Careers Service presentation - Effective CVs


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Careers Service presentation - Effective CVs

  1. 1. Writing CVs David Henderson Careers Adviser [email_address]
  2. 2. Content <ul><li>Preparation & conventions </li></ul><ul><li>Basics of a CV – Layout </li></ul><ul><li>Types of CV </li></ul><ul><li>Impact </li></ul><ul><li>Covering letters </li></ul><ul><li>Support from Careers Advisory Service </li></ul>
  3. 3. Preparation <ul><li>No such thing as the perfect CV…and one CV does not fit all! </li></ul><ul><li>CV must provide a strong reflection of you (qualifications, experiences, skills & qualities) but must also reflect employers’ needs. </li></ul><ul><li>It must interest and meet needs of employer (1 st page impact) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Preparation <ul><ul><ul><li>Focusing the content: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>what skills/abilities are needed for this kind of work </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>what experience is required </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>additional requirements (e.g. specific qualifications, driving licence etc) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reference to resources in careers room, employer websites and </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Preparation <ul><li>Relating the job/opportunity to you: </li></ul><ul><li>Evidencing the required skills and competencies </li></ul><ul><li>- Relevant experience </li></ul><ul><li>- Other experiences (employment, </li></ul><ul><li>volunteering, positions of responsibility etc) </li></ul><ul><li>- Academic achievements </li></ul>
  6. 6. Conventions <ul><li>Which country? </li></ul><ul><li>A UK CV is very different to a </li></ul><ul><li>German CV – ‘Global Resume Guide’ </li></ul><ul><li>How long? </li></ul><ul><li>1,2,3 or more? </li></ul><ul><li>National legislation </li></ul><ul><li>Age, Marital status, Gender, Nationality </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>The basic contents of a CV… </li></ul>
  8. 8. Basics of a CV – Contact Details <ul><li>Name – can be used as a heading </li></ul><ul><li>Nationality? </li></ul><ul><li>Address – term and home address? </li></ul><ul><li>Profile? </li></ul><ul><li>Telephone (Mobile & Landline) </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail address – not too quirky! </li></ul><ul><li>Compact, clear font e.g. Arial, Verdana </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>David Henderson </li></ul><ul><li>49 New Elvet, Durham, DH1 3PF </li></ul><ul><li>Home: 0191 334 1432 Mobile: 0795553350 </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Profile (Goal, Summary) </li></ul><ul><li>Psychology graduate with highly developed analytical skills </li></ul><ul><li>and commercial experience seeking employment in market </li></ul><ul><li>research. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Basics of a CV - Education <ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Most recent/current programme of study – degree/postgraduate </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some employers may ask for 1st or 2nd yr results </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Predicted grade? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Additional degree related information – particularly if relevant to job/organisation (e.g. modules/projects/dissertation) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Skills developed via study (presentation, analysis, research, technical etc) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A2/AS subjects (or equivalent) and grades </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>summarise GCSE results e.g. 10 GCSEs - grades A-B (including English, Mathematics and Science) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>International qualifications – present them as they are (do not attempt to equate with UK qualifications) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reference to institution and dates attended </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some people separate education from qualifications – pertinent if you have attended numerous institutions </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>King Charles College, University of London 2002-2005 </li></ul><ul><li>BSc (Hons) Biology 2.1 expected </li></ul><ul><li>Modules included: Cellular & Molecular Biology; Microbiology; Molecular Virology, </li></ul><ul><li>Genetic Systems and Human Genetics </li></ul><ul><li>Final Year Project: Assessing expression of cancer genes in tumour cells </li></ul><ul><li>Cultured human tumour cell lines in sterile conditions over several weeks </li></ul><ul><li>Assessed ideal conditions for extraction of protein from cell lines </li></ul><ul><li>Separated proteins by gel electrophoresis and assessed levels of cancer genes present by immunological methods. </li></ul><ul><li>Analysed results, wrote 6,000 word report and presented conclusions in a seminar to 20 members of the department and 23 fellow students </li></ul><ul><li>Stockport Comprehensive 1995-2002 </li></ul><ul><li>A-Levels Geography B, Mathematics B, History C 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>GCSE’s 8, including Maths A, English B, French C 2000 </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>King Charles College, University of London 2002-2005 </li></ul><ul><li>BA Geography 2.1 expected </li></ul><ul><li>Options include -Regional Economic Development in the UK </li></ul><ul><li>-Economic and Social Development in the Third World </li></ul><ul><li>-The effect of IT on post industrial Economies </li></ul><ul><li>-Research techniques and project management skills </li></ul><ul><li>Major Project Attitudes of London East End residents to influx of business </li></ul><ul><li>-Compiled comprehensive questionnaire </li></ul><ul><li>-Analysed around 200 responses using computing and statistical techniques </li></ul><ul><li>-Wrote a 40-page report </li></ul><ul><li>-Helped integrate the results into a larger research project </li></ul><ul><li>Stockport Comprehensive 1995-2002 </li></ul><ul><li>A-Levels Geography B, Mathematics B, History C 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>GCSE’s 8, including Maths A, English B, French C 2000 </li></ul>
  13. 13. Basics of a CV – Relevant Information <ul><li>Work Experience </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>vacation work </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>placements </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>full-time work </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>voluntary work </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Most recent first. Information to include dates, job title, employer, duties and responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity to highlight achievements and contribution </li></ul><ul><li>Organise work experience according to relevance e.g. legal, teaching, retail etc </li></ul><ul><li>Group similar items – useful if you have done lots of similar jobs! </li></ul><ul><li>Focus your experiences to the key requirements of job </li></ul><ul><li>Recent experience…week spent with an employer while at school not necessarily relevant </li></ul>
  14. 14. Administrative Assistant Durham County Council (June – September 09) Responsibilities : Broad range of clerical duties within town planning department, including organizing meetings, taking minutes, word processing documents and handling public telephone enquiries. Achievements: Directly responsible for planning a public meeting in respect of a significant city centre development. Arranged venue and public speakers, liaised with local media and promoted event to local communities.
