Making Applications

You will find many resources within Careers and Employability to support you in making applications: preparing a CV, composing effective covering letters, completing application forms, taking psychometric tests and preparing for interviews.

There are also some excellent CV and application resources at Keele Careers Online where you can make a start with our CV builder, and have it’s reviewed for over 50 checks with CV360.

If you want further advice on any of these issues arrange to see a careers consultant All of the above topics are covered in Careers and Employability's Events.

You can find more advice online at www.prospects.ac.uk.

Your CV and covering letter is your chance to convince an employer that you should be interviewed. It is important to note that there is no one "model" CV that will work in all circumstances, for all people, with all employers. However the following points may help you get started.

General guidelines

  • It is essential to focus the CV at a particular vacancy and employer.
  • The standard length of a CV is two pages, some employers prefer a one page CV.
  • Be consistent in chronology - ie if education is listed from 1st to most recent, so should work experience, and vice-versa.
  • Use good quality paper (white A4 paper is usually the most appropriate option).
  • Ensure that spelling, grammar and punctuation is flawless.
  • Your CV should give a comprehensive picture of your achievements, talents and experiences, with a particular focus on recent activities.

What should appear in a CV?

Personal details

  • Full name, address, telephone number and email.
  • It is not necessary to give your date of birth or indicate your marital status.

Education

  • Focus on your recent studies.
  • Include details of relevant courses and option choices.
  • Title and details of any relevant dissertations and projects.
  • Any period spent abroad.
  • Keep details of school and college qualifications brief.

Work experience

Employers like applicants to have a contact with life outside education and it is important to show employers your willingness to work as well as study.

  • Include vacation and part time work, paid or unpaid, as well as full time work.
  • While any work experience relevant to the job should have priority, you should also include low level and routine work.
  • Detail the name of the employer and job title.
  • Write a brief description of your main responsibilities.
  • Show what skills you developed through the work experience.

Other skills and abilities

Any relevant skills, eg languages, IT, driving licence.

Interests and activities

This should not be simply a listing of memberships of clubs, hobbies etc, but can be expanded to include relevant information especially positions of responsibility held.

  • Hall rep, course rep, university clubs or societies.
  • Detail what the role involved, your responsibilities and how you gained from it.

References

It is usual to give two references. One should be an academic reference. For the second use an employer or other person who has experience of your abilities and motivation. Make sure you ask their permission, and let them know what type of positions you are applying for and when.

There is also information on writing CVs at the following websites:

The covering letter is the recipient's first impression of you and is a powerful marketing tool. Along with your CV it needs to be a quality document which sells you effectively. If the covering letter does not achieve this the recipient may not bother turning the page to look at the CV. Never send a CV to an employer without a covering letter.

General guidelines

  • The letter should usually be no more than one side of A4 paper.
  • Always try to address the letter to a named person, avoid Dear Sir/Madam. Try ringing the organisation to find out who the letter should be addressed to.
  • It should explain why you are approaching the organisation, i.e. in response to an advert (name the source in your letter), a speculative approach etc.
  • Your covering letter should highlight and expand on particular aspects of your past that are relevant to the position applied for, rather than merely repeat information already present in the CV.
  • It is essential that you show evidence of holding the skills required in the job and how you developed them. If you are responding to a job advertisement, look closely at the job description and person specification to see what the employer is looking for in applicants.
  • Explain the particular attraction of the post and the organisation applied for and emphasise the contribution you could make to the organisation.
  • Include any other relevant information not already included in the CV.
  • Use the covering letter to touch on any potential weaknesses in your application such as poor A level grades or lack of work experience.
  • Include when available for interview (keep this as flexible as possible but obviously around exam times this is impossible), and when able to start work.
  • Finish on a positive note, e.g. I look forward to hearing from you...

Additional help and information is available from Careers and Employability.

