How To Write A Winning CV

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Talk delivered by Anna Swales to Geography Students about CV writing.

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How To Write A Winning CV

  1. 1. How to write a winning CV Anna Swales Careers Adviser
  2. 2. True or False• Use the same CV for each job application?• Always put your date of birth on a CV?• Do some research about the job before you apply?• To present an accurate and positive picture of yourself, to sell yourself!
  3. 3. Research - Tailor your application to the job, so a good starting pointmight be to think about…… Job & Company You• What do they do? • Do you have the right skills for the position?• What does the job involve? • How will you prove you• What skills are they looking have the skills? for?
  4. 4. They will score your application Research Assistant RoleCriteria King Saunders Wilkinson Fairs SinghProactive approachPresentation skillsResearch skillsOrganisationTime ManagementStatistical knowledgeScore
  5. 5. CV concepts• Order – More relevant = higher up• Space allocation – More relevant = more space• Spelt out with evidence – Waitress: served food, took orders, cleaned tables – Waitress: Discussed customer‟s requirements relating to food allergies to ensure accurate provision of meal and customer satisfaction
  6. 6. Simple CV Framework (part i)– no more than two sides of A4 for most roles John Smith 44a High Street, Surrey, AB1 2CD ● 01234 567891 ● john.smith@yahoo.co.uk Profile    A hard working Royal Holloway graduate capable of working alone or as part of a team. A natural leader with attention to detail, excellent time management and communication skills. Able to offer good customer service, negotiate and work under pressure.
  7. 7. More than a degree title *Show me don’t tell me*• Analysed results, wrote 6,000 word report and presented findings in a seminar to 20 members of the department and 23 fellow students.• Remember your degree gave you knowledge AND skills• “Just 30% of graduate jobs demand a specific degree discipline” (2008, Confederation of British Industry report)
  8. 8. so what are employers looking for?Drives Collaboration and Inclusion• enjoy sharing ideas and discussing issues, and value the input of other team members. Being able to build relationships is also crucial.Exercises Professional Judgement• analyse information and provide your solution clearly and confidentlyMakes an Impact• be able to communicate clearly, professionally and confidently, both verbally and in writing.
  9. 9. Skills from a Geography degree• Expertise in integrating, analysing and synthesising information from a range of sources• Project management - planning, execution and evaluation; involving skills such as time-management, risk-assessment & problem solving• Manipulating and presenting data• The complex „real-world‟ nature of geographical research requires geographers to be flexible and adaptable – they must have the confidence and initiative to be able to deal with the unexpected.
  10. 10. Simple CV Framework (part ii) 2009-present Royal Holloway, University of London BSc Geography (expected 2:1) Relevant modules: Atmosphere, Oceans and the Geosphere; Geographical Techniques and Biogeography, Ecology and Scales of Change •Collected and interpreted different types of geographical data when compiling a 5000 word literature review for my final year dissertation project •Accurately recorded information relating to samples gathered during fieldwork and created a database to allow storage and analysis of data
  11. 11. You are more than just a degree Hobbies & Studies Interests Paid work Societies Work Work experience shadowing Volunteering
  12. 12. Skills acquired from typical part-time work• Retail work• Teaching/Tutoring• Bar work
  13. 13. Simple CV framework (part iii) Human Resources Assistant June 2008 to August 2008 Retail is Us, London •Communicated with colleagues at all levels with confidence and diplomacy •Liaised with other team members to ensure cost-effective recruitment of the most talented candidates •Worked effectively and accurately to ensure vacancies were advertised and applications processed within the strict company deadlines• Make the sections work for you:- – want to have „Employment‟, „Voluntary work‟ or other headings? – Go ahead
  14. 14. Simple CV framework (part iv)• Language/IT skills/Additional skills – Still think “what‟s relevant” – Not necessarily what you‟re most proud of!
  15. 15. Simple CV framework (part v)• Interests There is not much point telling a recruiter you like to swim/play tennis etc, unless you can use it to demonstrate other qualities like dedication to achieving a goal. Bloomberg• „References available on request‟
  16. 16. Good CV language• Achieved • Implemented• Analysed • Led• Built • Managed• Communicated • Motivated• Collaborated • Negotiated• Composed • Participated• Coordinated • Researched• Established • Responsible• Experienced • Strengthened
  17. 17. CV Presentation• Can use bullet points, underline, bold• Most relevant information near the top• No smaller than Font size 11• Consistent format• Do you train otters or perhaps study physics and moths?
  18. 18. Your turn to be judge and jury• Look at the job description (next slide)• 30 seconds to read CV 1 – Are you going to interview him?• 30 seconds to read CV 2 – Are you going to interview him?• In pairs discuss which you think is the better CV and why?
  19. 19. Your turn to be judge and juryNational Centre for Applied Social ResearchPart-time Researcher• Experience of conducting qualitative research desirable• interpersonal skills including listening, the ability to empathise, persuasion and diplomacy skills• the ability to present clearly both orally and in writing• project management skills and the ability to work to deadlines• an interest in technology desirable but not essential
  20. 20. It’s a Package!• CV and Cover Letter• CV – Presents the facts• Cover Letter – draws in the links
  21. 21. Cover LettersBased on four paragraphs / 1 page:• Intro – Who you are• Why them? Why are you interested in the job and the company?• Why You? What skills and experience do you have to offer the company – Impress them!• End of letter - Please consider my application…
  22. 22. Careers Service HORTON BUILDING Ground Floor Opening Times: Monday to Friday 10am-5pm Tel: 01784 443 073 Quick Queries: 11am-12noon, 2-4pm Monday to Thursdaywww.rhul.ac.uk/careers www.careers.lon.ac.uk

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