and Covering Letters
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
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
Apply asap – even if the closing date is in
Internships – fierce competition, a good
way to secure grad job, will close before
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Include a Covering Letter
Different Types of
2 Styles of CV
• Chronological CV
• Skills Based or Functional CV
Lists by date - most recent first
Easy to organise - uses bullet points
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: email@example.com (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)
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: I.firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0161 910 9500
Skills Based /
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: email@example.com University of North Birmingham BA (Hons) Combined Arts in English and
German (2.2 expected).
25, Vicarage Close 23, Pershore Road
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
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
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
Successful course work was dependent upon participation and motivation of syndicated
Experience of working within a team-based culture involved planning, organisation,
coordination and commitment.
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.
Personal Profile/Career Objective
Responsibilities, Achievements, Interests
• Date of Birth
• Marital Status
• N.I Number
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
„Relevant‟ and „Additional‟
Detail skills used and highlight relevance
to job applied for
Use „I‟ not „We‟
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
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
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.
If not possible, specify
title/ depart Employer’s Name date
& Address A Heading - such as
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
Why you are writing:
- to apply for a CA training position with
Where you saw it advertised
- as advertised on the ICAS training
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?
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
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