Applications, CVs and Covering Letters

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					 Applications, CVs
and Covering Letters
    Nicola Sutherland
    Careers Advisers
The Career Service

  166 Nethergate – Opposite Tower Building

  Open: Mon, Tues, Wed and Fri 9am – 5pm
               Thurs 10 am – 5pm

      Drop In or Make An Appointment

              T: 01382 384017
During the session
we will…

 Examine your skills and discuss how
  to evidence them in application forms.
 Look at how to create an effective CV.
 Find out how to write a concise
  Covering Letter.
Closing Dates

 Apply asap – even if the closing date is in
  June 2010.

 Internships – fierce competition, a good
  way to secure grad job, will close before
Your Skills
 Employers Interested in Skills – they show
  you can do the job.

 Use the Job Description & Person
  Specification to Identify Skills Required.

 They NEED to be TAILORED to Reflect
  the Skills Needed in the Role.
Qualifications and Training                                          E/D          Evidence
1. Degree in Accounting (or equivalent)                               Essential    CV

Knowledge, Skills and Experience
1. Good numeracy skills                                               Essential    CV/R
2. Good IT skills                                                     Essential    CV/R
3. Good interpersonal skills                                          Desirable    CV/IV/R
4. Good oral communication skills                                     Essential    CV/IV/R
5. Good written communication skills                                  Essential    CV/IV/R
6. Good analytical skills                                             Essential    CV/R
7. Experience within a finance related office environment             Desirable    CV/R
8. Experience of managing staff                                       Desirable    CV/IV/R
9. Experience in undertaking financial appraisals/analysis            Desirable    CV/IV/R
Personal Qualities
1. The ability to adapt to change, tackle new developments and        Essential    IV
    have flexible approach to work
2. The ability to work within a team with the minimum of              Essential    CV/IV
3. Ability to work well with colleagues from a range of               Desirable    CV/IV/R
    disciplines including working in partnership with a variety of
4. Able to deal with conflicting priorities and meet tight            Desirable    CV/IV
How To Evidence Skills
 Look at the skills listed on the Skills Audit
 Do you think you have some, most or all of these
 Think about ALL areas of your life; activities,
  achievements, experience, not just academic
 Think about how you can evidence the skills you
 Develop a „Soundbyte‟ of your evidence for it.
 A short sentence or two explaining your evidence
 Use only positive language. Be concise!!!

 Example: Team Work Skills
  My part time role as a waitress has helped to
  develop my team working skills. When we have
  been busy or short staffed, I‟ve contributed to the
  team by carrying out additional roles to ensure a
  smooth service to customers.

S – Situation
T – Task
A – Action
R – Result
Typical Application
Form Questions
 Give an example of a time when you
  have gone that extra mile.
 Why have you decided to apply to…

 What is your biggest achievement to date?

 Name a Scottish firm you are interested in and what
  service would you provide them with?

 Where do you see the future of…

 Give details of a time when you have successfully
  worked as part of a team, what role did you play and
  what did you achieve?
What Not to Write!
 I am someone who knows my own destiny, but I have no
  definite long term plans
 On an application for an accountancy position - I was
  closely involved in every aspect of my former company,
  right up to its bankruptcy
 Here are my qualifications for you to overlook
 Suspected to graduate early next year
 If called to interview I would like to discuss the salary,
  pensions and sickness benefits
 From a student member of a sky diving club - dealing
  with fear and being able to follow orders under terrifying
 Keep Answers CONCISE
 Ensure you Answer the Question
 Use STAR
 Check your Spelling
 Don‟t Copy and Paste in other Employer
 Get Someone to Look Over it
 Don‟t Leave it till the Day Before the
  Closing Date
What is a CV?
 Literally means a “Record of Life”
 Your personal marketing tool.
 Shows the recruiter that your skills and
  attributes meets their requirements.
 Must be focused on and targeted to each
10 Deadly CV Sins
    Poor spelling and grammar (77%)
    Exaggerating or lying (34%)
    Poor presentation of CV (31%)
    Non-targeted CV/Covering Letter (19%)
    No relevant work experience listed (19%)
    No Covering Letter with CV (14%)
    Hand written CV or application (11%)
    No evidence of extra-curricular activities (10%)
    Incorrect/incomplete details for referees (10%)
    Statements in CV not supported by evidence
Source: Univ. of Hertfordshire Survey of 500+ employers
Golden Rules For
Finance CVs

