepare for our recruitment process.

Do your research

We encourage you to read the advertised job advert and job description in full. The person specification section of the job description is an honest list of what the hiring manager needs in someone to deliver the job fully. Read the person specification in full and assess whether you fulfil at least the essential criteria. If you think you meet the essential criteria, then read about the organisation on our website and our social media channels to get an understanding of how the role you are going to be applying for fits in to the wider organisation. You might also be able to find useful information on our work that will help you with your application.

Your CV

Make sure your CV is easy to read and try to keep it to two or three pages maximum. Do not let graphics or unusual fonts distract from the key information that you need to get across. Ensure that your CV gives all the basic employment details including job title, employer, and dates worked from and to. For qualifications, make sure you list the subject(s), final grade, name of the institution and dates that you studied from and to.

We do not need your referee details at this stage. We discourage candidates from attaching profile pictures. We want our shortlisting teams to focus on your qualifications, skills and experience, not on how you look. There is no need to list your gender, marital status or whether you have a driving licence on your CV. Save the space to share more information about your suitability for the role.

Your supporting statement

As a charity/non-profit, we place more emphasis on the supporting statement (“cover letter”) than organisations in other sectors. We find that the supporting statement helps us to assess your suitability for the role objectively. Do not skip this section – if you do, it is likely that we will not shortlist you for interview, regardless of how good your CV is.

Your supporting statement is your opportunity to state how your experience and background match the person specification.

Do not just repeat your CV. Use this opportunity to tell us why you think you are a great fit for the role. The articles here and here go in to more depth on what to include in a supporting statement.

Show how you would add value – what can you bring to the role that other candidates might not have?

We want to hear about your motivations for applying – why have you chosen to apply for a job at ClientEarth? What is it about our work that interests you?

Our recruitment system has a strict 6,615 character limit for our supporting statement section. We recommend drafting your supporting statement in a programme that lets you run a word and character count and then copying and pasting the final text in to the supporting statement box.

Proofread your supporting statement before submitting it. If you can, also ask a friend or family member to read it too.


For most roles, we run two interview rounds, with the stronger candidates from the first round being invited to the second round. Generally, first round interviews will be online via Teams. Second round interviews may also be on Teams, or potentially face-to-face if logistics allow.

We recommend reading these articles by WikiJob and Indeed on how to prepare for an online interview.
We run all of our interviews in a panel format. If you have not taken part in a panel interview before, we recommend you research how these work. These articles on Monster, Total Jobs, Indeed and The Guardian are all useful.

The panel will be asking you specific questions to explore how your qualifications, experience and/or skills match the person specification. Make sure you revisit the job description ahead of the interview and prepare some examples that address the criteria in the person specification.

We also strongly recommend that you research competency-based interviews ahead of your interview and prepare some sample answers using the STAR technique.


We may use assessments and/or psychometric evaluations to help us decide who to hire. We will provide you with more information if you get to this stage of the recruitment process. We carry out all assessments online. You will need access to a computer with the capability to read and write Microsoft Office documents.


If you are unsuccessful at interview stage, you are entitled to feedback. Even highly qualified and experienced candidates may find that it takes a couple of applications before being offered a role with us, so please do not be discouraged from applying again if you are unsuccessful the first time around. Use your interview experience and the feedback you receive to get a better understanding of your strengths and areas that you can work on improving for next time.

Job offer and pre-employment checks

You’ve made it through our recruitment process, and we would like to offer you the job, congratulations! Your Recruiter will give you a call to share the good news with you, and to start discussions on your salary and potential start date. We will then follow up with a formal written conditional offer letter confirming all of the details. Should you accept our job offer we will then commence your pre-employment checks.

The conditions of your job offer will vary with each job but will always include a check to make sure you have the right to work in the country where you are going to be based. We will also always need to obtain satisfactory references that cover the last 3 years, including from your current or most recent employer.

Once all of your checks have come back as satisfactory, we will then issue you with your employment contract and confirm further details for your first day with us.

Ready? Browse our latest vacancies and start your application.

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