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Successful CVs and covering letters - bite sized career talks 2017

  1. Bite-sized Career Talks | 2017 Successful CVs and Covering Letters Louise Bamford Careers Consultant
  2. What will be covered…  What makes a good CV  Why the Covering Letter is key .….For the UK
  3. CV facts and figures For how long do employers look at CVs? 5 – 7 seconds How many spelling mistakes are acceptable? A big fat zero Rejection rate if you have a photo on a UK CV? 88% Source: BeHiring 2012
  4. What is a CV?  Curriculum vitae – course of your life  A personal marketing document about YOU  First impressions count!  Celebrate your individuality and be yourself
  5. What makes a good CV?  Keep it succinct – why use 20 words when 5 will do?  Target – one size rarely fits all  Keep it relevant – what does each employer want?  Back it up – list achievements not duties!  Separate sections and bullet points for readability  Axe what is not essential!
  6. What employers look for?
  7. Evidence  Identify what each employer wants  Demonstrate how you meet the criteria  Provide specific evidence of your skills and experience using the CAR method Context – where were you? What did you have to do? Action – what action did you take? Be explicit about your role Result - what was the outcome and why?
  8. Evidence Based Skills Language Inactive Style • My duties included serving customers at the bar • I handled cash and kept the area tidy. I had to work under pressure and work well in a team Active Style • Initiated and implemented an idea for a new student happy hour promotion resulting in 10% increase in sales • Supervised 3 staff members – communicating individual responsibilities, whilst encouraging team collaboration so department targets were consistently met
  9. Getting the format right Chronological CV Skills-based CV Starts with your most recent job / education and works backwards Advantages  Emphasises continuity and progression over time  Easy to follow  Good if you have worked for well known companies Disadvantages  Difficult if your career is patchy  Harder if changing careers  Not so good if you have limited relevant experience Presents your main skill areas Advantages  Strong emphasis on skills  Jobs and work history are more secondary  Overcomes the difficulty of not having a lot of experience  Flexible Disadvantages  Difficult if you want to emphasise continuity  Might lose the impact of any prestigious companies you have
  10. Sample CVs  Chronological CV  Skills-based CV
  11. CV language  Every word counts!  Use positive, powerful and simple language  Action words  Sell not tell!  Check and double check grammar and spelling  DO NOT USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS FOR ANYTHING
  12. Creative CVs – if appropriate
  13. CV checklist How does yours shape up?
  14. Covering letter / email essentials…  Keep it business-like  Write to a named person or Dear Sir/Madam  Watch spelling and grammar - do not use abbreviations, email or text language  Include credible explanations for weak points (if needed)  Sign off correctly – ‘yours sincerely’ for a named person or ‘yours faithfully’ for Sir/Madam, or Regards for an email
  15.  Reference / subject line  Paragraph 1 – Why are you writing  Paragraph 2 – What are you offering the employer (key points)  Paragraph 3 – What attracts you to the job role and company  Paragraph 4 – End on a positive note Get the content right….
  16.  Show you know what is involved in the role and what the company does.  Link this to things you have done and enjoyed.  Make it personal to you (vs other applicants) …..Why do you want to work in this role and for this company?
  17. CV Help from Career Development Centre Online information and advice on  CVs, Covering letters and application forms Face-to-face advice and guidance  20 minute quick query session  45 minute in-depth individual guidance or mock interview session …….And Mondays 11 – 1pm here at Marylebone!
  18. Our new online content management system to engage with you and your future career
  19. What is it? An online secure hub where students can:  Access Career Development Centre services and resources  book appointments  book careers events  view vacancies  find work placements  view employers  view careers information  download resources  complete online forms  ask a question
  20. Download slides from Slideshare Evaluation How did we do?
  21. Summary  Follow the instructions  Target every application (country, sector, company, role)  Choose a style and language to market you effectively  Use evidence to persuade  Quality Vs quantity!
  22. Career Development Centre Services 1-to-1 Guidance E-Advice Vacancies & Events Information Resources Volunteering Talent Bank Mentoring