   Ensure it is achievements/evidence focused.
   Use lots of action verbs.
   Make sure you quantifying everything you claim!
   Focus the CV to the job/sector.
   Ensure it is short; maximum 2 pages of typed A4.
   Avoid long paragraphs; use bullet points.
   Be consistent in your style.
   Include only RELEVANT information.
   Don‟t use Abbreviations.
   Avoid gimmicks.
   Include a Covering Letter
Different Types of

2 Styles of CV
 • Chronological CV
 • Skills Based or Functional CV
Chronological CV

   Lists by date - most recent first
   Easy to organise - uses bullet points
   Shows progression
   Maybe not suitable for those who have
    changed jobs frequently or those who have
    gaps in history
Chronological CV Example
                                                                                            1993 – 2000                          Stockport High School
                                   SABINA MAYAT                                             June 2000                            A-levels: History (B), Mathematics (B), Geography
                           Email:                                       (D)
                                                                                            June 1998                            GCSEs: 8 subjects, grades A-C
 Term Address:                         Home Address: (from 10/6/03)                                                              including Mathematics (A), French (A)
 483 Mile Post Lane                    63 Smithsonian Street
 London E4 6DZ                         Stockport SK3 2DJ                                    WORK EXPERIENCE
 Tel: 020 8862 3580                    Tel: 0161 963 4420                                   October 2001 – Present               Glebe College Students’ Union,
 Mobile: 07957 232148                                                                       Position:                            Team Member (shop) 8 hours per week
                                                                                                                                 Work under pressure to a high level of accuracy,
                                                                                                                                 while maintaining good customer relations.
 CAREER OBJECTIVE                        An enthusiastic individual with an interest        Summer 2001                          Direct Northern, Manchester
                                                              in moving into                                                     Underwriting Assistant
        management training                                                        which                                         Strengthened spoken and written communication
        will allow further development of                                                                      skills            for business.
                      my leadership and communication skills.                                                                    Dealt efficiently with the public and improved IT
                                          Committed to working in a fast moving                                skills.
                                          environment, which will provide challenges.       Summer 2000                          Tesco, Stockport
 EDUCATION                                                                                                                       Sales Assistant/Accounts Assistant
 2000 - 2003                             Glebe College, University of London                                                     Handled large sums of money.
                                         BA Modern & Contemporary History                                                        Adapted to different roles at short notice.
                                         Due to be awarded June 2006                        ADDITIONAL SKILLS                    Word processing and spreadsheets used ongoing in
                                         Expected result: 2:1                                                                    course work
 2002 – 2003                                                                                Computing                            and during work experience. Gained ECDL (European
 Final year - Main Courses               World War II Campaigns and Leaders                 Computer                             Driving Licence).
                                         ‘‘Italian Cities since 1950’s’                     Languages                            Have maintained French since GCSE through annual
 2001 – 2002                                                                                                                     grape-picking visit there and attended
                                                                                                                                 Spanish classes since last year.
 2nd year - Main Courses                 ‘The Rise of Fascism in the 1930’s’.               Driving Licence                      Full clean UK Licence
                                         ‘France – Political Parties in the 5th Republic’
                                         Overall result: 2:1
                                                                                            INTERESTS & ACHIEVEMENTS
 2000 – 2001                                                                                Music                                 Piano: Grade 7; enthusiastic member of several
 1st year - Main Courses                  ‘Ireland and Britain since 1920’,                 informal                             groups. Successful time management to combine
                                         ‘The Role of the Left in 20th Century European     music                                with study
                                         Politics’. Overall result: 2:2                                                          and part-time employment.
                                                                                            History Society                      Elected Membership Officer (2000)
