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Topics we are covering today. Run through. Aware that you will have different aspirations so we will look at the differences there may be between an academic and non academic CV. Session is a presentation but I’m happy to clarify anything throughout and also will take questions at the end.
Unfortunately it isn’t the case that you can produce one CV and use it for every application that requires a CV. It must be targeted at the specific opportunity for which you are applying. Maybe will not require huge changes every time but just slight tweaking to emphasise different points or make more of particular experiences that may be relevant to the job – especially if you’re looking at academic and non academic roles then you will need to produce different documents. Similarly for p/t work during your PhD you will need a different style. Got to show an employer that you have what they are looking for. Must match your skills/ experiences to what the employer is looking for using their job description and person specification. Should be able to tick as much as possible off of both of them as you read through your CV and CL.Needs to create a positive first impression – look good and easy to read – this won’t get you the job but if it doesn’t look good, it’s difficult to pick out the key points and the employer has a hundred others to look at it is going to be discarded immediately. Must grab them not only with its content but also the presentation.Want to spell it out to them that you can do the job – don’t expect them to read between the lines and guess you have the skills / experience they are looking for . . you’ve got to tell them. Employers spend very little time looking at a CV on first read and if it’s not easy for them to see that you have what they’re looking for – or that you come close- then you’ll go straight into the rejected pile. What you want is to provide them with enough info to go onto the interview pile. A lot of people don’t like doing this but whilst you don’t need to use all the phrases from the job description you need to make it explicitly clear that you meet all the criteria.
The following should be included in your CV. The order is not set in stone and will vary depending on what you apply for. Similarly, each section also may not have the same amount of information or detail either. Make sure that you account for any gaps on a CV – most can usually be explained but if you leave them unaddressed then people may wonder. If you’ve had children, any gaps for medical or personal reasons or chosen to take a career break for other reasons then make sure you explain them. Many people have these and it’s not a reason to worry.
Fairly straightforward – make sure you include these details. However – nationality is not necessarily required but if you are an international applicant and require a visa then you may want to put this down – similarly, if you don’t require a visa then it’s worth mentioning. Date of birth – because of age legislation in the UK you don’t need to include this.Other things that you don’t necessarily need to include on your CV include your marital status, your gender or your health unless there are reasons why you want to disclose them.
Don’t use up a lot of space with your personal details and miss out anything that is not necessary to the employer.
Run through slide. Secondary education – by this stage you may not need to keep this on your CV unless you’ve been asked to specify these results. Make sure dates and institutions are clear, not just the qualifications and if you have any academic awards, prizes or scholarships then be sure to include them, especially for academic roles. Detail – we’ll come onto this later but depending on what you’re applying for you may only need the basic details.
Think about what’s relevant. If you are applying for a job where the content of your degrees directly relate to the role then you will want to go into details. Otherwise an overview of what you’ve been studying and researching will be sufficient – perhaps also mentioning any outside courses that would be of interest. When it comes to results – for academic work it goes without saying that this is important and you should include them, for other areas of work it may not be necessary although certain professions (for example law and consultancy) will also look for consistently strong academic performance. Teaching and learning methods – if these have been varied it can be worth mentioning, so aside from the standard points on research, critical thought etc you may want to mention presentations, group work required for projects, lectures,self-directed study, competitions, case studies. Especially if these are required parts of the role you are applying for. If your subject knowledge is not related to the work you are applying for, you’ll want to focus on the qualities that are transferable. problem solving, analysing information, written communication (essays and reports – different styles), oral communication, project management. Mention any research training you have had too. Mention if done Erasmus/year abroad/international exchange as part of your degree too – highlight it underneath the course where you completed it.
Rough idea on how you might present your education. There are different ways to present this information – this is lighter touch and it would be a good idea to include a subsequent section on research and expand on your experience there if you are applying for an academic or research based role. Otherwise this may be enough information on your educational background.There are examples of cvs on the vitae website – may already be using it but I have the link at the end of the presentation if not. Useful in terms of how to tailor your education and experience for different sectors and roles. They also have a lot of information on career development and what researchers go on to do.
Make sure dates, the role and the employer are clear. Chronological – it doesn’t necessarily need to be if your career has jumped around and you’ve tried different career paths. Try theming the experience instead for ease – so ‘Teaching Experience’ ‘Administration Experience’. Especially if you have direct experience of what you’re applying for. If appropriate you can also include vacation/part time and voluntary work but there are different ways you can do this. If you’ve held various jobs like this throughout your university career then they could take the form of a list if it’s not experience you need to discuss. For example you could put it in a date grouping, say from 2004 – 2007 various positions including.....and list a few to give a flavour of what you were doing. Remember to highlight what you learnt from your experience and what results you achieved in addition to giving an overview of your responsibilities. When you are pulling this information together it can help to write in short phrases/bullet points as large chunks of text are unlikely to be read so avoid those and break the information up.
