How to apply

Applying for a job with Aberdeenshire Council

Aberdeenshire Council is one of the largest employers in the North East of Scotland. There are over 15,000 people employed within the Council, undertaking over 500 different types of jobs.

Searching for a job

You can review the latest Aberdeenshire Council vacancies and apply through my job Scotland. If you see a job you’re interested in which matches your skills, you can apply by completing the online application form. Each application you make should be tailored to demonstrate the skills, knowledge, qualifications and training you possess which meets the essential and desirable criteria.

At Aberdeenshire Council, job vacancies consist of an initial paragraph relating to the job description and job profile attached – which contains details of job purpose, core responsibilities / duties, essential / desirable criteria and in some vacancies additional requirements. The advert text gives a brief overview of what the job entails. The job profile provides more details about the position and what experience, skills, knowledge, qualifications and training the ideal candidate must be able to demonstrate to undertake the role.

Completing the application form

Ideally you should gather all the relevant information about yourself (work experience, qualifications and referees details) in one word document before starting an application form.

This approach would mean you can concentrate on tailoring your application to the job you’re applying for, rather than jogging your memory about dates.

Your application will be broken down into

  • Personal information

o   name and contact details

o   email address (all correspondence will come through this email address)

  • Work history

o   You can include part time, full time, relief and voluntary work

o   You should provide details about the job so anyone reading the information will have a full understanding of what was involved

  • Professional memberships

o   For example  - CIWM (waste management), BASW (Social Work), CILIP (Libraries)

  • Courses

o   For example - first aid, manual handling

  • Qualifications

o   For example - National 4/5, Standard Grades, O Levels, Highers, SVQ, HND, Degree

  • Referees

o   Your referees should include your most recent employer

o   The details you provide should be accurate (work telephone number and email address)

o   You should make sure your referees are willing to provide a reference before adding their names to your application.

(The preferred candidate will only be given a start date once all pre-employment checks are completed satisfactory this includes references)

  • Application questions

How do you feel your skills and experience meet the requirements of the post for which you have applied?

This question gives you the opportunity to highlight all the transferable skills, knowledge and experience you have that would mean you meet at least all of the essential criteria and as much of the desirable criteria as possible.

For instance, it’s not simply enough to say when applying for an admin role

‘I have 5 years of experience in an admin role’

One person who has 5 years of experience in an administration role will not have the same skills, experience and knowledge as another person with 5 years’ experience in an admin role.

You want the recruiting manager and recruiting selection panel reviewing your application to be in no doubt you meet all of the essential criteria and as much of the desirable criteria as possible. You should provide a relevant practical example to demonstrate you meet each criteria.

If the job profile asks for ‘excellent communication skills’ in the essential criteria, it is simply not enough to say ‘I demonstrate in my current role excellent communication skills’. What type of communication skills?

  • Do you communicate with colleagues, internal / external customers, senior management, other organisations and stakeholders face to face? Through email? On the telephone?

The recruiting manager should be able to read your application and have a full understanding of the skills, experience and knowledge you have, and that you meet all of the essential criteria and as much of the desirable criteria as possible.


Other application questions which may be asked will be relevant to the post

Questions may include;

Do you have a driving licence?

o   If a driving licence is part of the essential criteria then you’ll be required to have passed a driving test and hold a full driving licence

Are you currently a PVG scheme member?

o   If you are already a PVG member, you should provide the membership number to help progress your application quicker if you become the preferred candidate

Have you worked or lived for 3 months or more out with the UK in the last 5 years?

o   If you have and the role requires a Standard or Enhanced Disclosure or PVG, you’ll be require to obtain and present an overseas criminal record check relevant to the country/countries you stayed in before you’ll be given a start date.


Shortlisting of applications

Once the vacancy has closed, the recruiting manager and selection panel will review your application against the job profile of the position you’re applying for. They will look to see how your knowledge, skills, qualification and experience meet the essential and desirable criteria.

It’s important you link your application to all the essential criteria and as much as the desirable criteria as possible to increase your chances of an interview.

The recruitment selection panel and the recruiting manager will decide on which candidates fully demonstrate the essential / desirable criteria and who will be invited to interview


Guaranteed Job Interview Scheme (GJIS)

If you consider yourself to have a disability and wish to be considered under the Guaranteed Job Interview Scheme then you will have to indicate this in your application. In the application form there is a question ‘Do you consider yourself to have a disability and wish to be considered for the job under the Council’s Guaranteed Job Interview Scheme?’ If you say yes and are able to demonstrate in your application you fully meet essential criteria found in the job profile, you will then be guaranteed an interview.


Invite to Interview

If you are successful in being invited to interview, you will receive this information by email. You’ll be asked to book an interview time slot online. It’s important to check your email address linked to your myjobscotland account regularly after the closing date to avoid missing the invite or general updates on the vacancy.



Some interviews may be a straightforward series of questions, others may involve the use of other selection tools e.g. presentation, written exercise or a practical test.

It’s a good idea to bring along copies of your application form and job profile. You can read the information while you are waiting at reception and it will be fresh in your mind when you begin the interview.

If the position requires a qualification to be held as part of the essential criteria, you should bring evidence of holding this e.g. HND certificate to your interview, in order for the panel to review this. You’re not required to bring every qualification you have ever obtained.

The interview panel will likely consist of between two to four members and include the line manager for the position being recruited. Senior posts such as Head Teacher will consist of a larger interview panel.

Bear in mind the interview panel may be interviewing all day back to back, so if you turn up late they’re unlikely to be able to accommodate you.


Assessment Centre

A range of vacancies within Aberdeenshire Council involve assessment centres run by officers who are formally trained to deliver occupational ability and psychometric testing.

All Social Work posts within Children and Families team are assessed in personality and ability testing including verbal and written exercises which are team specific.

Senior posts within the council use assessment centres through the recruitment process which can include

  • Group exercise
  • Critical reasoning tests (verbal and numerical)
  • In tray exercise
  • Managerial situational judgement
  • Written exercise

At the point of being invited to interview you’ll receive information about the assessment centre


Job offer pending checks

After the interview, if you’re identified as the preferred candidate you’ll receive notification of the job offer pending checks

A start date will only be given once all pre-employment checks are complete to a satisfactory level.

These include but not an exhausted list: -

  • Right to work documentation

o   Passport

o   Residence permit/visa/work permit

o   National insurance number plus full birth certificate

  • References

o   If you’re the preferred candidate you should alert your referees that a request will be  sent for a reference to ensure as quick a response as possible

  • PVG / Disclosure

o   The preferred candidate will receive the appropriate application form which should be returned to the Recruitment Team through the post so it can be processed and sent to Disclosure Scotland

  • Overseas Criminal Record Checks

o   If a Standard or Enhanced Disclosure or PVG is required as part of the role and if you have spent more than 3 months working or living out with the UK in the last 5 years then you’ll be required to present a copy of an overseas criminal record check. This is to cover your time out with the UK as Disclosure Scotland only relates to time spent in the UK.

o   Times vary depending on which country you’re applying for an overseas criminal record check. Ideally you should apply for this as soon as possible to avoid delays in a start date.

Once all the pre-employment checks have been complete to a satisfactory level, the Recruiting Manager (future line manager) will contact you to discuss a start date.

Other information

A video produced with the assistance of pupils from Meldrum Academy on applying for jobs on My Job Scotland portal, can be viewed here