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21st Century CVs + Interviews

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1 21st Century CVs + Interviews
Civil Structural and Environmental Engineering Senior Soph Edel Caraway Careers Adviser Careers Advisory Service East Chapel

2 Overview - CVs Curriculum Vitae Purpose Tailoring your CV Layout
Do’s and Don’ts Cover Letters Guidelines on writing effective cover letters

3 What Makes a Good CV?

4 Purpose Your purpose: To get an interview in order to get the job.
Selector’s purpose: To decide whether or not to interview you

5 Tailor your Application
Tailor your application to clearly identify how you meet the organisation’s needs Knowing yourself Knowing what they want

6 Knowing Yourself (Self-Profile)
To carry this out review activities: Specific Achievements Current Responsibilities Course Work Projects Work Experience - including Voluntary Work Sports, Societies, Social Life Then - What Skills have I gained?

7 “Self-Profile” College Time Personal time Managing Money Take a Risk
Speaking in Societies Being on a Committee Organising an Event Helping Others Catering for Others Entertaining Others Taking Initiative Managing Time Work Experience Academic Time Writing Reports Analysing Data Researching information Retaining Facts Working to Deadline Establishing Good Customer Relations Showing Reliability Working Well with others Being Adaptable Using Languages Communication Skills Financial Skills Interpersonal Skills Time Management Skills

8 N.B. “Organisations love to be loved.”
Know the Organisation N.B. “Organisations love to be loved.” Research, research, research: Ask if there is anything they can send you in writing about their organisation Go to their website & read everything they have there “about us” Go to the library & locate any newspaper articles or other information about the organisation Check the Alumni database at the CAS Ask your friends if they know anyone working there to whom you could talk Become familiar with the organisation’s history, purpose, goals, values

9 Basic Layout Personal Details Career Objective (optional)
Education & Qualifications Employment History Interests & Achievements Skills Profile (optional) Referees

10 Personal Details Keep it short Top of page Date of birth - optional
address

11 Career Objective “Honours Civil Engineering final year student with developed technical, problem solving, numerate and communication skills seeking a position as a Graduate Engineer in an engineering consultancy firm.” “A commercially aware and IT literate engineering student with highly developed problem solving, interpersonal and communication skills now looking for a career opportunity in a large construction company with a wide range of clients across a variety of sectors.”

12 Education & Qualifications
Place most recent first Profile your course and its relevance to the job: Full Title e.g. B.A., B.A.I. – Civil Engineering Length & structure Relevant subjects taken Grades attained and awards Title of relevant Projects / Dissertations / Thesis Placements abroad

13 Example

14 Employment History Summer 2005 Student Engineer, Dublin City Council
Flexible staff member providing support to a professional team in fast-paced customer service environment. Accurately maintained and accessed database information. Efficiently processed mail, phone and personal enquiries from the public. Utilised IT systems to produce weekly statistics.

15 Employment History Marketing Assistant, Supervalu, Balbriggan
Christmas 2004 Marketing Assistant, Supervalu, Balbriggan Skills gained: Analysis, IT and Presentation - Designed a customer service questionnaire that involved using excel and presenting the findings to the regional marketing manager, awarded a bonus for my efforts.

16 Skills Profile Problem solving – An analytical, logical and determined approach to problem solving demanded by my coursework at Trinity College Dublin Project Management/Leadership – Instrumental in the organisation of a running club reunion held in Summer Took charge of the publicity for the event & single-handedly traced as many former members as was possible Communication Skills – Demonstrated oral and written communication skills in various work experiences and in publication of articles for Trinity News Initiative & Commitment – Have energetically represented students at Trinity through my roles as class representative and secretary of the Badminton Club. IT – Confident IT user with strong working knowledge of multiple computer programmes, languages & applications including Microsoft Office, HTML, UNIX, & Visual Basic

17 Interests & Achievements
Voluntary: Publicity Officer, Amnesty Arranged a publicity campaign. Gained experience in delegation, proofreading text, desktop publishing and working under pressure to meet deadlines Sport: Treasurer, Boxing Club Kept accounts for a committee of eight. Helped organise a campaign to extend membership of the club which resulted in twenty new members

18 Referees Get permission before you use someone as a referee
Two referees are usually given Include one academic referee Include one referee from your work experience

19 Writing a CV for Scanning
Always read employers instructions and follow them to the letter Use keywords & phrases Ensure that the layout is clear with no unusual typefaces

20 Useful Words Achieved Administered Analysed Built Capable Competent
Consistent Controlled Co-ordinated Created Designed Developed Directed Economical Effective Efficient Engineered Established Expanded Experienced Guided Improved Initiated Instructed Managed Monitored Organised Participated Positive Processed Productive Proficient Qualified Repaired Sold Specialised Stable Successful Supervised Trained Versatile Wide Background

21 Iportence of acruate speling and gramer
What spelling mistakes say about you: You really cannot spell You are lazy – can’t be bothered doing a spell-check You are inattentive to detail You are careless You do not really want the job

22 Summary – top ten CV sins
Typos Putting the first last Gaps Sloppy formatting Cluttered CV Irrelevant information Not tailoring your CV Disorganised CV Too long Too basic

23 CV checklist Is the CV relevant to the position for which you are applying? Is the layout clear, concise, well presented and professional Can an employer see the relevant points at a glance? Have you emphasised your skills, experience and achievements? Is it free of spelling and grammatical errors? Does it paint a positive picture of you? Are you happy with this paper reflection of you?