'Please use this space to tell us what you have achieved that makes you stand out'

'Tell us about a time when you have had to overcome significant difficulties to achieve something. Tell us how you approached the issue and managed to overcome any obstacles'

'Describe a situation when as a leader of a group you directed its efforts and how you gained commitment to achieve results'

Some employer application forms are designed to be difficult and off-putting, they use this as an initial filter to test your commitment and interest in them. Don't be put off… read on.

Begin with research and planning

  • Think about what skills and abilities you have and how you are going to demonstrate them to an employer. Reflect on the experiences that have developed your skills, part-time jobs, work experience, involvement with student groups.
  • Be clear in your own mind why you have chosen this organisation and this particular role within it. Use the company literature and website to find out about the employer and the role you are applying for.
  • Plan your answers by reading the question and thinking of a variety of examples from the experiences you have had so far. Don't restrict your examples to what you have done for your degree, use part-time jobs, volunteer work and membership of clubs and societies to provide the employer with a picture of what you are like and the range of skills you have to offer.

Completion

  • Read the questions very carefully and tailor your answers to them.  If the questions have a few different parts ensure that you have answered them all fully.
  • Avoid waffle; you may not have a great deal of space and employers don't have time to wade through pages and pages.
  • Check it, or ask someone else to have a look at it for you.  Ask them to look out for grammar and spelling in particular. You can come to a drop in session at the careers service if you would like a careers adviser to give you some help. Keep a copy - this will help you to prepare for an interview by looking back at what you told employers and recapping on the examples that you used.

You can find more information on application forms in the Careers and Employability Centre and on these websites:

The careers service regularly runs workshops as part of the Calendar of Events on application forms and interviews.

First steps

Before you put your fingers to the keyboard it helps to be clear about your career goals and employers requirements.

Begin by thinking about yourself, finding out about the role you are applying for and the organisation that you want to work for. To convince an employer of your motivation and suitability you will need to be sure about what you want to do and why you want to do it.

Think about what you want to say about yourself, the experiences that you can highlight and the skills that you want to demonstrate. Don't forget to mention what you have gained from work experience, voluntary work, your academic study or travel.

Now tackle the form

Employers report that students sometimes are less rigorous with their PCs than their pens, keep in mind these simple rules:

  • Prepare a draft.
  • Be accurate with your grades and dates.
  • Use reverse chronology - your degree is more relevant than your GCSEs.
  • Follow the instructions, check whether you can register and return to the form until satisfied, keep a note of your password.
  • Spelling and grammar are extremely important, use the spell check if there is one, if not you can copy and paste into Word or use an old fashioned dictionary!
  • As with a paper form, don't leave it until the last minute, allow plenty of time to complete the form, bear in mind that the website you are accessing may be busy, your PC may not cooperate or there may be problems with the network!
  • Check it, find a friend to check it or come to Careers and Employability to have it checked.
  • When you are happy that you have completed it all press that submit button!

What are psychometric tests?

A psychometric test is a way of assessing a person's ability or personality in a measured and structured way. There are 3 main types of tests: ability, personality and interest (although both personality and interest are more like psychometric questionnaires). Some tests are used by employers to help them in their recruitment process while other tests can help people with career decision making.

It is common for graduate employers to use psychometric tests as part of their selection process. Organisations believe tests help them recruit the right people with the right mix of abilities and personal qualities. They are also useful for "sifting out" large numbers of applicants at an early stage and so saving the employers both time and money.  

Tests can be administered by pencil and paper or computer. You may be asked to take them in an assessment centre, test centre or online. Employers may set a particular score which you need to achieve to proceed.

Ability tests

Ability tests usually take the form of multiple choice questions taken with strict, and extremely challenging time limits. While practising tests will not improve your underlying ability, practise and familiarity can significantly improve test performance - crucial when applying for competitive graduate jobs.

General intelligence tests
Some tests assess your general ability. They are not dependent on prior learning or knowledge but more on how good you are at solving problems using logical thinking.

