Effective CVs
and
Applications
Effective Applications
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Finding out about jobs
Application Forms
Cover Letters
Preparing CVs
Online Applications
Useful sources of information
Finding out about Jobs
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UL Careers Service
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Careers by Degrees 2006-2007
UL Careers Website: Jobs section
Noticeboard
Gradireland website and directory
Employer Directories
Careers Fair and Presentations
Newspapers and periodicals
Business reports
w.w.w.
Own contacts
Starting point
Purpose of a CV is to get an inteview
 Use the following checklist every time you
complete an application form
1:Identify employer needs
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Put yourself in the employer shoes
What are they looking for?
2:Match yourself to these needs
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What particular skills do you have that are relevant
to the position?
Employer’s Perspective
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Find out about the candidate
What contribution can she make?
Why is she interested in this job/company?
Does she understand what the job entails?
Does she have the relevant qualifications?
Does she have the right mix of skills?
Is it worth my time interviewing her?
What do Employers really look for?
Irish Employer survey July 2003
84 Companies in all sectors –business, finance, education, the arts, retail,
tourism
Most Important Factors in Recruitment:
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Enthusiasm for position
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Personality
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Transferable skills
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Potential for advancement
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Good Academic record
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Relevant Work Experience
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Specialist Subject Knowledge
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Personal Interests
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Any other work experience
Before Applying
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Research the Company
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Research Yourself
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Company literature, websites, directories
Analyse job descriptions
Review experience and career interests
What is relevant to this particular job
What evidence will I provide
Do online personality test – Type Indicator
Research Careers
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Check out similar or related jobs
Prospects Planner/website
Questions to ask yourself
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What sort of person is the organisation
looking for?
What knowledge, experience, skills are
required to fill this role?
What past experience do I have that
demonstrate these competencies?
Provide evidence to match the key
competencies
Matching Skills to Requirements
Employer needs
Communication
Team work
Leadership
Initiative
Customer Care
IT
Commercial awareness
Your evidence
Presentation to class
Example from Coop
Class rep, Committee
Fundraising for charity
Working in Superquinn
Designed website
Business pages
Tips for preparing CVs
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Restrict it to 2 pages, no fancy cover
Customise CV to reflect job requirements
Start with the most recent/relevant information
Allocate space in accordance with the importance of
the information
Emphasise the most relevant details
Use action words
Use headings and bullet points
Highlight skills and responsibilities
Make it look good – plain font
Check spelling and grammar
Send it with a decent cover letter
Reasons for Rejection of CV
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Too much/too little information
Irrelevant Information
Poor presentation
Spelling mistakes
Not targeted to position
No personality or enthusiasm
Standard CV
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Personal Details
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Education
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Name, Address, Tel No, Email address
Start with most recent
Dates, Name of college, Course Title,Thesis title, Core
subjects, results (if impressive)
Provide details of research projects
Work Experience
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Start with most recent or relevant
Separate relevant and other experience
Provide job title and name of organisation
Highlight responsibilities and achievements
Include unpaid work
Standard CVs (cont)
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Competencies
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Skills Profile
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Computing – be specific, name packages
Languages – what level
Driving Licence
Interests
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Identify key competencies required for position
Provide relevant evidence from previous experience
Provide evidence of balanced individual
Focus on achievements
Referees
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Normally 2 referees required: one academic, one work
Seek permission in advance and provide information
Helpful hints
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Use action verbs: achieved, created,
managed, produced, demonstrated,
supervised, trained, investigated, coordinated, monitored, reported, etc
Adjectives- to describe yourself:
adaptable, analytical, determined,
logical, resourceful, precise, supportive,
etc
Cover Letters
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One page - business letter format
Send to a named person
Letter supports CV
Tailor it to company and job
Highlight skills and experience
Structure it well
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Introduce yourself, specify vacancy
Why are you interested in the company/job?
Why should they consider you? (relevant skills)
What next? – availability for interview
Helpful Hints - Application Forms
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Photocopy form - experiment with copy
Read complete form before writing
Follow instructions: black ink, capitals
Answer all questions
Use space sensibly
Draft answers to open questions
Use simple words, short sentences
Check appearance - first impressions count
Check spellings and grammar
Copy completed form
Open-ended Questions
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Questions about yourself
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Questions about job/career
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Describe yourself
Strengths and weakness
Describe key events in your life
What skills, experiences do you bring?
Why are you suited to a career in …
What other careers are you considering?
Questions about the future
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Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years time?
Competency-based questions
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Company identifies key skills required for job
Designs questions to elicit evidence of skills
Emphasis on past behaviour as predictor of success
Teamwork: Describe a team project you worked on. What problems
arose? How did you deal with them?
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Communication skills: Describe situation when you had to persuade
others to support your view.
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Interpersonal skills: What kinds of people do you find it difficult to work
with? How do you handle those situations?
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Self-directed: Give an example of a situation when you had to go beyond
the call of duty to get something done.
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Problem-solving: Tell us about an error you made and what you
learned
Responding to Competency Q
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Q What has been your experiences in giving
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STAR response
explanations or instructions to others?
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S: Describe the situation
T: Explain the task/problem that arose
A: What action did you take?
R: What was the result or outcome?
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What did you learn from the experience?
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Application Forms- Typical
Questions
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What has prompted you to apply for a position with
KPMG? Include experiences or people who have
influenced your decision.
Describe a position of responsibility you have held
and the challenges you have faced.
Describe personal interests you have pursued. Which
has given sense of achievement and why?
Tell us about a time you worked within a group.
Describe your role and the end result
Why do you think you would be suited to a career in
accountancy/
How to answer
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Be clear about what the questions mean
What do they want to know and why?
Be clear about what you did if asked a
complex question.
Keep answers concise & to the point
No waffle
Try to give different examples to answer
different questions
Try to give recent examples
Online Applications
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Increasingly popular with large employers
Fast and efficient – scan for key words
Preselection - can incorporate aptitude & personality tests
Self-assessment - match to different jobs
Helpful hints
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Download form and practice
Prepare longer answers, cut and paste
Use buzz words, e.g. name specific packages
Spell check, proofread
Print preview, save regularly
print completed copy and send
Very time-consuming – allow plenty of time
Practice with ‘Select Simulator’
Select Simulator
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A joint venture between Careers Services and
GTI
A training tool for online applications
Uses the same system as used by over 150
employers in Europe
A full online application system with
interactive help
Guides students through application process
Can use completed application for
email/paper applications
Practice makes perfect!
www.ul.ie/careers - Applications & Interviews
Tips for Emailing CVs
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Check with company first in case of viruses
Use common software, Microsoft Word.
To retain format of CV, send as attached file
Also include CV in body of email
If cutting and pasting, check font size
Check impact by sending copy to yourself
To be doubly sure, also forward hard copy
Useful Resources
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www.ul.ie/careers
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Career Development Module
Applications & Interviews
Online aptitude & personality tests
www.gradireland.com
www.realworldmagazine.com
www.prospects.ac.uk
www.doctorjob.com
www.jobweb.com
www.selectsimulator.com - online applications
www.shlgroup.com - aptitude tests
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Effective Applications - UL University of Limerick