 Major Project
                                                                                                                                 Contributed to 20% rise in membership over
 (2nd year)                              Independent project: ‘Churchill and Atlee - the                       previous          year
                                         1945 election campaign’. This involved:                                                 Jointly managed a budget of £1,200 and negotiated
                                         - co-ordination of research across several                                              sponsorship from the local newspaper.
                                         libraries and the Public Record Office;
                                         - development of project management skills
                                                                                            Dr Jane Macintyre, Lecturer in       Ms Barbara Smithson
                                         and interviewing of leading academic experts;      Modern History (Tutor)               Assistant Personnel Manager
                                         - undertaking quantitative and qualitative         Glebe College, 283 Mile Post Lane,   Tesco Stores Plc,
                                         analysis of complex statistical information –      London E4 6SZ Tel: 020 8332 9816     4 Arden Walk
                                         voting patterns, etc.                              Fax: 020 8332 9900                   Stockport SK1 1PT
                                                                                            Email:       Tel: 0161 910 9500
Skills Based /
Functional CV
 Highlights your skills and achievements -
  rather than work/education history
 Shows you have considered recruiters
  needs - and how you might meet them
 More difficult to organise
 Needs to convey what is relevant concisely
Skills Based CV - Example
                                                                                                       EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS:
                                          EMMA BURTON                                                  2000 - 2003
                                   Email:                                         University of North Birmingham BA (Hons) Combined Arts in English and
                                          D.O.B: 12.01.80
                                                                                                                                      German (2.2 expected).
25, Vicarage Close                                                   23, Pershore Road
Rotherham                                                            Edgbaston
South Yorkshire                                                      Birmingham                        (2001 – 2003 SOCRATES programme)
Tel: 01709 333333                                                    Tel: 0121 444444
(Home Address)                                                       (Term Address)                    1995 - 2000
                                                                                                       Allinton Comprehensive                  3 A-levels - English (B), History (C),
PERSONAL PROFILE:                                                                                                                              German (C). 8 GCSEs.
A keen individual seeking a career in International marketing or Market research. Possessing
excellent verbal and written communication skills and the ability to relate to a wide range of
                                                                                                       WORK EXPERIENCE:
people. I am capable of achieving personal objectives as demonstrated by successful completion
of my degree and my commitment to work experience activities. I have displayed ambition and            2002 - 2003
goal orientated performance within my studies at university.                                           Aquasports Ltd. Rotherham               Shop assistant and acting shop manager
SKILLS AND ACHIEVEMENTS:                                                                                                                       summer vacations.
Communication                                                                                          July-Sept 2000
      Good communication skills gained from giving presentation at seminars. Issuing clear and        Camp America                             Camp counsellor to 11-19 year-olds during
       concise instructions to suppliers, chairing meetings and dealing with customers tactfully and
       diplomatically.                                                                                                                         summer vacation.
      Advising and instructing customers at Aquasports and counselling teenagers at summer
       camp.                                                                                           REFEREES
      Working on team projects during my course has involved different roles, which have              Dr. Jane Smith, Lecturer in English, University of North Birmingham
       developed negotiation and persuasion skills.                                                    Ms. Anne Jones, General Manager, Aquasports Ltd. Rotherham
Team Work
      Successful course work was dependent upon participation and motivation of syndicated
       project groups.
      Experience of working within a team-based culture involved planning, organisation,
       coordination and commitment.
Problem Solving
      Development of strong analytic and diagnostic skills as part of degree course.
      Running the office at Aquasports Ltd. taught me to find solutions to customer problems in a
       calm and efficient manner.
      Fluent German developed through one year‟s study at T.U. Berlin
       Good working knowledge of several word processing packages including Microsoft Word,
       Excel spreadsheets and the Internet.
CVs Should