Any other awards/exams/education you can add – some may sit better in an interests section if you have things like musical or sporting qualifications. Similarly if you have completed any evening classes, other short courses then those can be included.IT skills are worth mentioning – what you can use, any training or qualifications that you’ve had and the same goes for language – indicate the level of ability and any qualifications.If you’re a member of any professional bodies related to your discipline or profession then mention this – perhaps any activities or conferences you take part in through them too. Interests is a section that is entirely up to you – if you are including it then keep it as the final section on your CV but it’s your decision. It probably won’t get you the job but it can help to characterise you and you never know when your interests may cross over with the person who you are applying to.
With referees – most people will expect your most recent supervisor or employer. You will probably be expected to provide two, or possible three references. If you can brief referees on what you are applying for and what the job involves.Most people will take up references at the point that they are going to offer you the job so you can say available on request if you’re pushed for space.
Career objective – can help to put out CV in context especially if you are applying for something outside you area of study but keep this short and to the point, no more than a few sentences. Example at the bottom.Personal profile – many people start with a profile but be careful the information isn’t too generic. If it reads as a straightforward list of your skills and abilities it might be better to leave it out or to use the information selectively as an introduction to yourself in the covering letter. Skills profile – skills profile can help if you don’t have a lot of experience or you want to move in a completely different direction. It allows you to demonstrate that you have what the job requires in a very direct way. A smaller profile could be used if you feel that there are certain skills you have that don’t logically fit anywhere else on the CV – you could have an additional skills section. Have included an example next in case it’s not a format that you’re familiar with.
Here is an example of a more detailed skills profile. Use the skills from the job description and then provide a few examples of where you’ve developed them. You only need a few points per skill. You can draw the evidence from anything you like – work, study, personal interests. If you are presenting your CV this way don’t repeat the information in the work or education section, make them more of an overview.
Don’t use templates when you’re putting together your CV, you’ll just end up compromising your information to make it fit in. By all means look at examples, but then decide how to lay it out according to your individual experience. We’ve talked about the different formats and discussed the first two. Technical/academic – so a CV for a specific profession, we’ll cover some of the differences or the information expected in a few moments. International – if you are looking internationally it’s best to consult a site such as going global or prospects for advice as expectations when it comes to job applications can be quite different.
Run through points on slide. Some of this we’ve covered but just to reinforce....
Run through slide.
Run through slide.
Non academic – again we may have touched on some of this but to reinforce...Ensure you know what the industry you are applying to looks for – it may even be the case that they will prefer a one page resume as opposed to a longer CV.Skills based, as well as working for new industry or role, also works really well if you have very limited or no experience. You can still present yourself in a positive light and address the job description without highlighting the fact that you don’t have a huge amount of experience.
Covering letters. Your CV is where you can give people the facts about what you’ve been doing and what you’ve gained from it. The covering letter is where you can explain why you want the job and characterise yourself a little bit more. These are the general rules although for an academic position the letter could be slightly longer (unless you are also submitting a personal statement elsewhere). Run through slide....The two most important parts in the letter are getting across why you want to work for that organisation or institution – what appeals to you about their work, staff, clients, industry, aims.......If you don’t address this properly then letters can sound quite generic and that never appeals to employers. Also touch on what you offer the employer – you don’t want to repeat your CV but you could pick out highlights, expand on things you don’t have space for in your CV and also get across your enthusiasm for the role. A covering letter is also a good place to mention things that are coming up or that don’t fit logically on your CV. If you have had an unusual or diverse path this is a good place to offer an explanation and why you’re interested in this job now.
If you are filling out an application form – a lot of the information might be what appears on your CV and cover letter. However you may also find specific skill or competency based questions. You can prepare for these questions – run through slide. It might not always be possible but as far as you can vary what you use. Don’t worry if the examples are from quite different situations to the job you’re applying for, it’s the competency they’re assessing.
Useful for competency questions – talk through – we discussed this when looking at CVs so don’t need to go into too much detail.Try to outline the situation and task quite quickly and spend the bulk of your time on the action. Use ‘I’ rather than ‘we’ so the employer can understand your involvement. Summarise with the result – and if the question had a negative slant i.e. Tell me about a team that didn’t work well then make sure to highlight what you learnt from the experience and how you might approach things differently in the future. They are also useful for structuring the paragraphs or examples in a personal statement.
Examples of they types of questions that you may find – they can be very common in the HE sector. So, how should you answer these questions? Rather than filling a box or page with unbroken text, think about breaking it up. Structure is important here –use headings and paragraphs for clarity – sometimes questions ask you to do this – even if they don’t it’s a good idea.This should also help to prevent any rambling!As with analytical questions where you are thinking about the situation, action and result you may want to try a similar technique with the open ended questions. It can be useful when offering examples and also to keep your statement within a word limit if one has been imposed. w
Mention vitae has specific example CVs split into arts, humanities, sciences etc.
