Why do employers use CVs and Application form? deters unsuitable applicants comparable information - who stands out? creates focus on areas relevant to job can assess diversity of experience
Targeting your CV/AF Every CV/AF should be finely tuned This means research – You –The employer –The job/field
Research EMPLOYER –Who are they, what do they do, how do they do it? –What does the job involve? –The type of person are they looking for? YOU –Why do you want this job? –What are your skills? –What is your evidence?
What employers want………. General intelligence: academic achievement and potential e.g capacity for original thought Specialist Knowledge: Communication skills - oral and written, ability to be cogent, persuasive and investigative, use of English Team work - i.e playing your part Practicality e.g ability to get things done, nature of deadlines, conscientiousness, attention to detail
And these…….. Analytical skills e.g logical reasoning ability, handling complex data Commerciality - understanding of the business world, commercial aims and objectives Judgment and decision making. Loyalty - give as good as you get Resilience - e.g persistence Organisational - planning, prioritising skills fun!
What do I have to offer? Find out about yourself What are your key skills and abilities? What are your interests? What values are important to you? Think about: –Your time in education –Your experience of work –Your spare time activities
Know the organisation Read recruitment literature Check their website Read the annual report Find out about the company/ practice(s) service/location/no. of employees etc. Who are their competitors? Has the sector been in the news recently?
Preparation Work out how you meet the requirements of the job What qualifications and skills are required or preferred? Do you have them? What evidence can you give to support your claim?
Skills acquired from your study Ability to think analytically, creatively and logically Able to manage information - quantitatively and qualitative Communication skills -verbal, written and presentation Planning and organisation skills Leadership Teamwork and co-operation ability Subject knowledge
Skills acquired from your work experience. Farmer - business management, planning, stock control. Stacking shelves - team work, dealing with customer inquiries Pulling pints - handling cash, working under pressure Family business - business management, customer care, financial management Nursing Placement:????????/
Know the job Read the job ad/description Read relevant careers literature What skills are they looking for? What is a typical career path? Try to talk to someone doing a similar job
Appearance - Key principles Easy on the eye – quick scan Appropriate number of pages Clear structure Be consistent – format, use of fonts Check spelling and grammar Keep a photocopy
Content - Key principles Emphasise the relevant - give it most prominence and space Highlight your skills and include evidence Be flexible about the order of information Make it individual
Typical headings: Personal Details Career aim or personal profile Education Skills profile or skills based CV Work Experience Achievements, responsibilities Interests Publications/conferences Referees
Online CVs Principles are the same Plain text or attachment? Make it formal – avoid casual isms Subject Line?
4 questions a good Covering Letter should answer 1.Why are you writing to me? 2.Why should I bother to read your CV? 3.Why do you want to work in this area? 4.Why do you want to work for us?
Covering Letters - pitfalls Too long or too short Repeat content of CV Contain information not in CV Is generic Contains negative information
Your Application Form Research and Preparation –Gathering information –Analysing information
Process copy/print out the form do your research do the easy bits break down the harder questions brainstorm possible examples draft - evaluate - refine get a second opinion
Types of question Competency questions –e.g. Give an example of a team you have been in. What was your role? How did the team work together? What was the outcome? Tell us everything else questions –Use this space to give us any information supporting your application, telling us why you have chosen to apply for this career and this organisation and offering evidence taken from your educational, employment and other activities which demonstrates that you have the skills required for this role
Competency-based questions Choose experiences that are: –significant to you –easy to discuss at interview –relevant to the job being considered Report the facts (15%), describe your contribution (70%) explain the outcome(s) (15%)
Make evidence quantifiable Q: Describe a time when you instigated change to solve a problem. A: Whilst at university, lab times didnt suit everyone so I organised for these to be changed. HOW...OUTCOME...QUANTIFIABLE??
Consider... A: During my studies, I identified the need for a change in lab times since my year group were missing slots due to time-table clashes. I put my case in writing to two academic staff, explaining the situation and suggesting more convenient times. I followed this up in person and was invited to the next staff meeting. After some negotiation, lab times were changed and students were consequently able to complete projects on time.
Personal statements Reasons for your interest in role/course –relevant work / study experience –research and insights –why you enjoy it Reasons for interest in organisation/ institution –what research you have carried out –what in particular is of interest Evidence you have the necessary skills –look at person specification/ course guidelines –4/5 skills and give examples of how you have gained them Conclusion –summing up of main reasons for your interest
Checklist think hard about how you can be memorable introduction 15%/ action 70%/ outcome 15% be concise - short sentences, 1 para. per idea triple check grammar & spelling/ transfer from word for online applications answer all questions or state N/A follow instructions (word count/ structured answer) doing fewer forms well is more effective
Useful Resources How to write a Curriculum Vitae How to complete an application form + other reference books Check with a Careers Adviser On-line help sheets at
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