The application process

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.


To apply for a job with Cornwall Council you must complete our application form. This means information is received in a consistent way, helping ensure that applicants are treated equally and fairly. For this reason we do not accept CVs.

Where possible, we ask that applicants apply online. If you need our application pack in a different format, please call us on 01872 323800 or email careers@cornwall.gov.uk

Your application should answer all the questions asked. These will help you to explain your experience, skills and personal qualities that you believe could make you suitable for the job. This is your opportunity to present yourself in the best way.

Tip: We recommend that you draft your application in a word processing application (such as Microsoft Word or Notebook). This will allow you to save what you have done and complete a spell check before copying and pasting in to your application.

The STAR approach

A helpful approach to completing your application is to use the STAR model, which helps you build relevant examples in a structured way.

  • Situation - Set the scene. Describe the situation or problem. Make it relevant to the Role Profile.
  • Task - Outline the task required to solve the issue or problem.
  • Action - Describe what you actually did. How and when you did it, the rationale for the choices you took and the key things that you did to overcome the issue or problem.
  • Result - What the outcome was and the difference it made.

Ensure your answers to the questions are:

  • Not too general
  • Not rushed
  • Tailored to that specific job

The Role Profile

Adverts on our website should contain a link to a document called the Role Profile.

The first few sections of the role profile explain the job and expectations. The questions asked in your application refer to the “behaviours”, “knowledge, skills and experience” section. This explains the type of person we are looking for and it is very important that you answer these questions with as much detail as possible.

How do we decide who to interview?

The final table on the role profile shows at which stage of the recruitment and selection process each competency is assessed. For example application, interview and/or assessment.

The shortlisting panel will score how well you have demonstrated that you meet the competencies assessed at the application stage. This is why your answers to the questions asked is so important.

Disability Confident Standard

As part of the disability employment policy the Council is committed to the Disability Confident standard. Part of the commitment is in relation to recruitment for job applicants who consider themselves to have a disability. An applicant should indicate on the application form that they wish to be considered under this scheme. If they have also demonstrated on their application that they meet the minimum criteria, they will be invited to attend an interview.

Behavioural competencies

The behavioural competencies describe what we want our employees to show when performing the role. These form part of our employees’ performance management and development system.

Example competency: “Focusing on customers”

Instead of writing “Throughout my work I have always ensured I put the customers’ needs first” you should use the STAR approach:

“In my current role I receive queries by telephone from customers about their invoices. I received a call from a customer who was angry that she was charged twice for an item. I listened until she had explained everything that she felt was important. I then asked questions to get the information I needed. I calmly explained that I would investigate this and get back to her ASAP. Unfortunately, I found this could not be resolved easily and needed to be escalated. As I realised it would take 2-3 days for our escalation team to investigate, I phoned her. I explained why I was escalating the case and who she could contact if she had any queries in the meantime. I asked her if there was anything else I could help with. The customer seemed pleased with my efforts thanked me for getting back to her so quickly.”

Functional competencies

Functional competencies are specific to the role for which you are applying.

Example competency: “Knowledge and understanding of computerised database systems in order to input data, edit records and extract information (produce reports).”

Instead of writing “I have experience of working with databases, mainly Microsoft Access”, you should use the STAR approach:

"In my previous role as Administrative Assistant, I used Microsoft Access on a daily basis to manage our pool cars. I created new records when we had a new employee/car, edited information such as the car MOT due date and ‘booked out’ the car to an employee when requested. I then produced monthly management reports on how many cars had been booked and by whom."

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