CVs and application forms
Writing an effective CV Researchers Development Day Jennifer StevenCareer and Skills Development Service
Today’s session• Purpose of a CV• The basic rules• Academic CVs – specifics• Non academic CVs – specifics• Covering letters• Questions
Purpose of a CV – to get you an interview• Must be targeted at the job and employer • One CV won‟t work for every job!• Must reflect the skills and experiences demanded • Always use the job description• Must create a positive first impression • Appearances really do matter• Must make the selectors job easy • Tell them clearly you have what they‟re looking for
What should you include?• Personal details• Education• Work experience (inc. teaching)• Publications/Conferences• Skills / Additional information• Interests and Activities• Referees• Account for any gaps (children/illness/personal reasons)• ….Other possibilities
Personal Details• Name• Address (term and home?)• Telephone/mobile/e-mail• Nationality?• Date of birth?• …….and what else can be left out?
The basic rules....Personal Details Keep it quick and easy... Jennifer Steven 22B Kensington High Street, London, SW1 6RTM: 07743 757 777 E: email@example.com Not long and unnecessary...Name: Jennifer StevenAddress: 22B Kensington High Street, LondonTelephone: 07743 757 777Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgDate of birth: 21.04.1981Marital status: singleDriving license: fullNationality: British
Education• Reverse chronological order• Higher education• Secondary education?• Institution/dates attended• Academic awards/prizes/scholarships• How much detail? • Depends on what you‟re applying for
Describing your degrees• Subject details/marks?• Teaching and learning methods• Knowledge/Skills• Research methods/training?
Appearances count• Choose a layout to fit the information NOT the information to fit the layout – choose own headings• Different types of CV • chronological (conventional) • Skills based • Technical (incl. academic) • International
Appearances count....• Maximum 2 sides A4 for non academic• Reverse chronological order• Layout • avoid large chunks of unbroken text • use bullet points or line spaces to break it up • white space can be as important as text • bold and LARGE characters are clearer than underlining• Balance • allocate space according to relevance • fill the prime selling space with your best material• No spelling or grammatical mistakes
Academic CV - specifics• Length – can be longer and can include an appendix• Description of research, publications/conferences should be the focus• Funding/awards• Teaching experience• Covering letter/personal statement may also be slightly longer
Research and Teaching experience - details• Research experience • Details of doctoral and masters research (if only thesis title, supervisor and funding details under education) • Research assistant positions • Research training • Success gaining funding (if appropriate)• Teaching experience • Mention lectures, seminars, tutorial groups, one to one • Course design, marketing and marking and assessment • Mention course titles and level
Publications and Administrative experience - details• Publications/Communications • Can be an appendix if extensive • Mention papers presented at conferences, peer-reviewed publications, non-refereed publications, departmental seminars etc • Can mention publications submitted/in preparation• Administrative experience? • Planning and organising seminars/conferences • Course organisation and marking
Non academic CV - specifics• Length – 2 pages max• May not need to include full details of publications/conferences etc• Use this style if searching for part time work around your PhD too.• Focus on the qualities gained from conducting research: • Project management, information management and analysis, presentation skills etc • Consider a skills based CV if you are tackling a completely new industry/role
Covering letters• 1 side A4, typed unless asked otherwise• Consider using a heading• Refer to CV but don‟t repeat• Written to a named person • Say what you are applying for/ where you saw the advert • Mention what you are doing now • Explain why you are interested in this job with this organisation • Indicate what you have to offer – skills, experience, qualities. • What you hope to gain from job and how it fits with your career plans • Positive conclusion
Differences if using Application Forms -Competency/Skill based questions• Aim to elicit evidence of a certain skill• Are based on the theory that past behaviour predicts future performance• From your research you can predict the skills they will ask about• Prepare examples from a range of different experiences• For example: When have you worked effectively in a team? What was your role? How did you contribute to the team‟s success?
Application Forms - Using theSTAR structure• Situation- summarise briefly• Task- what needed to be done• Action- what you did• Result- outcome, preferably positive
Application forms – Open questions/Personal Statement• „Please provide information in • Suggested Structure support of your application and • Why you are interested in this job brief details of relevant with this organisation experience, including your present duties’ • Key skills, qualities and experience (work and course) with• ‘Please write a supporting examples statement with particular reference to the headings in the • Any relevant technical skills person specification.’ (IT/Languages) • Summary and reinforce your enthusiasm for the job
Further support and preparation• www.vitae.ac.uk for researcher specific career development information and example academic/non academic CVs• Websites such as www.prospects.ac.uk, www.targetjobs.co.uk have example CVs available• Professional Association Websites• Talk with a Careers Consultant• Talk with Recruiters at employer events & Careers Fairs• Handouts on Career and skills development website www.city.ac.uk/careers
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