How to write a
great CV
The basics
• Apply in writing = CV and covering letter
• CV = facts and figures;
covering letter = “your advert”
• CVs need to be tailored for each job/sector
• CV should make the employer want to
interview you…
E d u c a tio n
M a tth e w B rig g s
A d d re s s :
E m a il:
1 7 T h e G ro v e
B a th ,
BA2 9R U
b rig g s m @ h o tm a il.c o m
T e le p h o n e :
H :(0 1 2 2 5 ) 8 5 9 0 1 1
M :0 7 9 7 1 3 3 6 5 4 3
D a te o f B irth :
N a tio n a lity:
3 A u g u s t, 1 9 8 4
B ritis h
rd
F in a l ye a r b io s c ie n tis t, w ith s tro n g a n a lytic a l a n d in te rp e rs o n a l s k ills , s e e k in g a c a re e r in
p ro d u c tio n m a n a g e m e n t w ith a le a d in g p h a rm a c e u tic a l o rg a n is a tio n .
S k ills & A c h ie ve m e n ts
T e a m w o rk in g
E x p e rie n c e o f w o rk in g in g ro u p s d u rin g a c a d e m ic p ro je c ts in c lu d in g p la n n in g , ro le a llo c a tio n ,
c o -o rd in a tio n a n d c o m m itm e n t. W o n A s tra ze n e c a te a m -w o rk in g p rize fo r s e c o n d ye a r
a c a d e m ic p ro je c t.
-
W ork e d e ffe c tive ly w ith c o lle a g u e s a t S t. G e o rg e s H o s p ita l p h a rm a c y to u n d e rs ta n d a n d c o o rd in a te th e ir re q u ire m e n ts fo r a n e w d a ta b a s e . T h e im p le m e n ta tio n o f th is d a ta b a s e h a s
s in c e re d u c e d a d m in is tra tio n tim e b y a p p ro x im a te ly 3 0 % .
E ffe c tiv e C o m m u n ic a tio n
S tro n g s e llin g a n d n e g o tia tio n s k ills d e ve lo p e d th r o u g h c lo s e c u s to m e r c o n ta c t in re ta il a n d
h e a lth s e c to r e n viro n m e n ts . T ra in e d in p e rs o n a l s a le s , a d va n c e d in te rp e rs o n a l s k ills a n d
c u s to m e r fo c u s . R e c e n tly e x c e e d e d p e rs o n a l s a le s ta rg e t b y 3 0 0 % d u rin g w e e k e n d tra d in g .
-
P re s e n ta tio n s k ills a n d c o n fid e n c e d e m o n s tra te d d u rin g th e d e live r y o f tu to ria ls a n d g ro u p
p re s e n ta tio n s a t U n ive rs ity. H a v e p re s e n te d to g ro u p s o f 5 to 1 0 0 a n d e n jo y p u b lic s p e a k in g .
In itia tiv e
R e s e a rc h e d n e w s p o rts w e a r c o n c e p ts fo r th e s to re a n d p ro p o s e d id e a s fo r e ve n t e ve n in g s
d u rin g m y w e e k e n d p o s itio n . O n e id e a w a s tra n s la te d in to a n e v e n t th a t ra is e d £ 4 0 0 fo r a
lo c a l c h a rity.
P ro b le m S o lv in g
D e s ig n e d a n d d e ve lo p e d a n e w d a ta b a s e fo r th e p h a rm ac y m a n a g in g fin a n c ia l,
a d m in is tra tive a n d p ro je c t in fo rm a tio n . R e s e a rc h e d th e la te s t d e v e lo p m e n ts to p ro v id e
re le va n t s o ftw a re fo r th e b u d g e t.
-
F ro n tlin e c u s to m e r ro le s h a ve ta u g h t m e to fin d s o lu tio n s to c u s to m e r p ro b le m s in a c a lm a n d
e ffic ie n t m a n n e r.
T e c h n ic a l S k ills
F u lly c o m p e te n t w ith a ll M ic ro s o ft O ffic e p a ck a g e s a n d a n u m b e r o f s c ie n tific p a c k a g e s .