24 Cover Letters Make a connection (“It was a pleasure to meet you last month at the employer presentation in Trinity.”) Say why the job appeals to you and why you have applied Communicate strengths and benefits End positively

25 Resources Get feedback on your CV! (http://www.tcd.ie/Careers/onlineadvice.php) Read “Careers Service Guide 2006” Read “Student Guide to Career Planning & Job Seeking” - Aungier, C. & Walker, S. 2002 Read “Making Wizard Applications”, Phillips, C. 1999

26 Application Forms: Before, During & After
Research job, organisation, your requirements Take a copy of the whole form (hard or soft copy) Check you have the appropriate referees During: Approach formally NOT text message style Prepare answers before writing the final draft Presentation is as important as content After: Get a friend to review before submitting Keep a copy. This sets the agenda for interview

27 Making an Online Application
Principle is the same as for hardcopy Remember your username & password Do your thinking off-line For long prose write in Word, spell check, then copy and paste into application form Attaching CV – don’t use CV.doc Don’t use unusual fonts etc.

28 Apply via www.irishjobs.ie
Complete the short on-line application form and attach a covering letter and a two page CV Closing date fro applications 29th February, 2012 The Cover Letter Should Include: - Why you want to work for Arup - Location preference (Dublin, Cork or Limerick) - Course Title and Expected Grades - Areas of Interest (e.g. Structures, Roads, Bridges, Infrastructure) - Briefly explain a group project or work experience which is relevant to your career path.....previous relevant work experience Briefly explain a group project or work experience which is relevant to your career path The CV should include; Education Employment history Interest and hobbies Any particular achievements Referees Legal Sitemap Company Registration Details Accreditations

29 Your CV Should Include: - Education including results and projects - Employment History - Interests and Hobbies - Achievements - Two Named Referees: 1 Academic 1 Industry

30 Your Careers Advisers Edel Caraway (Monday to Wednesday) & Mary O’Donnell (Wednesday to Friday) MEETINGS (by appointment) 10.00am, 11.00am, 12 noon 3.15pm QUICK QUERY (no appointment) 2.15 – 3.15 pm TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT - Online Advice Centre

31 Your Careers Advisers Edel Caraway (Monday to Wednesday) & Mary O’Donnell (Wednesday to Friday) MEETINGS (by appointment) 10.00am, 11.00am, 12 noon 3.15pm QUICK QUERY (no appointment) 2.15 – 3.15 pm TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT - Online Advice Centre

32 21st Century Interviews

33 Interview Overview Interviews Resources Purpose Structure Etiquette
Preparation Interview Types Sample questions Resources

34 Purpose – Selector’s Purpose
To find out: “Why are you here?” “What can you do for us?” “What kind of person are you?” “What distinguishes you from the nineteen other people who can do the job.” “What are your salary expectations?” Beneath the dozens and dozens of questions that an employer could ask you, we know that there are only five basic questions, that you really need to pay attention to: Why are you here? – “why are you knocking on my door, rather than someone else’s door?” What can you do for us? – “If I were to hire you, would you part of the problems I already have, or would you be part of the solution to those problems? What are your skills and how much do you know about the subject field in which we specialise?” What kind of person are you? – “Do you have the kind of personality that makes it easy for people to work with you, and do you share the values which we have at this place?” What distinguishes you…? – “Do you have better work habits than the nineteen others, do you show up earlier, stay later, work more thoroughly, work faster, maintain higher standards, go the extra mile…?” What are your salary expectations? Many of the larger graduate recruiters have a set salary scale but again when dealing with smaller companies and sectors there may be a possibility for negotiation especially if you have some very relevant experience.

35 Purpose – Your Purpose To find out: “What does the job involve?”
“What are the skills a top employee in this job would have to have?” “Are these the kinds of people I would like to work with, or not?” “If we like each other, can I persuade them there is something unique about me that makes me different to the nineteen other people who can do the job?” “Can I persuade them to hire me at the salary I need or want?”

