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Effective CVs and Interviews Dr. Lorna Dargan Careers Adviser for FMS.

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Presentation on theme: "Effective CVs and Interviews Dr. Lorna Dargan Careers Adviser for FMS."— Presentation transcript:

1 Effective CVs and Interviews Dr. Lorna Dargan Careers Adviser for FMS

2 Today we will….  Examine the principles of an effective CV and interview  Give you confidence to perfect your CV and interview technique  Highlight available support.

3 3 out of 5 CVs are discarded within... Why? 2 minutes!

4 What do employers want?  CAN you do the job  Do you WANT the job?  Will you FIT in?  CAN = skills and experience

5 Target your CV  Should be designed for a specific purpose  Is an individual document  Should highlight achievements, not duties  Should persuade the reader to interview you

6 What do you need to research? Academia  post  field  department  faculty  university  sector Industry  post  product/service  department  organisation  sector  competitors

7 Where can you look?  Job description  Company web page  Staff web pages  Prospects  Press: national and trade  Networks  Make use of the informal call!

8 What can you offer?  Academic experience e.g. knowledge, techniques  Research skills and experience e.g. methods  Teaching skills and experience  Research outputs and success e.g. publications; conferences; grants; patents.

9 Research involves Analytical skills Problem Solving Data handling and analysis Report writing Intellectual rigour Performing experiments Attention to Detail Numeracy Project Management Communication Technical competence Information retrieval Working with others Literature reviews Experiment design

10 What can you use as evidence?  Academic background: relevant modules, research training, academic success, scholarships, awards and prizes  Research experience: practical work, laboratory or field, research assignments and projects, research skills  Research success: publications, conferences, funding, training (research training programme)  Work experience: industry placement, teaching, casual, voluntary, commercial, military service  Interests & achievements: committees and societies, positions of responsibility, professional memberships.

11 Outside academic research  emphasis on relevant skills and knowledge including projects and resources managed  personal and skills profile may be helpful  include achievements outside research context  describe level of competence and performance  include additional responsibilities and professional development activities including  professional memberships and interests.

12 CV exercise In groups, exchange CVs and give constructive feedback

13 Basic principles 1)Relevance: research the yourself, sector, employer and job description. 2)Order: put the most important information first and give it the most space. 3)Format: make it easy to read, normally use 2 sides A4 4)Attention to detail: check spelling and grammar, beware of cut and paste! 5)An effective covering letter.

14 What do you include? Core information ….. personal details education work experience interests skills and achievements referees Headings might include… research profile publications, conferences technical skills research/industry experience teaching experience research abstract professional memberships

15 Common Mistakes….  Spelling errors  Too much, too little information  Irrelevant details (including age)  No personality  Poor presentation  Dull vocabulary  Too general.

16 Covering letters  Need to highlight key selling points and add value  opening paragraph - outline the purpose of the letter: who you are, what specific job you are applying for, and where you saw the job advertised  why you want the job - demonstrate your interest with enthusiasm  what you have to offer - refer to your CV or application form and highlight the main evidence that your skills and experience match the job requirements.  why you are interested in this employer/job - demonstrate you have done your homework on them  closing paragraph - a polite and positive ending, stating when you would be available for interview.


18 CVs - final points  Start with a clear understanding of what the selector is looking for  Ensure your CV is targeted and relevant  Use the best examples you’ve got  Review – ask yourself “so what?”  Ask others for feedback - first impressions.

19 Interviews

20 The selectors want to know: That you CAN DO the job (Skills) That you WANT the job (Motivation) That you FIT the organisation (Values)

21 Types of interview questions commercial-based technical-based off-the-wall competence-based strength-based motivation-based careers service website

22 Interview exercise  Break into groups of 4: an interviewer; an interviewee; and two observers.  Each interviewee will be asked 2 questions from the list  Observers to give constructive feedback.

23 A few practical tips First impressions 55% on body language 38% on tone of voice 7% on what you say Talk and listen/watch 50/50 ratio, maximum 2 minutes at a time Never be afraid of a pause

24 General advice  Think about why the question has been asked  Ask for clarification if necessary  Answer the question with relevant and specific evidence of your achievements  Keep to the point  Focus on positive examples and comments.

25 The key to successful applications? RESEARCH!

26 Level 1, King’s Gate Drop-in advice, Monday to Friday 10am to 4.30pm Careers Service

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