L e a rn in g to p ro g ra m m e in J a va a n d C + +
-
E n jo ye d c o n s u lta n c y ro le in u n d e rs ta n d in g c lie n ts n e e d fo r d a ta b a s e d e ve lo p m e n t a n d
im p le m e n ta tio n .
Languages
F re n c h – b a s ic s p o k e n .
G e rm a n – p ro fic ie n t.
D riv in g L ic e n c e fu ll c le a n fo r 4 ye a rs .
T h e U n iv e rs ity o f B a th ,
2001 – 2005
B S c B io lo g ic a l S c ie n c e s
E x p e c te d g ra d e 2 .1
A n a n a lytic a l d e g re e d e ve lo p in g re s e a rc h te c h n iq u e s , p ro b le m s o lvin g s k ills a n d g ro u p w o rk in g
P ro je c t: Id e n tifyin g p o s s ib le s o lu tio n s fo r C T B tra n s m is s io n – re q u ire d s tro n g a n a lytic a l th o u g h t,
to id e n tify p rio r c o n s id e ra tio n s a n d c o n tin g e n c ie s
C o lle g e o f S o u th W e s t E n g la n d , B ris to l
A le v e ls : B io lo g y (B ), C h e m is try (B ), B u s in e s s S tu d ie s (C )
1999 - 2001
F a rr W o o d H ig h S c h o o l, B ris to l
1995 - 1999
G C S E s : 1 0 G C S E s a c h ie v e d 4 A s , 2 B s , 4 C s . (E n g lis h a n d M a th e m a tic s – B ,B )
E m p lo ym e n t
S t. G e o rg e s H o s p ita l P h a rm a c y , B ris to l
Sum m er 2003
V o lu n ta ry P ro je c t – A d m in is tra tio n a n d IT c o n s u lta n c y
R e s e a rc h e d , d e ve lo p e d a n d te s te d a n e w d a ta b a s e fo r th e o rg a n is a tio n . A ls o p ro vid e d c u s to m e r
s e rvic e s u p p o rt a n d c a rrie d o u t s to c k m a in te n a n c e
F ra n k ie ’s , B a th
S a le s C o n s u lta n t – P a rt tim e / w e e k e n d s / va c a tio n s
2002 – 2004
B lu e S ta r A g e n c y, B ris to l
1997 – 2003
V a rio u s re ta il, a d m in is tra tiv e a n d c u s to m e r s e rv ic e ro le s .
S ilv e r s e rv ic e w a ite rin g , s to ck -fillin g , p a c k in g a n d filin g p o s itio n s th ro u g h B lu e S ta r A g e n c y.
P o s itio n s o f R e s p o n s ib ility
E le c te d H a ll R e p re s e n ta tiv e
2004 - 2005
In d u c tin g n e w s tu d e n ts a n d lia is in g w ith s ta ff a n d s tu d e n ts to e n s u re th e s m o o th ru n n in g o f h a ll
life .
F a rr W o o d U n d e r 1 1 ’s S u p p o rt C o a c h
O n g o in g V a c a tio n s
S u p p o rt th e c o a c h in m o tiv a tin g , tra in in g a n d c o -o rd in a tin g th is g ro u p o f e n th u s ia s tic fo o tb a lle rs .
In te re s ts
F o o tb a ll – R e g u la rly p la y w ith h a ll te a m , c o a c h in g a n d w a tc h in g n a tio n a l g a m e s .
R e fe re n c e s
M r. J . F ra n k s (M a n a g e r)
F ra n k ie ’s
H ig h S tre e t
B a th B A 4 3 P L
T e l: 0 1 2 2 5 4 5 6 9 8 7
F ra n k ie s @ ya h o o .c o m
P ro fe s s o r F R o g e rs (T u to r)
B io lo g ic a l S c ie n c e s
U n ive rs ity o f B a th
B a th B A 2 3 R D
T e l: 0 1 2 2 5 4 3 2 1 2 3
F .R o g e rs @ b a th .a c .u k
THINK TARGETED
THINK SELF PROMOTION
• Know what the
employer is looking for
• Understand the
requirements of the job
• Be clear about the
qualities the employer
is looking for
• Be clear about what
you have to offer
• Map out your key skills,
qualities experience
and achievements
Matching Exercise
Meet Suzie Smith…
With the person next to you, take a quick
look at Suzie’s CV
• What are your first impressions?