Notas del editor

  1. The Letters CV Let’s start with the letters CV. CV is shorthand for Curriculum Vitae, a Latin phrase meaning “the course of your life”. Americans refer to a CV as a resume, a French word for summary. The average reader will spend between 10-20 seconds on the first reading of your CV – first impressions count! Your CV and covering letter could make or break your chance to get your dream job. You may be a wonderful candidate, but something as minor as a spelling mistake or forgetting to put the date on your employment history could result in your application finding its way to the nearest bin! To give yourself the best chance, your CV and covering letter need to be not only perfect, but carefully targeted too.
  2. What makes a good CV? Writing a CV is time-consuming, but worth the effort Prepare for your quest Keep it succinct – why use 20 words when 5 will do? Use positive, powerful and simple language. Target – one size rarely fits all. A CV template is a great place to start, but to really stand out TAILOR your CV to each job you apply for. Keep it relevant – think about your CV from the point of view of the person responsible for hiring – what do they want to see? Look carefully at the job advert, company website, careers information research Back it up – list achievements not duties. Don’t just copy out your last job description. Show what an impact you had instead, by using evidence based examples. Provide evidence of your skills and experience using the CAR method Context – where were you? What did you have to do? Action – what action did you take? Be explicit about your role Result – what was the outcome and why? Would there be anything you would do differently next time?
  3. For example for a bar job you could describe the responsibilities that you completed using an inactive style. But more convincing would be to use skills language to show what you actually did and the impact it had on the organisation.
  4. Getting the format right There’s more than one way to present yourself! But how you present your CV to prospective employers is largely determined by the type of job seeker that you are. There are two main CV formats: Chronological CV – as the name suggests, the chronological CV starts with your most recent job and then works backwards (reverse chronological order). Skills based or Functional CV – presents your main skill areas Each format helps to anchor your career history within the context of your suitability to the position you are applying for.
  5. CV Content - The content of your CV will ultimately determine whether you get invited to interview or not. You do not have to write Curriculum Vitae at the top of your CV Name and contact details – full name, postal address, telephone/mobile number, email, driving licence (optional) Personal statement/Profile (optional) – A personal statement is a key piece of information that will help to focus the rest of your CV. It is essentially your sales pitch. If you include one it should be 2-3 lines, summarising your main selling points: Who you are, what you have done, what you hope to do. Education – list in reverse chronological order - your most recent qualification first. Include: date (month and year), subject, grade and institution. Briefly include A’Level subjects/grades and GCSEs or equivalent. Work and/or Voluntary Experience – This is the main part of any CV. An employer wants to know: What you have done, how long you have done it, what have you achieved and what skills you have developed. For each job list – dates (in months and years), job title, employers name and location if appropriate, key responsibilities (keep it brief), your achievements in the job. Interests – this is your chance to show that you are a rounded individual. You want a balanced list of interests ie some sporting, something cerebral – ie showing your grey matter. Don’t be tempted to include something that you know little about in the hope of seeming more interesting. References – it is common practice to put “available on request”. However, if requested to provide a reference it is courteous to ask permission from your referee. Choose one academic and the second a current or previous employer. Do not use family and friends.
  6. CV Language Every word counts! Finding the right words is often one of the hardest parts of writing a CV Use active words to describe your skills, experience and achievements. Active words allow you to concentrate on the results you have achieved and present them in a focused and upbeat way. Sell not tell! – Be positive and focus on your achievements. Don’t be modest about your strengths. Take your time to put your CV together, and be prepared to make plenty of rough drafts!
  7. Engage Our new online content management system so we can engage with you and your future career.
  8. Engage – What is it? An online secure hub where students can: Access Career Development Centre services and resources book appointments book careers events view vacancies find work placements view employers view careers information download resources complete online forms ask a question
  9. Slideshare - Slides will be available to download from Slideshare Evaluation – it would be really helpful to have your feedback on what you thought of today’s session and to assist us in our planning for future sessions. Rating – 5 if you have had a good experience today and 1 if you have not!
  10. CDC Services at a glance The Career Development Centre offers a range of services which includes: One to One guidance – 20 minutes quick query (bookable from noon, the day before) & 45 minutes guidance appointments E-Advice / ask a question – now extended to all students Engage - Vacancies and Events Information Resources – Online - Abintegro (Engage Plus) & an extensive range of resources - reference and take away Volunteering – A fantastic way to gain valuable work experience – rolling programme Employer Events – Annual careers fair, skills academy, employer drop-ins etc Talent Bank – the University’s very own talent pool. Gives students the opportunity to get part-time or temporary work within the university. Associates in Schools – Voluntary placement scheme for students who are looking for a career in teaching. Approx 100 places and 3 intakes – Jun-Aug, Sep-Nov, Dec-Feb Mentoring – 2 programmes: CDC & National Mentoring Consortiums’ Undergraduate Ethnic Minority Scheme.