Friday, 10 January 2014

Job Applications

Right this second I am typing out a CV while blogging (how productive) and I figured I would offer my tips on CV writing! Some of you seemed to enjoy my other job related posts so why not include a CV based one too!!

A CV is basically a piece of paper that sells you to a company! It is the first thing a company sees about you and the first insight they have into who you are as a person. It is a good idea to get other people to read your CV to see if it sells who you are an applies to the job you want. I am a huge believer in tailoring you CV to match the job you are applying for.

Setting up a CV there are basic requirements for a CV, you contact details are a must, as are previous employment and qualifications/education.You can also include hobbies, skills and any other relevant information, it is also important to note somewhere that references are available but not they are not necessary in the application stage.

I always start with my personal details, so name, date of birth, and contact details (telephone number and email). I then go for qualifications GCSE's A levels any degrees or other qualifications you may have. The older you are the less important these are so you can just say however many GCSE's you got between whatever grades you got for me that would be 12 GCSE's between B-D. I still put in all my individual qualifications because my employment record is not brilliant yet!

Then go with your work experience, for years I have put my first job first and then go from there, however after doing some research online Kent University has found that it is better to put your current/most recent job and then work backwards. It is also important to talk about the skills it gave you not the actual job requirements so talk about providing quality service or working in teams, any skill you have learnt. Try and say how you have developed in you job or have helped plan and organise anything that sells your skills. It isn't about the job you do whether that be working in shops like me or if you do basic office work, its all about your skills and what you can offer a new company!

You can include interests, achievements and skills however I find it would be easier to bullet point or keep these sections rather short they are not the most important. Avoid things like socialising with friends or any hobbies that are completed by yourself unless you back them with reasons. Thinks I would mention are anything that is out of the ordinary (eg my blog, and how it connects me to people around the world) any sports you do (mine would be badminton and ultimate Frisbee) any interests relevant to the job. Just try not to make yourself like a loner and a recluse in this bit and have something interesting! Here you could also include computer skills (knowledge of whatever operating systems you use) whether you know any languages, and even if you drive is good to put in here, some jobs require you to drive.

Finally references. Like I said earlier it is not important to put them in but its a good idea to have some people in mind who can act as a reference for you.

Now I have some more little tips for you to consider while writing your CV

  • Check for spelling mistakes and never write a CV in text or slang these are usually thrown straight away. I used to sort CV's at one of my jobs and anything that wasn't spell checked, had obvious mistakes or was written in text went straight in the bin!
  • Inappropriate email - no one wants to email someone when it looks something like 'freaky_mad_devil@hotmail.com' or even worse Ive seen emails where they refer to being sex god's! Keep it generic and simple make a new one specifically for your CV
  • Don't have a really long CV 1 page is best but don't go over 2 pages - it only takes someone reading about 45 seconds to decide if they are going to put your CV in yes no or maybe pile! 
  • Making it easy to read, I always imagine the person reading it is stressed at work, its the last shift of the week, they would rather be at home, so I try to keep it as easy, full of information but not full of unnecessary text. If I would get bored after 30seconds it needs to be changed! 
  • Try to elaborate of skills, eg travel. That's great but it could sound like you like to be alone or even just a generic answer so something like, Travel - last year I travelled Europe with friends visiting famous monuments, makes it sound more interesting! 
If your CV is not getting any replies try emailing it to someone and asking for help! If you get a reply and an interview congratulations!! 

Good Luck

Lots of Love

Kerri

x x