• Is there anything you would do differently?
CV fact or CV fiction?
•
•
•
•
•
•
2 pages long?
include referees’ names and addresses?
include your age and date of birth?
include your nationality?
include a personal profile?
include an interests section?
What’s important about format?
- Standing out for the right reasons!
•
•
•
•
•
Don’t cram too much information onto one page
Allocate space according to importance
Short sentences – no long prose passages
Break up text with bullet points
NOT TOO MANY CAPITALS AND Changes of
font
• Logical structure – clear
• Use colour and shading sparingly – CVs are
usually photocopied at some stage
Suggested structure
• Education first (for now)
• Define the talents that you feel are
important to potential employers
• Include work experience
• Finish with interests
• Simple paper and font
CONTENT: Personal details
•
•
•
•
•
Name
Contact address(es)
Contact ‘phone number(s)
One email address
Nationality (if relevant to application)
CONTENT: Education
• Reverse chronological order, secondary
and university only
• Most space for degree; least for
GCSEs/equivalent exams at 16
• Summarise GCSEs/equivalent
– 10 GCSEs (5A 2B 3C) incl. maths and english
• A levels/pre-uni exams in full with grades
• Degree – key/relevant modules only; skills
from study; projects; ASP element
CONTENT: Work experience
• Job title, company, location
– Sales assistant, H&M, Manchester
• Group together relevant experience
• NOT duties/job description… instead what skills
did you apply/develop? What were you
responsible for? What is relevant to this job?
• 4-5 bullet points maximum
• Dates: Summer 2006, May 2005, 2006-2007
• Prioritise most recent and most relevant
CONTENT: Other sections…
• Positions of responsibility
– What do these actually involve?
Not just your job title!!
• Extra-curricular
– Group together by topic or
– Group by when you did it
• Key Skills
– Driving, IT, languages, anything else?
CONTENT: Transferable skills?
• Unless you do a skills based CV, skills are
better put into context
• Use action verbs to describe your work
experience etc – evidence
– Launched a new club night in Manchester and
secured sponsorship from Red Bull. The
event sold out.
– Created a system to help managers monitor
usage of a new fitness suite.
Avoid passive - Use action
verbs wherever possible…
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Achieved
Advised
Audited
Co-ordinated
Managed
Organised
Tested
Taught
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Led
Conducted
Initiated
Developed
Prioritised
Liaised
Negotiated
Analysed
CONTENT: References
• Usually include if you have space on your CV
• One academic, one other (not your Mum…)
• Check person knows you are using them for
a reference
• Check how that person would like to be
contacted
Previous applications…
• “I enjoy practising marital arts”
• “At secondary school I was a prefix”
• “Special skills: Thyping”
• “Thank you for your consideration. Hope to hear
from you shorty”
• “I have worked in the pubic sector……”
• “Hi I want 2 get a job with U”
Previous applications…
“I loathe filling in applications so much that I’ll give
you details at the interview”
“In my spare time I enjoy hiding my horse”
“I have excellent memory skills, good analytical
skills, excellent memory skills”
“I am a conscious individual”
“Here are my qualifications for you to overlook”
“I am someone who knows my own destiny, but I
have no definite long term plans”
Skills based CV
• Often includes
– Personal details
– Personal profile
– Skills Profile eg. examples of teamworking
– Education
– Work history
– Interests
– References (2 referees)
Skills based CV
Pro’s
Con’s
• Useful if you have had a
lot of work experience
• Useful if changing
direction to emphasise
transferable skills
• Can make work of
recruiter easier
• Requires more
preparation to do it well
• Can look unfocussed if
you haven’t done your
research properly
• Career aim/personal
profile doesn’t appeal to
all employers
Advanced Suggestions
•
•
•
•
Select the key information – don’t include everything!
Find the prime selling space and use it
Provide evidence
Use words that give emphasis
-Action verbs….led, achieved, resolved
-See back of CV handout
• Quantify your achievements
-How much did you raise?
-How many people attended?
-What marks did you get?