Specific ability tests
There are 2 types of specific ability tests: 

  • Attainment tests

These examine the skills and knowledge you already possess. They are designed to assess what you know at the time of the test such as for a driving test or a word processing test. These can be known as work-related tests.

  • Aptitude tests

These are more of a measure of your potential for certain activities. They do not rely on any previous knowledge or training, but more on your natural ability or aptitude. The 2 most common forms of aptitude tests are verbal and numerical reasoning tests. There are also more specialised tests which can be used if you are applying for particular careers in IT, science or engineering.

Free premium psychometric tests and job preparation tools with Keele Careers Online!

Keele Careers Online should be a frequently used tool when planning your career steps, not only does it have lots of information on building and CV and making applications but it also has a wealth of self awareness and aptitude tests for you to take. Call into Careers and Employability for further advice and to access a range of test publications.

Personality questionnaires

Work related personality questionnaires
These are designed to allow organisations to measure aspects of your personality. Unlike the tests listed above there are no right or wrong answers. They seek to present a picture of how a person will behave in particular circumstances. Again, they are often used by graduate employers.

Interest questionnaires
Interest inventories examine a person's interests and are often used in careers guidance (see Prospects Planner). These can also be used for selection purposes.

Free online practice tests and further help

Free online tests
Keele Careers Online should be a frequently used tool when planning your career steps, not only does it have lots of information on building and CV and making applications but it also has a wealth of self awareness and aptitude tests for you to take.

Resources
You should bookmark Keele Careers Online for easy access to a broad range of resources when planning your next steps.

Careers and Employability has a number of useful reference books in the Careers and Employability Centre which as well as containing general guidance and advice about psychometric tests also allow you to practice the many forms of tests you may come across. 

Further help
Many people find numerical tests difficult, often this is due to being out of practice dealing with numerical information. www.mathcentre.ac.uk is a website which offers quick reference guides, practice and online exercises on many branches of maths.

Gradintel has an Online Assessment Centre that includes numerical reasoning, verbal and logical reasoning tests, as well as a personality questionnaire and a motivations assessment.

Students with disabilities

The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) have produced a guide for people who are blind or partially sighted and who may be asked to carry out formal written tests or questionnaires as part of the recruitment and selection process for a job. Although the advice contained on the RNIB website is aimed at people with visual impairment, it may also be of some relevance to people with other disabilities.

AssessmentDay   www.assessmentday.co.uk
A comprehensive range of ability tests that you can buy. Also offers free sample tests.

Institute of Psychometric Coaching   www.psychometricinstitute.co.uk
Offer free practice ability tests and a personality questionnaire

Psychological Testing Centre   www.psychtesting.org.uk
Online information and advice from the British Psychological Society. Contains a list of companies offering free psychometric tests.

Graduate Record Examination  www.ets.org/practice_test/index.html
This test, which is aimed at students aiming for entry to US postgraduate schools, includes numerical, analytical, and logical reasoning skills.

SHL  www.shl.com  
SHL is a leading firm of psychometric test designers. Their website provides general information on tests and provides the opportunity to practise verbal, numerical, and diagrammatic tests.

The Mensa Workout    www.mensa.org.uk/puzzles
An intelligence based test from the well known MENSA organisation.

Morrisby Organisation   www.morrisby.com
Excellent guide to psychometric tests used in selection.

AllTheTests.com   www.allthetests.com
Useful links to a range of sites.

Mark Parkinson's psychometric test information
www.markparkinson.co.uk/psychometric_links.htm
Contains details of 30+ websites which offer the opportunity to take tests and questionnaires for free! The list is provided by Mark Parkinson who is the author of How to Master Psychometric Tests which is available in the Careers and Employability CentreThe website also gives an insight into the work of Business Psychologists.

Job Test Prep  www.jobtestprep.co.uk
Some free advice and practice tests along with online courses which provide preparation for psychometric tests, interviews and assessment centres. There is a charge for these.

