Application Tips

Application and Hiring Process

All applications are reviewed by Human Resources talent acquisition specialists. Applicants who meet the position requirements are forwarded to the hiring manager for their review. Applicants who are selected for the interview process will be contacted to schedule an interview.

All applicants hired by UC San Diego will be required to provide proof of United States citizenship or eligibility/authorization to work in the United Sates. In addition, all applicants hired by UC San Diego may have to complete both

  • a background check (requirement for all UC San Diego Health positions);
  • pre-employment physical examination that includes a TB skin test and a drug screen (if applicable).

Writing Effective Cover Letters

  • Address the letter to a specific person whenever possible. If you are unable to access the name, use a generic title such as Human Resources Manager, Hiring Leader or the specific job title that is typically responsible for an area, such as Nursing Director.
  • Write each cover letter specifically for the company and/or position you are seeking.

  • State the position for which you are applying and how you found out about it.
  • If you were referred by someone indicate by whom, using the name of a contact or mutual acquaintance.

  • Tie your qualifications to what you know about the position or organization. Focus on your skills, education, and experience from your resume. Emphasize your strongest attributes that relate to the position. If you have any directly related experience or education, summarize it here so that the reader can be looking for it in your resume.
  • Tell them why you are interested in this field or company.

  • Restate your interest in the position and demonstrate how your unique qualifications fit the position. Request an interview appointment, or tell the reader that you will contact him/her to see if you can schedule a mutually convenient appointment.
  • If possible, indicate that you will contact the addressee at a specific date or time to arrange a mutually convenient appointment time.
  • Thanks the reader for his/her time and consideration

  • Use business letter format, block style, with everything beginning at the left margin.
  • If mailing, use the same good quality paper as your resume. Also use the same font as your resume.
  • Keep it brief and concise.
  • A cover letter is a writing sample. Proof well.

cover letter

Application and Resume Writing Tips

Your application and resume are important tools to your job search and frequently are the initial contact you will have with recruiters and hiring managers.

  • Complete the whole online application
  • Be truthful; do not exaggerate or mislead
  • Include all professional licenses, certifications
  • Include all post graduate / vocational schooling

  • Contact information: name, address, cell/home phone, email address
  • Skills: technical, computer, soft skills which relate to the job you are applying for.
  • Work history/experience: start with most recent and go backward and include name of company, location (city, state), position title, dates of employment, brief description of company (optional, but helpful to hiring manager), brief list of duties/responsibilities, achievements for this company
  • Licenses/Certifications/association memberships with expiration dates if applicable
  • Education: name of college/university/school, location (city, state), degree, graduation date if recent
  • References: not required at time of application but are required at time of interview.

  • Add your LinkedIn address to your contact information.
  • Do not use an email that is inappropriate. Create a separate email for your job searches that includes either your first name or last name.
  • Your skills list should be different for each job you apply for. Your resume should be customized for each position.
  • Exclude personal information (age, pictures, gender, religion, family/marital status, etc.).
  • Use specific action words. Use verbs that tell exactly what you did: provide, utilize, maintain, instruct, calculate, etc.
  • Avoid acronyms/abbreviations that are not familiar to the general public.
  • Carefully proofread your application and resume.
  • Use bullet points instead of paragraphs in your work history/experience section.
  • Include volunteer work that is relevant to the position.

Interviewing Tips

An interview is a time for the organization and the applicant to assess each other and to determine if the position is right for the applicant and if the applicant is right for the position. It can also be a very stressful time for applicants but being prepared will decrease the stress.

  • Researching UC San Diego and/or the department conducting the interview shows your interest in the position.
  • Know the job description, your application and your resume well.
  • Know the location of the interview and who will be conducting the interview.
  • Research behavioral based questions and what answers you would provide.
  • If possible, have someone video you during a mock interview. This helps you to see if there are unconscious actions you display that may hinder the impression you want to give.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Turn off your mobile phone before the interview.
  • Arrive a little early for the interview. Anticipate possible traffic or parking issues. This also gives you a little time to take a deep breath and relax before the interview.

  • As you are introduced to the interviewers, indicate that you are pleased to meet them and to be invited for the interview.
  • Answer questions with a confident firm voice. Don’t mumble or talk too fast.
  • Be animated enough to show that you have a strong interest in the position.
  • Your answers should be more than one word or one sentence; but they should not be rambling dialogue either.
  • During the interview, show how your knowledge, skills and ability relate to the position and how your achievements at other companies can benefit UC San Diego.
  • Show how your professional values match the organizational values.
  • Do not lie or exaggerate.
  • Compose a list of questions for the interviewers that will help you make an informed decision on whether or not the position is right for you.
  • At the end of the interview, thank all the interviewers for their time.
  • Ask for their business cards to ensure you have their correct contact information and spelling of their name for when you send a thank you note.

  • Send a thank you note or email to the interviewers.
  • For follow-up status or questions, contact Human Resources before calling the department directly. Many supervisors/managers have minimal time to return emails or calls from multiple candidates.