36 Analysing a Job Advert for CV and Interview
They Want My Evidence Relevant Degree/Results Communication Skills Analytical & Problem-solving Skills Teamwork Skills Organisation & Planning Skills Commercial Awareness Interpersonal Skills Research Skills Company-Specific Skills

37 Interview Structure Start Middle End Introductions
Description of interview structure Puts you at ease Middle About yourself Academic/ educational record Technical knowledge/ Skills End Opportunity to ask questions Closure – information on further communication Final handshake

38 Interview Etiquette “Interviews are most often lost, when they are lost, during the first two minutes.” Remember: Appearance & hygiene Nervous mannerisms Lack of self-confidence Consideration you show to others Your values

39 Preparation – Know the Organisation
N.B. “Organisations love to be loved.” Research, research, research: Ask if there is anything they can send you in writing about their organisation Go to their website & read everything they have there “about us” Go to the library & locate any newspaper articles or other information about the organisation Check the Alumni database at the CAS Ask your friends if they know anyone working there to whom you could talk Become familiar with the organisation’s history, purpose, goals, values

40 Preparation - Reflect Know Yourself
Abilities, Interests, Values, Personality Qualifications, Grades, Academic Achievements To carry this out review activities Specific Achievements Current Responsibilities Course Work Projects Work Experience - including Voluntary Work Sports, Societies, Social Life Then - What Skills have I gained?

41 “Self-Profile” College Time Personal time Work Experience
Managing Money Take a Risk Speaking in Societies Being on a Committee Organising an event Helping Others Catering for Others Entertaining Others Taking Initiative Managing Time Work Experience Academic Time Writing Reports Analysing Data Researching information Retaining Facts Working to Deadline Establishing Good Customer Relations Showing Reliability Working Well with others Being Adaptable Using Languages Communication Skills Financial Skills Interpersonal Skills Time Management Skills

42 Types of Interview One-to-One interview Panel interview
Telephone interview Second interview Question Types Motivational Behavioural (Competency Based Interview) Situational Stress

43 One-to-One Interview Easiest to arrange Relaxed
Opportunity to meet potential boss Relies heavily on personality and ability of one person

44 Panel Interview Panel Interview 3-5 people
Each interviewer focuses on different topic: Chairperson to coordinate questions Specialist who knows job in detail HR Manager Difficult to establish rapport Popular in public sector (e.g. education & local government)

45 Telephone Interview To sell yourself and your skills
Take a surprise call in your stride Beware of how you sound Allow enough time Beware of over-familiarity Beware of yes/no answers “Dress” for the occasion Keep a copy of your application, CV, pen, paper, diary, list of questions with you

46 2ND Interview You are one of 5% of individuals selected from original applicants Differ from 1st interviews: Length of process Variety & depth Emphasis on group/teamwork Wide variety of interview formats Group discussion Case studies/Business games/Outdoor exercises Informal discussion with employees Personality & aptitude tests In-tray exercises/Written exercises Presentation skills In-depth interviews

47 Behavioural Questions
“Employers don’t really care about your past; they only ask about it, in order to try to predict your future (behaviour)” To evaluate your past experiences & behaviours to predict your future performance Interviewer identifies desired skills & behaviours and Structures very pointed questions To elicit detailed responses to determine if you possess the desired characteristics

48 Behavioural Questions - Preparation?
Know the skills necessary for the job e.g. Teamwork Leadership Technical Knowledge Problem-solving Planning & Organising Communicating Responses need to be specific & detailed How? Use the approach on the next two pages! “Arsenal” of example stories adaptable to any behavioural questions Frame this as a 4-step process - S.T.A.R.

49 Competency-Based Questions
Problem solving/management Describe what you did to manage a situation where something unexpected happened. Leadership Describe a situation where you held a position of leadership and what you achieved in the position. Planning and Organising Provide an example of a situation where you displayed a competency in planning and organising and describe the results. Interpersonal Sensitivity Describe a situation where it was important to show that you possessed interpersonal sensitivity. What role did you play? How did you handle the situation? Answer using the STAR method

50 Behavioural Questions - Preparation?
‘Give a detailed example of a specific time when you acted as team player’ State you “are” a team player Illustrate with examples e.g. School/ Society/ Sport/ Project Work Convey your understanding of what it is to be a team player: Shared vision Your role versus that of others in the team Understand team dynamics When it is appropriate to take steps to increase performance Give an example of a time when you acted as a team player

51 Behavioural (Competency Based) Questions and S.T.A.R.
Sample S.T.A.R. story Situation: Advertising revenue was falling off for my college newspaper, the Trinity Times, and long-term advertisers were not renewing contracts Task: To address the crisis with an innovative solution, devise a plan, and ensure it was executed successfully Action: I designed a new promotional packet and compared circulation of the Trinity Times with other ad media in the area. I also set up a special training session for account executives with a School of Business Professor who discussed competitive selling strategies Result: We signed contracts with 15 former advertisers for daily ads and 5 for special supplements. We increased our new advertisers by 20% over the same period last year