Practice Aptitude Tests www.practiceaptitudetests.com/psychometric-test
Offers verbal, numerical, diagrammatical and situational tests (with solutions) with video tutorials offering advice on numerical reasoning.

Interviews can differ greatly depending on what it is you have applied for. Work experience interviews can often be informal although those for summer internships are similar in style and content to what you would expect for a graduate trainee position. Graduate job interviews can range from one off interviews lasting around thirty minutes to two day assessment centres involving group exercises and psychometric tests. But no matter what type of interview, by doing some work beforehand you will greatly increase your chances of success.

Staying positive

What you need to focus on of course is the fact that you have been granted an interview and what that means:

  • The employer is very interested in employing you (otherwise why go to all that bother and cost of wasting time in interviewing you)
  • You are probably over half way to getting the job.
  • Not only does the interview present you with a real opportunity to demonstrate to the employer why they should recruit you, it allows you to find out more about them and to fully make up your mind about whether you want to work for them.

What to expect

Although the criteria-based interview is probably the most common form of interview, employers do use a number of alternatives:

  • Telephone interviews.
  • Panel interview.
  • Technical interview.

Always remember when doing your interview preparation, the employer is interested in you; otherwise why would they have given you an interview? Clearly you have been successful in your initial application otherwise you would not have been given an interview. Now that you got the employer interested in you you need to go that extra length in order to clinch the job. This means developing further your knowledge of both the job and employer while at the same time thinking about how you will match yourself to the job specification. Think about: 

What do you know about the job and the organisation?

  • Do you have a realistic picture of what the job will entail?
  • Can you draw up a list of specific skills and competencies the employer is looking for in somebody doing that job?
  • How knowledgeable are you about the organisation?
  • Why does this organisation attract you?

Information to help you find answers to these questions can be found from looking in company reports, brochures, websites, careers information, through talking to experts and through periods of work experience and work shadowing. The Careers Information page on this website will help you to start researching career ideas and employers while the Skills page goes into detail on the competencies sought after by employers.

Self-awareness

Your research into the job and organisation should have provided you with an insight into how you will be assessed at interview. This allows you to prepare much more effectively - by concentrating on the experiences and qualifications which are relevant to the job. 

Think about your:

  • Academic qualifications and subjects.
  • Voluntary work, work experience and employment history.
  • Interests.
  • Achievements and positions of responsibility.

Look at these experiences and select those which you feel will be of most interest to the employer. You will have done this to a certain extent when completing the application form or CV. Now you have to go into greater depth in order to sell yourself effectively during the interview. Talk to your friends and family about your experiences and their relevance to your interview. It's easy to miss something.

Interview questions

While it is difficult to guess the full range of questions you are likely to face in an interview, it is possible to anticipate certain types of questions and to prepare accordingly. Remember that employers are trying to ascertain whether you have the skills and personal qualities necessary to do the job, how much you really want the job and whether you are the right type of person for the organisation.

Example interview questions

About you

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • I see you like reading, tell me about a book you have read recently.
  • Do you feel your A level results are a fair reflection of your ability?
  • How would your flatmates/best friends describe you?
  • What are your career plans?
  • What qualities do you see in others that you wish you had yourself?
  • What is your biggest weakness?
  • What have you achieved in the last 3 years?
  • Describe a situation where you had to deal with difficult people.
  • Why did you choose your current degree/university?
  • What have you gained from your work experience/degree?
  • What has been your greatest non-academic achievement to date?

About the job

  • Why do you want to be an accountant/social worker?
  • Why do you think you would be good at this job?
  • How do you define sales/marketing/personnel work?
  • Why are you interested in this organisation?
  • Who are our competitors?
  • What would you do if...?

During the interview

Remember...

