How to write an effective CV - PowerPoint

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					How to write an effective CV
Dr Calum Leckie LSHTM Careers Service

What we will cover
• • • • • Preparation Basic layout and content Examples Other formats Non- UK CVs

Features of UK CVs
• CVs vary worldwide and you need to tailor yours to appropriate


• CVs should be a maximum of 2 pages (exception = Academic)
• Advisable to emphasise most relevant experiences first • UK employers expect a CV to focus clearly on relevant skills and experience – be selective. Thus CV targeted to job. • Skills and Experience stated must be backed up with Evidence • Sell Yourself! Remember it is a professional document, so layout is important Talk about Achievements as well as duties and skills • No photos

Before you start writing:
Gather information
• Recruitment literature inc. person specification and job description, company websites, talk to those doing job • Build up a list of criteria; skills, exp. and person qualities that specific job needs

Self-audit Think about specific occasions when you have developed the above requirements, examples from
– Education – work experience – Other activities/ leisure.

Main Sections in Your CV
1. Personal details 2. Education 3. Work Experience 4. Specific Skills 5. Interests and Activities 6. Referees Optional • Career aim or Personal Profile • Positions of responsibility or special achievements • List of publications

Personal Details
• • • • Name at top, not CV Email: current/ professional UK Address Optional:
– date of birth not age – nationality (consider work permits) » State if: non-EU or non-English name – Marital status

• Post grad qualification most likely to be most important / relevant achievement • Give dates, title of degree, level of attainment, Institution attended • More related qualification is to job – more info should give e.g. relevant modules and project details, technical skills e.g. IT, lab techniques • If less relevant – short summary is sufficient, but stress useful Transferable skills & Knowledge

Overseas Qualifications
• Degree level- state UK equivalents first & then add overseas result details. If degree title is not common in UK – content summary can be useful • A level/Overseas Equivalents - subjects, grades- again give results and UK equivalents • UKNARIC – The National Academic Recognition Information Centre for the UK

Work Experience
• What to include:
– – – – Dates Job title and Employer name & location Description of duties Relevant skills and achievements gained

• Don’t exclude if e.g. unpaid – employers interested in what you gained. • If work experience relevant then make prominent (e.g. first page, title ‘ relevant work exp’, then ‘Other work Exp.) • If have done lots of jobs that developed similar skills – can list jobs, then group skills together at end. • Emphasise useful Transferable skills

Other Skills
– Things that don’t fit neatly elsewhere e.g. Languages, IT skills, driving license – Try to give evidence of competency

Interests and Activities:
– – – – use to further demonstrate relevant skills, qualities and potential employers may use as interview icebreaker think about clubs/ societies/ travel/ hobbies think how it reflects on you

• • •

• • •

References (non academic CV’s) Most employers want at least one Get Permission Useful to have references forwarded from tutors/employers in home country Use Recent Contacts – NOT family Choose Relevant Contacts ‘References Available on Request’ is fine if you run out of space

Optional sections
Career aims / profile
– – – – Summary you want employer to focus on Not everyone does one Is it better placed in cov lett.? Make specific claims, with evidence

Achievements / Positions of responsibility
• Can include – outstanding academic achievement & prizes, positions of responsibility in clubs, societies, Uni, Non academic awards

Publications – for non academic posts the number & nature is far less important, indicate briefly (Question – how relevant)

Other CV Formats
Skills Based
• Skills from education / work and leisure group together • Other sections then contain brief lists • Often used if have complex work history or career change, where might not be obvious from education / work exp why applying for job.

• • • • Can be longer than 2 pages Research as synposis 1st page or appendix Technical skills and knowledge highlighted Other sections – Publications, Awards, Conferences, Teaching, Administration • Often more than 2 referees

CV’s – Layout & Content Summary
• Separate sheet for each side/ good quality paper • Distinct sections – use headings, keep sections together • Use active verbs (e.g. achieved, controlled, persuaded, negotiated) • Keep to the point, use bullets, keep paras to 4 lines or less • Ensure most relevant is most prominent and give details e.g. facts and figures - evidence • Use appropriate and consistant formatting/ highlighting • What did you do with your duties? - Achievements

Need More Help
• Get your CV checked by a careers adviser • How to Write a CV (also info on covering letters) – Careers Group publication available from careers service • look at CV/ application form examples on the net, www., • Information of academic CVs (and examples) from • Information of medical CVs – Careers service help sheets, and:

CVs outside the UK – Country Specific Information

The USA
A résumé (usually one page) is a tightly focused summary of personal, education, and experience qualifications intended to demonstrate fitness for a particular position.
A curriculum vita (usually three pages or more) is considered a comprehensive biographical statement emphasizing academic and professional qualifications and activities. Most positions will require a résumé, though on occasion will ask for a CV supplement. Undergraduate résumés should not normally be any more than one page in length. Only those with significant experience or several publications to include should stray onto a second page.

In both cases, an accompanying cover letter is customary.

US Resumes - What to include:
• Your name. • Your contact details: address, e-mail and telephone number. • A career aim/objective. • Education/training: a list of the names and locations of universities attended with dates and qualifications held or pending in reverse chronological order. • Work experience: include main responsibilities, skills developed and major achievements with dates and locations. • Activities/special skills: interests and activities that demonstrate job-related skills, personal accomplishments and IT and language skills; membership in student clubs or professional associations, publications and awards.

Résumé styles
Chronological résumé • lists of experiences in reverse chronological order. • Accomplishment and skill statements are listed under each position. • Used when the author has had a steady career progression.
The functional résumé (UK = Skills Based) • Organised according to skills • Accomplishments listed under skill headings. • Work history usually appears as a brief listing at the end of the résumé. • Featured skills will be determined by the employer’s person specification for the job. • Useful when the subject's recent work experience is not related to current career aim or if there are any significant gaps.

Further Resources
• The Global Resume and CV Guide, Mary Anne Thompson, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2000. More info visit: • SICS Careers Library :
• • • • Europe & the world General Information Country Specific profiles Detailed Country Guides

Careers service – further info.
• LSHTM Careers service
– – – – 50 Bedford Square, WC1B 3DP Tel: 020 7299 4737, Email: Advisers available Weds & Thurs Appointments booked at Reception desk See ‘Online Careers Resources’

• Specialist Institutions Careers Service (SICS)
– 4th Floor, ULU Building, Malet Street – Tel: 020 7866 3600, Email: – Monday to Thursday 09:30 - 17:00 Friday 11:00 - 17:00 Wednesday 17:00 - 20:00 (Information Resources only)

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