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Marketing yourself on paper Effective CVs Karl Fraser Careers Consultant

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1 Marketing yourself on paper Effective CVs Karl Fraser Careers Consultant

2 What is a CV? The first point of contact with a potential employer. A personal, targeted marketing tool (whats your USP?!). A means of highlighting your academic qualifications, skills and work experience. A means of demonstrating your suitability for the position you are applying for. The first step towards obtaining an interview. Remember more applicants are weeded out at this stage than any other during the selection process!

3 Before you start your CV Research what the employer is looking for. Use job description, website and company brochures. Think about what you have to offer an employer. Give yourself plenty of time.

4 A sobering thought A major employer dealing with responses to a newspaper ad. will spend about: 15 seconds per CV on the first sift minute per CV on the next sift minutes per CV on the final sift before short-listing for interview.

5 CV presentation Concise and clear content – dont waffle Use simple, positive English Use correct spelling, punctuation and grammar Well laid out and split into sections – i.e. oSkills Profile oEducation oWork Experience oInterests/Achievements No less than size 10 in a normal font, i.e. Arial or Times New Roman, try Verdana font for a change! Maximum of 2 pages Use a computer and top quality paper Attention to detail is essential.. Bad grammar and spelling mistakes will ensure your CV goes to the bottom of the pile! Recruitment Manager, RM – ICT for schools.

6 2 main types of CV Chronological Provides all the information most employers want in a familiar format and demonstrates steady development in education and career. Lists education and work experience by date with most recent information first.

7 Personal Details Career Objective Education (Most recent 1st) Key modules Key skills / abilities developed demonstrated - evidence Work Experience (Most recent 1st) Duties – what did you do, how did it develop you Key skills/abilities demonstrated – evidence Additional Skills Achievements Interests / Activities What do they say about you – evidence of skills / abilities References Chronological CV – Lay out e.g.

8 2 main types of CV Skills-based Same headings, different lay-out with targeted approach through skills matching. Work experience details kept to a minimum Useful for highlighting particular skills enabling the selector to understand the relevance of skills and experience and for distracting away from a varied career history

9 Skills Based CV – Lay out e.g. Personal Details Career Objective Key Skills / Skills Profile / Skills & Achievements List Skills relevant to opportunity and evidence from education work experience activities etc your ownership of them – you then need less emphasis on skills developed in the other sections. Education (Most recent 1st) Key modules Work Experience (Most recent 1st) Duties – what did you do, how did it develop you Achievements Interests / Activities What do they say about you – evidence of skills / abilities References

10 CV content – Personal Details Standard Name Address Telephone number address (personal pref.) * think about voic /ansaphone messages and appropriateness of address! Optional Date of Birth Nationality & Gender (unless you are an international student) Not required –Marital status –Photograph

11 CV content – Career Objective (optional) Short, snappy opening statement to set the scene for the employer. Provide a summary of your current status, previous experience, relevant skills and career ambition. If uncomfortable with this type of sales pitch or are short of space include the above in the covering letter.

12 CV content - Education Start with your most recent qualification first. Include dates and results – as you have not received your degree result yet, write expected next to the result. The amount of detail you write about your degree may depend on its relevance to the position you are applying for. It is up to you how you market your degree. You may not need to list all your Standard Grades, instead providing a summary, e.g. Standard Grades: 7 subjects, grades 1-3 including English (1) and Mathematics (2).

13 CV content – Work Experience Include: Employers name Location Your job title Description of duties involved

14 Skills Profile If you decide to do a skills-based CV it may be helpful to create a Skills Profile by drawing on your experience, knowledge, skills and qualities and matching them to those required for the position you are applying for. Some common headings are: oCommunication/Interpersonal oTeam Work oLeadership oProblem solving oUsing initiative oOrganisational Be explicit but concise when demonstrating evidence of your experience and skills. You can draw upon extra curricular activities if they demonstrate relevant skills.

15 CV content – Additional Skills/Information Indicate level of competence: Driving licence IT (name packages) Language Skills CV content – Achievements/Positions of responsibility (optional) If you have a number of achievements that you wish to highlight

16 CV content – Interests This section enables you to let your personality show through. Include: Leisure activities both within the university and the community. Positions of responsibility and voluntary work Membership of clubs or societies. Do not just write a list. Give enough details to entice the employer wanting to know more.

17 CV content - Referees Some choose to write References available on request if they are running out of room. Make sure you gain a referees permission before citing their name. If you have space and choose to include references details then you need: oName oJob title oAddress oTelephone number oFax number or address

18 Covering Letter Purpose: to market yourself and your motivation to highlight that you have what they are looking for The covering letter gives you the opportunity to get recruiters interested in you and your CV so every CV needs one!

19 Covering Letter Address it to a named person if possible Include: Why you are writing What interests you in the job Your key selling points related to the job, i.e. key skills, qualifications, experience Why you want to work for their company Positive, enthusiastic ending expressing your willingness to discuss your application at interview

20 Covering letter tips: Style Word-processed, unless requested otherwise Consistent font with your CV One page of A4 only Three or four paragraphs Keep to the point Use clear language Yours faithfully/Yours sincerely

21 The Final Check Spelling and Grammar Is the CV/letter neat and clean? Is all your evidence relevant? Is all your time accounted for? Have you followed all instructions? Ensure distinct file name for CV e.g. GayleScott CV 07 Take a photocopy for future reference!

22 Last but not least... Make sure you get your CV checked before sending it out. If you have any queries about your CV content or layout make sure you use the resources e.g. Making Applications available at the Careers Centre. Once you are in the final draft stages of the CV, book an appointment with Careers Consultant to look over it. Careers Centre, Blackfriars Building, Schoolhill or InfoZone+, Garthdee, - sign in via RGU:

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