  15. 15. <ul><li>Policy research experience </li></ul><ul><li>April 07-July 08 Constituency Administrator, </li></ul><ul><li>Sir Peter Soulsby MP for Leicester South </li></ul><ul><li>Duties included: undertaking constituents’ casework, responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>for the office reception and telephone callers, supporting the </li></ul><ul><li>Communications Manager by monitoring and recording media </li></ul><ul><li>coverage, assisting with the organisation and running of meetings </li></ul><ul><li>and constituency events, providing some research support for the </li></ul><ul><li>preparation of briefings and letters. </li></ul><ul><li>Other experience </li></ul><ul><li>June 09 – September 09 Retail Assistant, Tesco </li></ul><ul><li>Duties included: providing high level customer service (checkout </li></ul><ul><li>duties, shop floor customer care), stock room management, staff </li></ul><ul><li>training (customer service) </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>MICROBIOLOGIST : Health Protection Agency - Year in Industry </li></ul><ul><li>  July-July 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>  Responsibilities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Analysed survival rates of range of micro-organisms in varying environmental conditions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grew pure cultures of bacterial strains </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Produced statistical analyses of results using SPSS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trained my replacement in use of equipment at the end of my contract </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Achievements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developed excellent aseptic technique through careful handling of bacterial cultures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developed effective project management skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Received excellent feedback for end of year report and oral presentation </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Basics of a CV – Relevant Information <ul><li>Positions of Responsibility/Extra-curricular Activities </li></ul><ul><li>Clubs/societies/committees </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasise nature of responsibility/level of involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Skills/Additional Qualifications </li></ul><ul><li>Skills based courses e.g. Insight into Management/Routes to Success </li></ul><ul><li>Key element of a skills based CV – alternative to an extensive work experience section </li></ul><ul><li>Chronological CV – IT, language, relevant technical skills (e.g. SPSS, C++) </li></ul><ul><li>Skills referred to should reflect those required in the position applied for </li></ul><ul><li>Interests and Activities </li></ul><ul><li>Offers employer a more personal picture of you but also opportunity to highlight personal qualities and skills (e.g. working with others) </li></ul><ul><li>Context important – how often? level of attainment? achievements? </li></ul><ul><li>References (do not have to be included in a CV!) </li></ul><ul><li>Ideally one academic and one other – employer, personal (e.g. college tutor) </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t forget to ask permission! </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Positions of Responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Social Secretary – Collingwood Football </li></ul><ul><li>Initiated contact with local employers regarding team sponsorship. Following a number of presentations secured year long funding with two companies. </li></ul><ul><li>Organized two week tour of USA. Responsible for itinerary and all communication with opposing teams. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Structure of a CV… </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Helpful to break the CV up into a series of key headings and sub-headings </li></ul><ul><li>Effective means of grouping and reinforcing key information about yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Effective use of headings can help to target your CV to the employer/role </li></ul><ul><li>Does not matter what the headings are but must logically reflect what you have done and achieved; must also enhance structure of CV and improve ‘ scanability ’ </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>Education Achievements </li></ul><ul><li>Internships </li></ul><ul><li>Administrative experience </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteering </li></ul><ul><li>Extra-curricular activities </li></ul><ul><li>Key Skills Relevant experience </li></ul><ul><li>Positions of responsibility Interests </li></ul><ul><li>Financial sector experience </li></ul><ul><li>Other experience Employment Commercial experience </li></ul><ul><li>Gap year Awards </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Styles of CV... </li></ul>
  23. 23. The traditional CV (Chronological) <ul><ul><ul><li>presents information in order - chronological or reverse chronological order </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>keeps to standard headings (education, work experience, achievements, volunteering etc) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Easy to organize and demonstrates your progress </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>does not focus closely on a specific type of work </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunities to customise and focus CV </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Useful format if you have relevant work experience (e.g. internships) or have demonstrated career progression </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Skills-based CV <ul><li>Demonstrating evidence of your relevant skills </li></ul><ul><li>Skills headings e.g. teamwork, communication, decision making, problem solving etc </li></ul><ul><li>Brief work experience descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to organize but demonstrates that you have considered needs of employer </li></ul><ul><li>Useful if you have had lots of different experiences or if you have limited vocational experience but have done other things e.g. voluntary/society activities </li></ul>
