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					CVs and Covering Letters
          Bruce Woodcock
University of Kent Careers Advisory
               Service

 You can download a copy of this
          presentation at
     www.kent.ac.uk/careers/slides.htm
         Research by forum3 found:
   The average graduate will send out 70 CVs when looking
    for their first graduate job. The average number of responses
    is 7 including 4 rejections and the remainder inviting the
    graduate to interview or further contact.
   The more CVs you send out the more interviews you get.
   Applicants who included a covering letter with their CV were
    10% more likely to get a reply.
   Applicants who addressed their application to the correct
    named person were 15% more likely to get a letter of
    acknowledgement and 5% more likely to get an interview.
   Applicants sending CVs and letters without spelling mistakes
    are 61% more likely to get a reply and 26% more likely to get
    an interview.
   The most common mistakes not found in a spell check
    were: fro instead of for, grate: great, liased: liaised,
    stationary: stationery.
   Other turn-offs: misspelling the name of the company or the
    addressee, not having a reply address on the CV and trying to
    be amusing.
             How not to do it ….
Place of birth? - A London hospital
Size of employer: about 5’ 10”
My health good, that of my parents not so good.
Working on a farm has improved my communication skills which are
especially important when working with large livestock.
Applying for job at biscuit company: my life-long love of chocolate
biscuits, is the main reason for my interest in the company
It's best for employers that I not work with people
On an application for a position requiring considerable people skills -
My hobbies include watching television, computer chess, stamp
collecting and walking my 2 spaniels.
Reason for leaving last job: my employers insisted that all employees
get to work by 8.45 am and I could not work under those conditions.
I am seeking challenges that test my mind and body, since the two
are usually inseparable.
I have an excellent track record, although I am not a horse.
What is the purpose of a CV?
   To inform the employer about
    your:
     – education
     – work experience
     – skills
     – interests
   To persuade the employer that
    you are potentially suitable for
    the job and are therefore worth
    Interviewing.
Brian O'dea - the author of this received
about 600 responses.

Having successfully completed a ten year sentence,
incident-free, for importing 75 tons of marijuana into the
United States. I am now seeking a legal and legitimate
means to support my self and my family.

Business Experience - Owned and operated a successful
fishing business - multi-vessel, one airplane, one island and
processing facility. Simultaneously owned and operated a
fleet of tractor-trailer trucks conducting business in the
western United States. During this time I also co-owned and
participated in the executive level management of 120
people worldwide in a successful pot smuggling venture
with revenues in excess of US$100 million annually. I took
responsibility for my own actions, and received a ten year
sentence in the United States while others walked free for
their cooperation.

Attributes - I am an expert in all levels of security; I have
extensive computer skills, am personable, outgoing, well-
educated, reliable, clean and sober. I have spoken in
schools to thousands of kids and parent groups over the
past ten years on "the consequences of choice", and
received public recognition for community service. I am
well-traveled and speak English, French and Spanish.
References available from friends, family, the U.S. District
Attorney, etc.
PRESENTATION OF YOUR CV
   Use short sentences & concise phrases
   The first visual impression your CV
    makes is important
   Use plain white or pale A4 size paper
   Check yore speling!
   Use bold type and bullet points, but in
    moderation
   BSc. And MSc. Not Bsc or MSC!
   Don’t use lower case I: “i am ……”
    Choose a sensible email address for your CV:

   eek_eek_i_am_dieing_eek_arg_e       so_kiss_me@hotmilk.com
    rrrg@milk.com                       weird_fish@hotmail.com
   crazy-ali-bongo@mail.com
   big_fat_licks@mail.com              platypus_mcdandruff@mail.co
   death_metal_kitty@milk.com           m
   debby_loves_diet_coke@gnumail.      flockynockyhillipilification@gnu
    com                                  mail.com
   autonomous-panda@gnumail.com        virgin_on_the_ridiculous@hot
   demented_bovine@gnumail.com          milk.com
                                        yourmywifenowgraham@gnum
                                         ail.com
                                        original_madcow_jane@gnuma
                                         il.com
                                        circle-of-despair@mail.com
                                        rage_against_the_trolley_fish
                                         @gnumail.com
                                        sexylikewoaaaah@hotmilk.com
What is wrong with this?
      Why you need to use a
          spell checker
   I am a prefectionist and rarely if if ever forget details.
   Proven ability to track down and correct erors.
   I have good writen comunication skills.
   Lurnt Word Perfect computor and spreadsheet pogroms.
   Develop an annual operating expense fudget…

And why you must read it carefully as well
   Extra Circular Activities
   At secondary school I was a prefix
   Over summer I worked for an examinations bored. (Kent BA English graduate!)
   In my spare time I enjoy hiding my horse
   I hope to hear from you shorty
   I am a conscious individual.
   Reason for leaving last job: maturity leave
   I have a desire to work with commuters
   Dear Madman (instead of Madam)
   My hobbits include - instead of 'hobbies'
   I am sicking and entry-level position
      WORK EXPERIENCE
Summer 2000      Sainsbury's, Canterbury
                 Checkout assistant
                 This job developed my ability
                 to deal with the public and
                 work under pressure
Don’t feel you have to include every job
“In addition to the above, I have held a variety
  of temporary jobs during school and university
  vacations, including fruit-picking, factory
  work, bar work and waiting on tables”
               INTERESTS
   Reading, cinema, stamp-collecting,
    embroidery
   Cinema: member of the University Film-
    Making Society
   Travel: traveled through Europe by train this
    summer in a group of four people, visiting
    historic sites and improving my French and
    Italian
   Reading: helped younger pupils with reading
    difficulties at school
          Types of CV
Reverse Chronological
 outline your career history in date order,
  normally beginning with the most recent
  items. The "conventional" approach and the
  easiest to prepare.
Skills-based
 highly-focused CVs which relate your skills
  and abilities to a specific job.
 work well for mature applicants and for
  those whose qualifications and work
  experience are not directly relevant to their
  application.
 P 14 Applications Booklet
           Action Verbs

created
instructed
analysed
produced
negotiated
designed
calculated
maintained
administered …….