   Biographical Information
   Personal Profile/Career Objective
   Education
   Work Experience
   Responsibilities, Achievements, Interests
   Additional Skills
   References

 Name
 Contact Details

•   Date of Birth
•   Nationality
•   Gender
•   Marital Status
•   N.I Number
 Career Aim
 Optional
 Focuses CV
 A succinct statement of your goal/direction and
  your most marketable skills
CV Aim: Graduate Trainee Retail Management
• Good understanding of sales and marketing, gained through 4 years
part-time work at the Carphone Warehouse, as well as final year
project on marketing and consumer behaviour
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, as demonstrated
role as Secretary of University Debating society.
• Commercial awareness, appreciation of customer care and
understanding of retail purchasing demonstrated in additional
responsibilities at the Carphone Warehouse. Have developed a keen
awareness of business environments through my final year project

 Reverse Chronological Order
 Concentrate on Higher Education
  • Allocation of space denotes importance

 Give details of RELEVANT aspects, e.g.
  modules, dissertation etc
Work Experience

 Reverse Chronological
 „Relevant‟ and „Additional‟
 Detail skills used and highlight relevance
  to job applied for
 Use „I‟ not „We‟
Interests &

 Space to list skills not already listed
  elsewhere, e.g. personal characteristics
 Can include: positions of responsibility,
  awards & scholarships gained, leisure
 Keep it brief and RELEVANT
 Be specific – dates etc
Additional Skills

 Do not include if repetitive
 Mention Languages, IT Skills and Driving

 Ensure it is Brief & Factual

 At Least Two

 1 Academic, 1 Employer

 Ask permission & keep informed
Covering Letters
Purpose                            Essentials
 Link your CV to the              Keep it brief – max. 1
  particular job                    side of A4
 Introduce your CV                Well presented, typed
 Direct your letter to the         document
  correct application and          Check thoroughly for
  person                            spelling and grammar
 Highlight your strengths and     Use Your sincerely
  Unique Selling Points             and Yours Faithfully
 Mention administrative            appropriately
  points, e.g. availability for    Address to a named
  interview                         person where possible
                                               Include all addresses, i.e.
  Covering Letters                             if you will be moving
                                               home after a certain date.

Write to a specific person
- name, job title, etc.
                                                         Your Address
If not possible, specify
title/ depart                Employer’s Name                     date
                             & Address                                       A Heading - such as
                                                                             Marketing Assistant
 Dear Mr. Mrs, Miss or       Dear…………….                                      Vacancy - can show
 Ms (if unsure)
                                                                             the reader instantly
                                          Heading (if appropriate)           what the letter is
                                                Main Text:                   about
 Dear Sir/Madam                          1. Why you are writing
                                       2. Why Organisation/role?
 The ending depends          3. What you can offer the employer - give evidence
 on how                        4. Administrative information. End Positively
 you began -
 Dear Mr….Yours              Yours………..
 Dear Sir…..Yours                           It is a good idea to type your name legibly
 faithfully                                 beneath your signature
                             Your Name
Covering Letters

 Why you are writing:
   - to apply for a CA training position with
   Henderson Loggie
 Where you saw it advertised
   - as advertised on the ICAS training
Covering Letters
      Why the Organisation/Role?
 Target the application.
 Why are you applying to the organisation?
   - What impresses you about the organisation?
   - Their reputation? Their clients? Type of work?
 Why do you want this post?
   - Does it match your interests, skills & experiences?
Covering Letters
                 Why You

 Highlight the best bits of your CV – the
  parts you really want the selectors to read
 3 or 4 of your best skills, experiences and
 Remember to match to the job
Covering Letter

 Be positive & confident
 Offer to supply further details or invite
  contact with referees
 Show eagerness: „I look forward to
  meeting with you to discuss my application
Thank you

        Any Questions?

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