Presentation on theme: "MAKING YOUR CV WORK FOR YOU. Objectives By the end of the session students should be able to: Understand what a CV is and when it is appropriate to use."— Presentation transcript:
Objectives By the end of the session students should be able to: Understand what a CV is and when it is appropriate to use one Present their skills and attributes effectively on a CV Understand how to market themselves effectively Understand how to write an effective covering letter
What is a CV? CV stands for Curriculum Vitae which literally means the course of (your) life A good CV should both: INFORM an employer of your skills and experience AND PERSUADE them that you are worth interviewing
Why Send a CV? An employer has specified it in a job advertisement e.g. Apply in writing You are approaching an employer speculatively. This type of application is where you write to an employer (typically with a CV and letter) to see if they may have a vacancy. Because an employer says you can!
Self Marketing The CVs sole purpose is to get you an interview It presents you in the best light Convinces the employer that you have specific, direct benefits of use to them It passes the employers screening process It is not simply a history of your past. Write with the intention to create interest, to persuade the employer to call you
Preparation Before you put pen to paper: Do your research. Do you understand which skills the employer is seeking. You can find this out by their website, employer presentations on campus etc. Note their requirements before you develop your CV. What are you going to write? Consider your past experience. What evidence are you going to use?
Focus on the Employer You are writing powerful but subtle advertising copy ASK YOURSELF What would make someone the perfect candidate? What qualities would this person have? What would set out an exceptional candidate from merely a good one? What does the employer really want?
Golden Rules for Getting the Message Across Remember to target each CV to the job you are applying for Be as specific as you can using the least number of words Use action verbs e.g. managed, negotiated, produced, co-ordinated Check your spelling and proof read
Make Verbs Work for You Make the verb active - I organised a programme of speakers NOT - I was responsible for organising a programme. Use action verbs linked to skills employers look for For example: Resolved customer queries within tight deadlines is better than -Resolution of customer queries to tight deadlines was required Avoid weak verbs like endeavoured and tried
Try To See Your Experiences As a Professional Would Understated Answered phone (receptionist) Wiped tables (waitress) Professional Acted as liaison between customers and sales staff Created healthy environment for customers and maintained positive public image
Write About What You Did Use varied action words to describe experiences Ask yourself these questions -Who?..With whom did you work ? -What?..What duties/activities did you perform? -Where?..Where did your job fit into the organisation? -Why?..What goals were you trying to accomplish? -When?..What timelines were you working under? -How?..What procedures did you follow?
Putting it Together Vague: I worked as a counter assistant in a bank Specific: Gained valuable experience working to targets within a fast moving financial sector Worked quickly and accurately on a number of complex computer programs Dealt effectively and professionally with the public in a busy branch Proved highly adaptable and flexible whilst working within a team
What Makes a Good CV? CONTENT Completeness Targeting Evidence PRESENTATION Structure Layout Language
One page is too short, four is too long Avoid coloured or textured paper First page: make it count - everything you want the employer to see IMMEDIATELY Include a brief description of what you did and bring it to life with some dimensions: numbers of people, values of sales, lengths of projects, budgets Consult resources on our web siteweb site CV Tips
Literally a brief account of your life, and therefore is structured concise - ideally 2 sides of A4 a summary It must have a purpose and therefore is targeted has a clear layout and is easy to read tells the reader what you want them to know and what they need to know CV Summary
Covering letters This accompanies a CV and should: be addressed to a named person have three broad sections: Opening - present a situation, job applied for, site of advertisement Middle - statement in support of application Closing - positive ending, interview availability, next contact be on one side of A4 and have impact
Normally to accompany a CV or application form Always to introduce a speculative approach by CV Look at resources on web siteweb site When to Use Covering Letters
It is a marketing tool and therefore is positive and appropriate both in language and style makes the most of your qualities and experiences is well presented is persuasive contains relevant, accessible information makes the reader want to meet you Covering letters (2)
Evaluating CVs - Exercise Look at the CV and consider the following: Its general presentation and content Are there any spelling and grammatical errors? Is it a good marketing document? Can you tell what he/she is applying for? If you would you interview this person