Before you apply
The objective of your application is to get you to the interview stage - so taking the time for preparation is crucial. Put yourself in the employer's shoes and think about the qualifications, experience, skills and personal attributes that you would be seeking in your ideal candidate. Some companies will send you a Job Specification and Personnel Specification outlining the essential and desirable factors they are looking for. You can also create your own personnel specification. Make sure your application shows that you meet all the "essential" and as many as possible of the "desirable" criteria. Put the effort into making a good impression with your application - only around 30% of applicants are usually interviewed.
An application usually consists of a CV or application form - accompanied by a covering letter.
What makes an effective application?
To find out about general requirements for different occupations see Gather information about careers and the job market