52 Situational Questions & Motivational Questions
You are asked to respond to a specific situation you might face on-the-job To draw out your analytical/problem-solving skills To see how you handle problems with short notice Motivational You are asked about the choices you made and why you made them To determine whether there's a good 'fit' between what a candidate likes and what the person will find in the job

53 Stress Questions Usually to see how you react under pressure
Used for positions where you will be facing stress on the job Interviewer might: Ask you 4/5 questions in a row Act rude or sarcastic Disagree with or challenge you Important to: Remain calm Keep sense of humour Avoid getting defensive Take back control of interview by “ignoring” the stress

54 Sample Questions Employer’s question What is behind the question?
The point you try to get across Possible phrases you could use “Tell me about yourself” Trying to assess what you are like as a person/fit with company You are a good employee/proved in past/who you are/interests/hobbies (2 minutes max) Use words like: “hard worker,” “came in early, left late,” “always did more than was expected of me” etc. “Have you ever done this kind of work before?” Trying to assess if you have the skills & experience necessary You have skills that are transferable from whatever you have done “I have the ability to pick things up very quickly.” “Can you tell me why there are gaps in your work history?” Trying to assess your staying power in a job You enjoy working, whenever you have had a “gap” it has been a challenge to overcome “During the gaps in my CV, I was studying/doing volunteer work/reflecting on my mission in life/finding redirection.”

55 Sample Questions Employer’s question What is behind the question?
The point you try to get across Possible phrases you could use “What is your greatest weakness?” To probe “character flaws” and hopes you will now confess it! You have limitations like anyone else but work constantly to improve yourself & be a more effective worker Mention a weakness then stress its positive aspect e.g., “I don’t like to be over-supervised because I have a great deal of initiative & like to anticipate problems before they arise.” “Why have you applied to us?” To discover how much you have found out about the company/your level of interest in them Be specific in what the company offers in terms of training/opportunities/ career plans “I would like to work for a company like XXX because of its unique offering in terms of…” “What other jobs have you applied for?” To discover whether you are sufficiently focused on the industry That you are focusing exclusively in your job-hunt on this industry “I am certain that a career in this area is what I want, I have therefore applied to…”

56 Sample Questions Employer’s question What is behind the question?
The point you try to get across Possible phrases you could use “Describe a situation where others you were working with on a project disagreed with you. What did you do?” To see how effectively you work with others, resolve problems, consider the impact your decisions have That you are sensitive in such situations & have a good sense of judgment “I recognised a difficult situation, took the individual aside, discussed matter privately, resolved situation.” “Tell me about a situation where you had to adjust quickly to changes over which you had no control.” To see if you can maintain effectiveness in varying environments, tasks, responsibilities, & with people Your ability to be “adaptable” and adjust to unexpected change “I was working on a project with a specific deadline which was brought forward & where resources from my team were pulled…” “Tell me about the most difficult customer service experience that you have ever handled.” How well can you listen to, understand, & anticipate customer needs & provide customer satisfaction An experience where you were presented with such a challenge and how you acted “Once when I was working on a summer job, I was confronted with…”

57 Questions You Might Ask…
Where will the company be in 5 years time? What is the organisational culture? How will my responsibilities & performance be measured? By whom? How often? Does the organisation support ongoing training & education for employees to stay up-to-date in their fields? What are the traits and skills of people who are most successful within the organisation? NO salary, benefits etc. Wait until you are offered the job!

58

59 DON’T ... Don’t talk too much (get to the point)
Don’t give a poor handshake Don’t fidget Don’t be soft-spoken Don’t ever lie Don’t ask about salary / benefits / vacation Don’t wear loads of aftershave / perfume

60 DO ... Do arrive 10 minutes early
Do your research, know the job, know yourself Do dress the part for the job, the company, the industry Do wait until offered a chair before sitting Do make eye contact with the interviewer Do observe the twenty second to two minute rule

61 Do… Do show off the research you have done on the company/industry
Do show what you can do for the company rather than what they can do for you Do show enthusiasm for the position and the company Do stress your achievements and don’t offer any negative information

62 Interview Resources www.tcd.ie/careers/students/jobsearch
Attend a practice interview! or call (01) Read “Careers Service Guide 2007” Read “Student Guide to Career Planning & Job Seeking” - Aungier, C. & Walker, S. 2004 Read “Making Wizard Applications”, Phillips, C. 1999

63 Your Careers Advisers Edel Caraway (Monday to Wednesday) & Mary O’Donnell (Wednesday to Friday) MEETINGS (by appointment) 10.00am, 11.00am, 12 noon 3.15pm QUICK QUERY (no appointment) 2.15 – 3.15 pm TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT - Online Advice Centre


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