  • Take time before replying, don't rush your answers.
  • Ask for clarification if you are not sure what is being asked.
  • Try to be as positive as you can in your answers.
  • Answer fully but avoid waffle - keep to the point.
  • Expect more detailed follow-up questions.
  • Be aware of body language - maintain eye contact and avoid distracting mannerisms.
  • Display enthusiasm - try to come across as being keen.
  • Have your questions for them prepared beforehand, write them down if necessary.

Day of the interview

It is important you do not leave anything to chance when going for an interview. In addition to researching both the job and organisation you will also spend time preparing and practising for the actual interview.

Before the interview

  • Think through likely questions - get family and friends to ask them.
  • Practice your answers, be positive and interesting.
  • Prepare your questions for them.
  • Find out from the organisation the arrangements for the day - what type of interview will it be, will there be other assessments?
  • Location and travel arrangements - do you really know how long it will take you to get there? Always allow extra travel time.
  • Decide on what to wear. It needs to be appropriate for the organisation and time of year - check the weather forecast! 

On the day

  • Remember the importance of first and last impressions.
  • Smile! 
  • Be nice to everybody you meet when there - they may all be asked what they thought of you.
  • Stay positive, even if you say the wrong thing or make a mistake. A good interviewer will make allowances for nerves.
  • At the end, thank them for inviting you for interview. 

Before setting off, don't forget...

  • Academic certificates.
  • Copy of CV or application form (reread before you go in).
  • Instructions and directions.
  • Journey times, tickets, money!

Prospects has further information on interviews.

Most selectors still use interviews as a recruitment tool, research does show the interview process to be flawed and it can gather a limited amount of information with little evidence. You might be able to talk very articulately about your research skills (which does, of course, evidence your oral communication abilities) but faced with a research exercise fail dismally. Many recruiters believe that assessment centres, or aspects of them, enable them to make a more informed, evidence based choice when selecting candidates.

When will I encounter one?

This will depend upon the organisation. Assessment centres or activities designed for assessment can be used as an initial filter; you may have to undertake tests online and/or an assessment centre before reaching a traditional interview. On the other hand, assessment centres can follow interviews so recruiters can see their best candidates in a broader context. You may even be sent an exercise to complete between interviews so be prepared.

What might happen at an assessment centre?

An assessment centre can last half a day to two days and might include:

  • Social events
  • A presentation
  • An in tray/e tray exercise
  • A case study
  • A group activity
  • Individual interviews
  • Panel interview
  • Psychometric tests

Social events
You are being assessed from the moment you arrive in the recruiter’s building to the moment you leave. Treat all social interactions as an opportunity to prove your suitability and never let your guard down. Whether you are having cocktails or coffee and cakes, keep discussion topics appropriate and use the right language. Many careers necessitate the ability to network and persuade – social activities give recruiters a chance to see you in action.

Presentation
You may be asked to prepare a topic in advance – it might be a subject of your choice, a pre-set subject or an exercise for which you need to present the findings. You will usually be told what resources you have at hand – if not, check. Alternatively you may be asked to do a presentation on the day with a set amount of time to prepare. You will also be given a time limit on the presentation – stick to it as this is part of the assessment. As with presentations in your degree, be clear regarding what you wish to cover, the way in which you will do this and the clarity of your style and content. Unless you are an IT expert, keep the technology simple.

In tray/E tray
These simulate correspondence and issues you might deal with in the workplace. You are typically given a pile of paperwork or the electronic equivalent and asked to work your way through it. The issues could vary from staffing to budget allocation to policy making and may have something or nothing to do with the role for which you are applying – the recruiters are hoping to gain an insight into your working methodology. You need to ensure you understand the overall task and aims of the role you are allocated. You then need to pay attention to detail, prioritise effectively and work to a deadline.