  25. 25. Targeted CV <ul><ul><ul><li>may start with a career objective </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>is more highly focused – responsive to the needs of employer/role </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>highlights relevant skills, experience and achievements in both education and employment (giving evidence) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>may include a list of key achievements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>useful for individuals with a broad range of relevant experiences…as relevant for undergraduates? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hybrid CVs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Elements of traditional and skills based CVs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Alternative CVs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Creative careers (advertising, media, design etc) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Academic CV <ul><li>More emphasis on undergraduate/postgraduate study </li></ul><ul><li>Research interests/areas of expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Research/teaching or other relevant work experience </li></ul><ul><li>Professional membership </li></ul><ul><li>Publications </li></ul><ul><li>Conferences & courses </li></ul><ul><li>Not restricted to 2 page rule! </li></ul>
  27. 27. Impact <ul><ul><ul><li>First impressions – logical structure, easy to pick out key elements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Effective use of space – devote more space to key selling points, use key areas of CV to maximum effect (halfway down 1st page, top of 2nd page) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fill in the gaps – nothing left to the imagination! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keep it to a maximum of two sides of A4 – avoid leaving any blank spaces </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tailor it to the employer/profession and/or type of work - use different versions if necessary. Law CV likely to be more traditional than one for the media. Emphasise aspects of your work experience that are most relevant to the individual employer. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Impact <ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid long sentences and large blocks of type </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use colour/shading sparingly; consistent font, layout </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Positive language – action verbs e.g. negotiated, demonstrated, evaluated </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Positive outcomes – achievements, awards, successes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Be careful when using abbreviations and technical jargon </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Add an effective covering letter supporting the evidence presented in your CV </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Put yourself in the position of an employer who has looked at lots of CVs…is it well presented and easy to read? Are your main selling points transparent? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Covering Letters <ul><li>Your CV should link you to the area of work… </li></ul><ul><li>the ‘Covering Letter’ should link you to this particular opportunity </li></ul>
  30. 30. Covering Letters <ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure it reaches the right person </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- Contact company </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>address it appropriately </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dear Mr/Mrs………Yours sincerely </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dear Sir/Madam……….Yours faithfully </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>state position that you are applying for and where you saw it advertised (make it clear what the purpose of the letter is at the beginning) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Covering Letters <ul><ul><ul><li>take great care with spelling, punctuation, layout; if writing multiple covering letters ensure that you refer to the appropriate employer! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>evidence to support career and employer choice – demonstrate that you are making informed choice (opportunity to show employer that you have done your research) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>draw attention to your strengths, qualities & relevant skills/experience </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>be concise and relevant </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>only refer to weaknesses in you’re application if it is essential </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>conclude on a very positive note </li></ul></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Covering Letters <ul><li>Simple structure: </li></ul><ul><li>Why this job? </li></ul><ul><li>- appreciation of role </li></ul><ul><li>Why this employer? </li></ul><ul><li>- demonstration of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Why you? </li></ul><ul><li>- emphasise your relevant skills/complement information on CV </li></ul>
  33. 33. Careers Advisory Service <ul><li>Support </li></ul><ul><li>CV and Application form clinics </li></ul><ul><li>(pre-booked 30 min appointments) </li></ul><ul><li>If you have an immediate deadline use 20 minute ‘Quick Query’ service </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul><ul><li>CVs for Graduates, Gerald Higginbottom (How to Books) </li></ul><ul><li>Preparing your own CV, Rebecca Corfield (Kogan Page) </li></ul><ul><li>Making Applications, AGCAS booklet </li></ul><ul><li>The Perfect CV, Tom Jackson (Piatkus) </li></ul><ul><li>Brilliant CV, Jim Bright & Joanne Earl (Prentice Hall Business) </li></ul><ul><li>The Global Resume, Mary Anne Thompson (John Wiley & Sons) </li></ul><ul><li>Careers Folders </li></ul><ul><li>Career planning and job applications (2 – CVs & Covering Letters) </li></ul><ul><li>Websites </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> (useful examples of academic CVs for PhD students) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>,161405,en.pdf </li></ul>
  34. 34. Writing CVs and Cover Letters <ul><li>Any Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you! </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>