Constructive Suggestions
• Allocate space in accordance to the
importance of the information
• Use reverse chronological order
• Don’t bury the good bits on page 2
• Never send it without a covering letter
• Keep it relevant & avoid jargon
• Keep it upbeat, positive & achievements
focused
Suzie Smith CV – part 2
• Look at the differences between the two
CVs…
– Same core information
– Different presentation…
• Anything else you would do differently?
In summary, successful CVs:
• Neither too long…
or short
• Organised
information
• Well printed &
typed
• To the point
• Good spelling and
grammar
• Provide evidence of
achievements in
previous positions
• Relevant
information
• Clear presentation
• Tailored
Writing a covering
letter
A good covering letter?
Dear Sir,
I saw your advert in the Manchester
Evening News for a Marketing Assistant. I
enclose my CV.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely,
The Covering Letter
• This is the “advert” for your CV… where
you get to say WHY you want the job
• The basics:
– One page, quality paper (same as your CV)
– Business letter layout
– Usually typewritten
– Keep any formatting consistent with your CV
Tips for Covering Letters
• Write to a named individual if possible
• Tell the employer what you are applying
for and where you saw it advertised
– quote any reference numbers!
• Get to the point – who are you and what
do you want?
• Why are you interested in the job/sector ?
• Why are you interested in the employer?
Tips for Covering Letters
• Signpost your key selling points
• Keep language clear and business like… but don’t
write like your bank manager!
• Be enthusiastic and positive
• Ending should be upbeat
• Dear Sir/Madam ends with Yours faithfully;
Dear Mr Kaplan ends with Yours sincerely
• Tailor the letter for each job – don’t use a generic
“one- for-all”
Covering letter structure
• No more than one side of A4
• No more more than 3 paragraphs
• Introductory paragraph
– Why the company, why the job
• Summary of your background, including
strengths and experience, think USPs
• Summary and thank you
How not to do it…
Dear Sir/Madam
I want a job in this your Firm: £40k. I am extremely extremely clever - true IQ rating 123
supervised IQ test. I am clinically cool under the worst, diabolical psychological
pressure, cognitive, tensile, gritty tension imaginable. Over-sensitive, considerate to
others under worst psychological and cognitive pressure imaginable; want unlimited
‘Big Time’ responsibility from Day 1 in Deloitte; scrupulously honest; scrupulously fair;
very very quick thinking and very very accurate under pressure; forthright; therefore
would make Group Senior Partner a ‘good mate’; besides which also brave (6ft 2in, 17
stone). Proof of ability, recently, yesterday obtained Distinction Institute of Linguistics
French General Certificate exam and will also pass Level 3 Japan Foundation
Proficiency Test next week SOAS.
Also brilliant Linguist, Linguist, Logician Big Time! Also 3 weeks ago standing in bookshop
Hemel Hempstead town centre reading A Level Study Aids Maths Book and
understood theory of Permutations and Combinations in 26 minutes (and I’m honest)
and answered entire ‘A’ question exactly right in 27minutes (without ‘Big Time’)
looking at worked examples and without a calculator. I only Grade D at ‘A’ Level
Maths, because I’m a bit sensitive or rather a bit over sensitive and I was thrown out at
the time ‘Big Time’. If you want proof: if you pay for it I’ll resit ‘A’ level Maths and I
guarantee from Wednesday August 13 1997 I’ll get a Grade A in it, Leeds. Therefore I
am a proven brilliant Mathematician and very numerate - I’ll pass ‘ACA’ easily ‘Big
Time’, ‘Big Time’, ‘Big Time’, - just give me a chance, try me please. Brave, so all this
together would make Senior Partner Deloitte Leeds a brilliant definite; committed,
enthusiastic; energetic; vibrant; forthright; vigorous; motivated; clever; helpful;positive;
efficient; desirable; athletic;’ mate’.
Yours faithfully
CV Assessment
30th Oct MIDDAY – first version of CV submitted
for comments, submit on paper or by email
18th Dec 2008 – deadline for final submission
• CV tailored for a career opportunity you are
interested in, e.g. a summer internship, research
placement or graduate level job
• Position must be at Graduate level (not p/t work)
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How to write a good CV