Case study
Typically, you will be presented with a set scenario that needs to be tackled/resolved and asked to suggest a solution. This could vary from drawing up a marketing strategy to downsizing a government department. Recruiters are interested in your ability to absorb and comprehend information in a limited amount of time and in your approaches to problem solving and creative thinking. Typically, you will be asked to either write a report or present your findings and should anticipate answering questions regarding your rationale. If writing a report bear in mind it is exactly this, a report, not an essay. Use appropriate language, sentences of a reasonable length and a clear structure.

Group activity
These activities are designed to enable recruiters to observe your group working skills and where you fit into the group dynamics. The exercises you may be asked to undertake can be anything from building a castle out of toilet rolls to negotiating budgets.   You must be able to absorb yourself in any role to which you are allocated, bear in mind the objectives of the exercise and keep to time. Hard though it is, you also need to balance making a positive contribution to the proceedings with drawing in other people and building upon their ideas. If you are all potential future leaders this can mean a battle of the egos but this, of course, may be an effective mirroring of the workplace.

Interviews
Some assessment centres may follow on after a one on one interview in which case the next stage is to progress to panel interview or one to one interviews with specialists or even your potential manager. At assessment centres one of the functions of the interviews is to probe your performance at the centre. You may be asked how you feel you are performing, what is going well, what is going less well and why. Be prepared to reflect upon the day, as self awareness is critical to many roles and you might be able to redeem poor performance in an area by effectively analysing it and drawing out learning points.

Go to Interviews for further information or speak to a Careers Consultant.

Psychometric tests
These can appear at any stage in the recruitment process but are usually employed by large organisations in both the public and private sector. For online applications, they may act as a filter to access the application form, they may be the second stage after completing the application form online or at a testing centre or be part of an assessment day. In recruitment, psychometric tests are designed to assess your fit for the job. They are utilised to measure ability/aptitude with a typical focus on verbal and numerical reasoning. There are also personality tests looking at your working style, behavioural patterns and predispositions.   Recruiters may set a certain score/ profile that they want you to achieve or use the information alongside other assessments.   There is debate regarding the benefits of practice in enhancing performance on such tests but it is certainly the case that familiarity can calm nerves and anxiety and reveal areas you may need to work upon.

Go to Psychometrics for further information or speak to a Careers Consultant.

Additional sources of help and advice

For further information and advice:

  • Watch At the Assessment Centre DVD and see how students do at a real-life assessment centre.
  • A Careers Consultant is available via an appointment most days in the Careers and Employability Centre and will be happy to discuss any aspect of the job application process.  
  • Careers and Employability runs applications workshops throughout the academic year. See Events for information.
  • Call in to the Careers and Employability Centre to pick up relevant reference materials.
  • For further information on assessment centres and other stages of the application process go to Prospects and Targetjobs.
  • Visit Assessment Centre HQ for free and useful resources.

At the assessment centre

This DVD shows real students and graduates being assessed by actual recruiters in activities that commonly feature at assessment centres. It includes extracts from each exercise, selectors' verdicts and candidates' reflections on their own performance.

The students are from a wide range of universities and disciplines and include international students. The programme is designed to be viewed in short sections. It covers:

  • Introduction to assessment centres
  • Ice breaker exercise
  • Prepared presentation
  • Role play
  • In-tray exercise
  • Group discussion
  • A meal with the selectors
  • Case study exercise
  • Interview
  • A guide to assessment centres

Go to At the Assessment Centre and click on the individual sections.

Smart use of social media can benefit your studies, help you find employment, and enrich your personal and social life. But there are also risks and dangers - from becoming a victim of identity theft to breaking the law yourself.

As a starting point to using social media safely and effectively, we recommend that you read the University's ‘Social Media Guidance’ and the ‘IT Conditions of Use’ document.

Social media is the term commonly given to Internet and mobile-based channels and tools that allow users to interact with each other and share opinions and content. As the name implies, social media involves the building of communities or networks and encouraging participation and engagement. Popular sites include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YikYak and YouTube.

