CV -KF 08

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					                        Marketing yourself on paper

                              “Effective CVs”

             Karl Fraser
             Careers Consultant

                              What is a CV?
•     The first point of contact with a potential employer.

•     A personal, targeted marketing tool (what’s your USP?!).

•     A means of highlighting your academic qualifications, skills and work

•     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!
                        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.
                        A sobering thought

A major employer dealing with responses to a newspaper ad. will
                         spend about:

              15 seconds per CV on the first sift........
              1 minute per CV on the next sift..........
     5-10 minutes per CV on the final sift before short-listing for
                                                    “Attention to detail is
                        CV presentation             essential.. Bad
                                                    grammar and spelling
                                                    mistakes will ensure
•   Concise and clear content – don’t waffle        your CV goes to the
                                                    bottom of the pile!”
•   Use simple, positive English                    Recruitment Manager, RM –
•   Use correct spelling, punctuation and grammar   ICT for schools.
•   Well laid out and split into sections – i.e.
      o   Skills Profile
      o   Education
      o   Work Experience
      o   Interests/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
                        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.
Chronological CV – Lay out e.g.
                                      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
          Interests / Activities
          What do they say about you – evidence of skills / abilities

                        2 main types of CV

   Skills-based

•Same headings, different lay-out with targeted approach through skills

•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
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

    Education (Most recent 1st)
    Key modules

    Work Experience (Most recent 1st)
    Duties – what did you do, how did it develop you

    Interests / Activities
    What do they say about you – evidence of skills / abilities

              CV content – Personal Details

Standard                                        Optional

• Name                                          • Date of Birth

• Address                                       • Nationality & Gender (unless you
                                                are an international student)
• Telephone number
                                                Not required
• Email address (personal pref.)
                                                    – Marital status
*think about voicemail/ansaphone messages and
appropriateness of e-mail address!
                                                    – Photograph
 CV content – Career Objective (optional)

• Short, snappy opening statement to set the scene for the

• 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.
                        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).
              CV content – Work Experience


• Employer’s name

• Location

• Your job title

• Description of duties involved
                             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
•   Some common headings are:
      o   Communication/Interpersonal
      o   Team Work
      o   Leadership
      o   Problem solving
      o   Using initiative
      o   Organisational
•   Be explicit but concise when demonstrating evidence of your
    experience and skills.
•   You can draw upon extra curricular activities if they demonstrate
    relevant skills.
                        CV content – Additional
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
                        CV content – Interests

• This section enables you to let your personality show through.

• 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.
                        CV content - Referees

• Some choose to write ‘References available on request’ if they
  are running out of room.

• Make sure you gain a referee’s permission before citing their

• If you have space and choose to include references’ details then
  you need:
      o   Name
      o   Job title
      o   Address
      o   Telephone number
      o   Fax number or email address
                            Covering Letter

          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!
                        Covering Letter

• Address it to a named person if possible

• 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
                    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
                        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!
                        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: JOBSHOP

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