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The Elevate Series: Workshop 3

CV, covering letters & application forms
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on 16 September 2014

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Transcript of The Elevate Series: Workshop 3

Developed through college, university, self study, employment etc
Technical Skills
Your opportunity to sell your strengths - your technical and your transferable skills.

This section is evidence-based
Skills Profile
Contact details
– name (both pages), address, tel no and email
Education
– including your current course! Dates, place of study, course, module info, results/grades
Employment History
– dates, company, job title, duties/responsibilities
Skills Profile
– technical AND transferable skills (derive these from education, work and your personal life)
References
– available upon request
Essential Information
Desirable Information
Your Professional CV
Covering Letters
CVs, covering letters & application forms
The Elevate Series: Workshop 3
Analytical Skills
- gained strong analytical skills through my academic studies which is essential when learning new subjects. Keen eye for detail, a logical thinker and enjoy the challenge of determining a suitable solution.
Personal profile
– brief detail of strengths & experience that sets you apart
Description of your course
– tell employers what your course is about (briefly)
Projects/Achievements/Additional info
– examples which add value and demonstrate your skills, experience, responsibilities
Hobbies/interests
– if you have something of interest which could provide a talking point or illustrate an interesting side to you
Often accompanies your CV
Your opportunity to expand upon your CV in relation to the requirements of the Job Description
Covered today:
How to write a professional CV
Cover letters - how to write & what to include
Application forms - what to expect & how to answer questions
Outlines your education & qualifications, employment/work experience, skills and competencies
Your own personal marketing tool
Often the first document an employer will see – first impressions count!!
A fluid document, one that should be constantly evolving
Transferable Skills
•Microsoft Office Suite e.g. Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint (Intermediate)
•Dreamweaver, HTML, PHP (Beginner)
•Java (Intermediate)
•C++ (Beginner)
•Visual Basic (Beginner)
•SQL (Beginner)
Evidence with Projects
Business Systems:
created a website with order-processing using HTML, CSS & PHP and a back-end database using SQL.
Further examples:
Java game, Personal website, extra IT skills development outside of modules?
Use the Skills Profile Self Assessment form
CV Tips
Ways to Enhance Your CV
Ordering:
Be wise about the ordering of your content, add the most important info on the front page, eg not your hobbies!
Responsibilities:
Expand upon your work responsibilities – sell your experience e.g. Proficient handling of customer queries and the provision of suitable solutions
Sell yourself:
Add adjectives to describe your skills/competencies e.g. excellent, competent, proficient, skilled, confident etc.
Presentation:
Emphasis text/headings, use professional alignment - columns, tabs – NOT the space bar – show off your Word skills
Tailor:
Tailor your CV to the type of job you are applying for e.g. in your Personal Profile, Skills Profile
Things to Avoid


According to Total Jobs, the five most common mistakes recruiters see on a typical IT job seeker’s CV are:

1) Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors (70%)
2) No clear demonstration of technical skills (64%)
3) Too lengthy (43%)
4) Rambling (41%)
5) Listing irrelevant skills (30%)
Mistakes:
Spelling & grammar errors!!!!
Discrimination:
Info that does not promote equal opportunities e.g. race, gender, religion, age, nationality
The Job Description
The sell:
company info, persuading you to apply
Job description/responsibilities:
the purpose, main tasks & responsibilities
Personal Specification:
the skill, knowledge & experience requirements
Application details:
how to apply, closing date
Use this information to
persuade
an employer that you are the right candidate!
What to Include
1) The introduction - why are you writing?

2) Your knowledge of the company and why you're applying to the company/interested in the role

3) How your skills, knowledge & experience relate to the role. Use examples!!!

4) Your passion for learning more

5) Closing sentence
www.prospects.ac.uk
A really strong letter will show:
that you've done your research
......demonstrate this when:

discussing why you are applying to that
company
and that particular
role
that you understand your strengths & how they relate to the role
....demonstrate this by:

providing examples to back up the
RELEVANT
skills & experience you write about

e.g. I thrive in a busy environment and as a sales assistant I was able to demonstrate my interpersonal skills; communicating with customers confidently and persuasively.
that you are passionate about the opportunity, & that you are willing to learn/work hard
Enthusiasm is very appealing to an employer

Showing a willingness to learn will tell an employer that, even if you don't have the entire package - you'll work hard to develop your skills
that you are able to be persuasive but also believable
Believable?

I have an awesome ability to communicate....

My programming skills are phenomenal....
Better?

Through various team projects, I have developed effective communication skills......

I regard my programming skills to be strong, particularly Java as....
The Application Form
Used predominantly by large companies
Usually replaces a CV, however some companies will ask you to upload it
A cost effective way to compare applicants on a like-by-like basis, good for filtering out inappropriate candidates
The Components
Personal details
Qualifications & work history
Admin Q's
e.g. do you have a work permit?
Elimination Q's
e.g. do you have 320 UCAS points? Are you predicted a 2:1 degree?
Probing Q's
e.g. what made you apply to the company or role?
Competency-based Q's
- questions that examine you on the skills required for the role
Personal statements
- where you elaborate upon yourself
Q. Discuss a time when you had to use effective problem solving skills
Competency-based Questions
A. Use the STAR technique
S
ituation
T
ask
A
ction
R
esult
Situation:
As part of a group assignment at University, we were asked to design a website and a back-end database.
Task:
The website required certain functionality, however as a group, our web development skills weren't as good as they needed to be.
Action:
We discussed possible solutions as a group, and I put myself forward to learn HTML and PHP to a higher level

through self-study as I was the strongest technically, this meant I had to manage my time effectively and assign other elements of the assignment to the rest of the group.
Result:
By assigning tasks based on strengths we created a website and database that was on spec and that we were all very

happy with. I have learned that I can do anything when I put my mind to it and that I work effectively under pressure.
The Personal Statement
This is designed to test; your understanding of the role, what it involves, and how you match the requirements
Situation:
give a brief description of the specific situation

Task:
what was your specific task, responsibility or challenge?

Action:
how did you tackle the task, remember to highlight YOUR role and value

Result:
what was the outcome? Were you pleased? Feedback? What did you learn?
What to Include..
Outline your reasons for applying, describe what attracts you to the organisation and the specific role.

Your statement should enthusiastically demonstrate the following:

a clear understanding of the organisation’s motives, values and ethos and how they match yours;
a sound appreciation of the role and why it suits your specific interests and motivations.
To promote your relevant attributes you should address the relevant points on the job advert/personal specification in the order in which they appear - you may even want to use them as headings & use their terminology for the skills.
Format
prospects.ac.uk
Some typical application processes.....
CV only
CV & covering letter
Application form (online or hard copy)
Application form & CV
Sometimes, employers will also ask you to provide a portfolio e.g. coding evidence
Next session:
Wednesday, 27th Nov, 3 - 4.30 pm, AG03
Interview Skills

What to do next:
Finalise your CV and get it checked!

If interested in PP - email it to placements@soi.city.ac.uk
If NOT interested in PP, book an appointment with the Careers Service at http://www.city.ac.uk/careers
Full transcript