www.kent.ac.uk/careers/cv/actionverbs.htm
       THE COVERING LETTER
                   One side of A4 maximum
First Paragraph                         Third Paragraph
      State the job you’re applying          Summarise your strengths
       for.                                    and how they might be an
      Where you found out about it.           advantage to the
                                               organisation.
      When you're available to start
       work (& end if it's a                  Relate your skills to the job.
       placement)                       Last Paragraph
Second Paragraph                              Mention any dates that you
      Why your interested in that             won't be available for
       type of work                            interview
      Why the company attracts you           Thank the employer and say
       (if it's a small company say            you look forward to hearing
       you prefer to work for a small          from them soon.
       friendly organisation!)
         EMAILING CVS
– Many employers are happy to accept
 CVs as an attachment to an email.
     Put your covering letter as the body of
      your email. Format it as plain text (use the
      format heading on Outlook Express to do
      this), so it can be read by any email reader.
     Your CV is then sent as an attachment,
      in MS Word format, Rich Text (.rtf) or html
      format are acceptable. Say you'll send a
      printed CV if required.
     Email it back to yourself first to check it.
 Making applications using
          STAR
http://prezi.com/your/



www.kent.ac.uk/careers/compet/skillquest.htm
       CAREERS WEB SITE
 Help with applications and interviews
  www.kent.ac.uk/careers/applicn.htm
 Example CVs and Covering Letters
    www.kent.ac.uk/careers/cvexamples.htm
    DUTY CAREERS ADVISER
   Ask a careers adviser’s opinion if
    you have any doubts or queries
    about your CV
 A Duty Careers Adviser is available to
  help with queries between 10.30 am -
  12.30 p.m. and 2.00 - 5.00 p.m. every
  day.
 No appointment needed - just drop in.
Moodle Careers Employability Award

    Assessed by a range of tests and assignments
    It will greatly improve your career planning and
     jobhunting skills increasing your work readiness and
     giving you the confidence and strategies to make
     appropriate career choices.
    Takes about 12 hours to complete
    On completion you will get a University of Kent
     Careers Employability Award to add to your CV
    Current students can gain 40 Kent Employability
     points for successful completion of the module.
    www.kent.ac.uk/careers/moodle.htm
CVs and Covering Letters
          Bruce Woodcock
University of Kent Careers Advisory
               Service

 You can download a copy of this
          presentation at
     www.kent.ac.uk/careers/slides.htm
             Quiz!
 How long should a CV be?
 How long should a covering letter
  be?
 What is the sweet spot of a CV?
 What is a reverse chronological CV?
 Use spelling and grammar checker
  carefully
 Can cut and paste sentences from
  CV examples to make sure English
  is correct.
www.kent.ac.uk/careers/cv/cvexamples.htm
        Think about the job
 CVs are normally targeted on a particular
job
 What tasks would the daily routine
involve?
 What skills would the job call for?
 What type of personality would suit the
job?
  Answers for 300 jobs on:
www.prospects.ac.uk/links/occupations
         PROVING YOUR ABILITY

There are four main things employers look at in CVs:
• Education - ability to think clearly, analyse and
assess information, draw conclusions, work
independently, research, etc
• Work experience - ability to get on with people,
work under pressure, meet deadlines, etc
• Leisure interests - ability to plan and organise, co-
operate with others, compete, work hard to achieve
results ...
• Specific skills – e.g. driving licence, computing or
foreign language skills
          SKILLS-BASED CVs
Examples of evidence of skills:
   Verbal Communication - assisted visitors of
    many nationalities as a seasonal Tourist
    Information Assistant, advising on places of
    interest, transport and accommodation and
    helping resolve any problems
   Time Management - have successfully
    combined studies with a part-time job and
    involvement in a number of drama and music
    productions
                   Competencies
   Good attitude to teamwork. Friendly and cheerful
    personality
   Proactive: able to use initiative. “No problem, I’ll do it!”
    Problem solvers, not problem creators!
   Flexible and adaptable: learns new skills quickly.
   Enthusiastic, motivated Excellent communication skills –
    dealing confidently with students, take phone messages
   Organised and efficient. Able to plan and organise their
    own workload. Work to strict deadlines
   Microsoft Office: ECDL. Familiarity with databases,
    Excel and the web
            VIDEOS
 APPLICATIONS
 INTERVIEWS
 ON-LINE APPLICATIONS
 SELECTION CENTRES
 All last about 25 minutes and are
  excellent!
www.kent.ac.uk/careers/IntVid.htm
When should a CV be used?
 When an employer asks for
  applications to be received in this
  format
 When an employer simply states
  "apply to ..." without specifying the
  format
 When making speculative applications
  (i.e. when writing to an employer who
  has not actually advertised a vacancy
  but who you hope may have one)

				
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posted:10/30/2012
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