Social media and employability

Social Media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc.) can be used in several ways, including (but not limited to) the following:

a) To research employers
b) To find out about work experience opportunities
c) Networking

Researching employers: is an important step in develop commercial/ organisational awareness which can be vital to have credibility as a potential candidate for work experience. Many employers will have a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other forms of social media. To varying degrees you will be able to find out information about the employer through social media. For example you can follow companies and other organisations through Facebook and Twitter which will give you potential access to the latest news relating to them. Employers are increasingly using LinkedIn and will often have a company page containing useful information about them.

Identifying opportunities: social media is increasingly being used by graduate employers and employers in general to advertise opportunities for work experience, for example Internships, insight days and placement years. In 2015 52.5% of members of the Association of Graduate Recruiters indicated that they would be investing in social media as a method to reach potential candidates. If you are targeting employers who you are particularly interested in having working experience with you could follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Many employers are now using LinkedIn to recruit employees. Check the company page on LinkedIn for a “Careers” tab. This can also be used to identify potential opportunities.

Networking: Any type of work experience can be a fantastic opportunity to meet people who could potentially help you with your future career plans. Your contacts can be a source of information to help you further develop your commercial/organisational awareness, a source of potential opportunities (including employment) and might be able to introduce you to other individuals in a position to help. LinkedIn with its professional focus is potentially the most appropriate way to keep in contact with these individuals. If you do intend to use Facebook or other forms of social media be conscious of the impression your previous posts, pictures and group membership might give an individual. If you are not comfortable with your social media being viewed make sure you check your privacy settings and change the settings as appropriate. Tip: if using LinkedIn ensure you get their full name and email address as this information is required to send them an invitation to connect with you.

Using social media

When using social media:

  • think before you post. Your posts will be visible to anyone, anywhere and at anytime
  • always be respectful and courteous
  • read and adhere to the site's terms and conditions
  • check the site's privacy policy before signing up
  • consider what personal details you provide, as you could expose yourself to identity theft
  • use different passwords for different accounts
  • manage your account's privacy settings and take control of who sees what
  • create an employer-friendly online profile to strengthen your job applications. Prospective employers do often look at social media profiles when considering applications, and an active social media presence can demonstrate your interest and engagement in the profession/industry
  • build a network. Following influential people and engaging in discussion may benefit your studies and future professional life
  • manage your time effectively. Updating many social media accounts can be time-consuming, so consider using services that automatically post to different platforms
  • encourage others to share your content by adding social share buttons to your online channels
  • protect your intellectual property. For example, pictures you upload to social media may be used by the site for their own advertising – check the site's terms and conditions for details
  • check the copyright of images and other content you post, before you post it.

Students who contribute to social media sites must do so responsibly, and treat electronic behaviour as they would treat non-electronic behaviour, and be mindful that the content on social media sites may remain. Students are responsible for anything they say on social media sites, which directly, or by inference, is relevant to the University.

Students must not use social media to criticise, undermine, harass, bully or abuse colleagues or students, or to behave in a manner which could bring the University into disrepute. Examples include:

  • Making offensive, derogatory or defamatory remarks;
  • Bullying, intimidating or harassing others;
  • Using insults;
  • Posting comments or material which are hateful, slanderous, threatening, discriminatory, Extremist or pornographic;
  • Posting of inappropriate pictures and/or videos of Keele staff, students or visitors.
  • Undermining confidence in the University;
  • Actions which harm the reputation of the University.

Any misuse of social media when it is alleged to constitute bullying or harassment, may be investigated in accordance with the Bullying & Harassment policy. The University may require students to remove internet postings/comments/material which are deemed to constitute a breach of this guidance or University policy.  Failure to comply with such a request may in itself, result in disciplinary review.

Raising concerns

If you see something posted onto social media which concerns you, please either contact us via a private direct message on the main Keele University Facebook or Twitter accounts, or contact the Student Support team. Other advice is also available via the Students' Union.

There is a variety of civil and criminal legislation that may apply to social media use, including: