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How to write a great CV. The basics Apply in writing = CV and covering letter CV = facts and figures; covering letter = “your advert” CVs need to be tailored.

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Presentation on theme: "How to write a great CV. The basics Apply in writing = CV and covering letter CV = facts and figures; covering letter = “your advert” CVs need to be tailored."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to write a great CV

2 The basics Apply in writing = CV and covering letter CV = facts and figures; covering letter = “your advert” CVs need to be tailored for each job/sector CV should make the employer want to interview you…


4 THINK TARGETED Know what the employer is looking for Understand the requirements of the job Be clear about the qualities the employer is looking for THINK SELF PROMOTION Be clear about what you have to offer Map out your key skills, qualities experience and achievements Matching Exercise

5 Meet Suzie Smith… With the person next to you, take a quick look at Suzie’s CV What are your first impressions? Is there anything you would do differently?

6 CV fact or CV fiction? 2 pages long? include referees’ names and addresses? include your age and date of birth? include your nationality? include a personal profile? include an interests section?

7 What’s important about format? - Standing out for the right reasons! Don’t cram too much information onto one page Allocate space according to importance Short sentences – no long prose passages Break up text with bullet points NOT TOO MANY CAPITALS AND Changes of font Logical structure – clear Use colour and shading sparingly – CVs are usually photocopied at some stage

8 Suggested structure Education first (for now) Define the talents that you feel are important to potential employers Include work experience Finish with interests Simple paper and font

9 CONTENT: Personal details Name Contact address(es) Contact ‘phone number(s) One email address Nationality (if relevant to application)

10 CONTENT: Education Reverse chronological order, secondary and university only Most space for degree; least for GCSEs/equivalent exams at 16 Summarise GCSEs/equivalent –10 GCSEs (5A 2B 3C) incl. maths and english A levels/pre-uni exams in full with grades Degree – key/relevant modules only; skills from study; projects; ASP element

11 CONTENT: Work experience Job title, company, location –Sales assistant, H&M, Manchester Group together relevant experience NOT duties/job description… instead what skills did you apply/develop? What were you responsible for? What is relevant to this job? 4-5 bullet points maximum Dates: Summer 2006, May 2005, 2006-2007 Prioritise most recent and most relevant

12 CONTENT: Other sections… Positions of responsibility –What do these actually involve? Not just your job title!! Extra-curricular –Group together by topic or –Group by when you did it Key Skills –Driving, IT, languages, anything else?

13 CONTENT: Transferable skills? Unless you do a skills based CV, skills are better put into context Use action verbs to describe your work experience etc – evidence –Launched a new club night in Manchester and secured sponsorship from Red Bull. The event sold out. –Created a system to help managers monitor usage of a new fitness suite.

14 Avoid passive - Use action verbs wherever possible… Achieved Advised Audited Co-ordinated Managed Organised Tested Taught Led Conducted Initiated Developed Prioritised Liaised Negotiated Analysed

15 CONTENT: References Usually include if you have space on your CV One academic, one other (not your Mum…) Check person knows you are using them for a reference Check how that person would like to be contacted

16 Previous applications… “I enjoy practising marital arts” “At secondary school I was a prefix” “Special skills: Thyping” “Thank you for your consideration. Hope to hear from you shorty” “I have worked in the pubic sector……” “Hi I want 2 get a job with U”

17 Previous applications… “I loathe filling in applications so much that I’ll give you details at the interview” “In my spare time I enjoy hiding my horse” “I have excellent memory skills, good analytical skills, excellent memory skills” “I am a conscious individual” “Here are my qualifications for you to overlook” “I am someone who knows my own destiny, but I have no definite long term plans”

18 Skills based CV Often includes –Personal details –Personal profile –Skills Profile eg. examples of teamworking –Education –Work history –Interests –References (2 referees)

19 Skills based CV Pro’s Useful if you have had a lot of work experience Useful if changing direction to emphasise transferable skills Can make work of recruiter easier Con’s Requires more preparation to do it well Can look unfocussed if you haven’t done your research properly Career aim/personal profile doesn’t appeal to all employers

20 Advanced Suggestions Select the key information – don’t include everything! Find the prime selling space and use it Provide evidence Use words that give emphasis -Action verbs….led, achieved, resolved -See back of CV handout Quantify your achievements -How much did you raise? -How many people attended? -What marks did you get?

21 Constructive Suggestions Allocate space in accordance to the importance of the information Use reverse chronological order Don’t bury the good bits on page 2 Never send it without a covering letter Keep it relevant & avoid jargon Keep it upbeat, positive & achievements focused

22 Suzie Smith CV – part 2 Look at the differences between the two CVs… –Same core information –Different presentation… Anything else you would do differently?

23 In summary, successful CVs: Neither too long… or short Organised information Well printed & typed To the point Good spelling and grammar Provide evidence of achievements in previous positions Relevant information Clear presentation Tailored

24 Writing a covering letter

25 A good covering letter? Dear Sir, I saw your advert in the Manchester Evening News for a Marketing Assistant. I enclose my CV. I look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely,

26 The Covering Letter This is the “advert” for your CV… where you get to say WHY you want the job The basics: –One page, quality paper (same as your CV) –Business letter layout –Usually typewritten –Keep any formatting consistent with your CV

27 Tips for Covering Letters Write to a named individual if possible Tell the employer what you are applying for and where you saw it advertised –quote any reference numbers! Get to the point – who are you and what do you want? Why are you interested in the job/sector ? Why are you interested in the employer?

28 Tips for Covering Letters Signpost your key selling points Keep language clear and business like… b ut don’t write like your bank manager! Be enthusiastic and positive Ending should be upbeat Dear Sir/Madam ends with Yours faithfully; Dear Mr Kaplan ends with Yours sincerely Tailor the letter for each job – don’t use a generic “one- for-all”

29 Covering letter structure No more than one side of A4 No more more than 3 paragraphs Introductory paragraph –Why the company, why the job Summary of your background, including strengths and experience, think USPs Summary and thank you

30 How not to do it… Dear Sir/Madam I want a job in this your Firm: £40k. I am extremely extremely clever - true IQ rating 123 supervised IQ test. I am clinically cool under the worst, diabolical psychological pressure, cognitive, tensile, gritty tension imaginable. Over-sensitive, considerate to others under worst psychological and cognitive pressure imaginable; want unlimited ‘Big Time’ responsibility from Day 1 in Deloitte; scrupulously honest; scrupulously fair; very very quick thinking and very very accurate under pressure; forthright; therefore would make Group Senior Partner a ‘good mate’; besides which also brave (6ft 2in, 17 stone). Proof of ability, recently, yesterday obtained Distinction Institute of Linguistics French General Certificate exam and will also pass Level 3 Japan Foundation Proficiency Test next week SOAS. Also brilliant Linguist, Linguist, Logician Big Time! Also 3 weeks ago standing in bookshop Hemel Hempstead town centre reading A Level Study Aids Maths Book and understood theory of Permutations and Combinations in 26 minutes (and I’m honest) and answered entire ‘A’ question exactly right in 27minutes (without ‘Big Time’) looking at worked examples and without a calculator. I only Grade D at ‘A’ Level Maths, because I’m a bit sensitive or rather a bit over sensitive and I was thrown out at the time ‘Big Time’. If you want proof: if you pay for it I’ll resit ‘A’ level Maths and I guarantee from Wednesday August 13 1997 I’ll get a Grade A in it, Leeds. Therefore I am a proven brilliant Mathematician and very numerate - I’ll pass ‘ACA’ easily ‘Big Time’, ‘Big Time’, ‘Big Time’, - just give me a chance, try me please. Brave, so all this together would make Senior Partner Deloitte Leeds a brilliant definite; committed, enthusiastic; energetic; vibrant; forthright; vigorous; motivated; clever; helpful;positive; efficient; desirable; athletic;’ mate’. Yours faithfully

31 CV Assessment 30 th Oct MIDDAY – first version of CV submitted for comments, submit on paper or by email 18 th Dec 2008 – deadline for final submission CV tailored for a career opportunity you are interested in, e.g. a summer internship, research placement or graduate level job Position must be at Graduate level (not p/t work)

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