How to write a CV Adam Gibson January 9, 2012

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How to write a CV
Adam Gibson
[email protected]
January 9, 2012
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How to write a CV
Ask why are you writing a CV
• You want to apply to an agency
• You want to apply speculatively to lots of jobs
• You want to demonstrate that you are the best candidate for an advertised job.
• Follow the specific requirements of the job you are applying for.
• Get the job description and person specification if possible
• Be positive but don’t lie
You are marketing yourself
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Enthusiastic - be positive
Organised - format your CV consistently
A leader - use active verbs
Intelligent - back up with evidence
Different - be careful here!
Team player - choose interests carefully
Authoritative - use a sensible email address
Think about who will be reading it
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They
They
They
Keep
have a pile of 50 CVs to read
have a job description and person specification to work to
are bored and would prefer to be doing something else.
it concise, easy to read and (if possible) memorable.
Use a consistent structure
• Use concise, precise, authoritative, well formatted statements
• Woolly, fluffy statements which are badly formatted and utilise exaggerated verbiage
are suboptimal
• Format titles, bullets and indents consistently
• Keep to 2 pages maximum
• Spell check it
• Get a friend to have a look at it.
• Use pdf format.
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What to write
Give clear contact details
• Name, email address, contact phone number
• Address (home and term time if necessary)
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State your objectives
• Common to include a statement of your objectives
• Gives an immediate summary of who you are
• Keep it short, lively and factual
A good profile
I am a motivated, adaptable and responsible graduate and I am keen to apply
my knowledge of physics to patient care. I see your vacant position (AB1002)
as an opportunity for me to begin my career in radiotherapy physics. During
my degree I successfully combined my studies with hospital work and other
commitments showing myself to be self-motivated, organised and capable of
working under pressure. I enjoy problem solving and seeing things through to
completion either on my own or in a team.
A poor profile
i am a dynamic individual with excelent teamworking and comunication skills.
i would like job with u in radiotherapy.
List your education
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Most recent first
Grades (if they’re good)
Details of courses and projects if relevant to the job
Make gaps look positive
OK to leave off old results (e.g. GCSEs)
Describe research experience
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Papers, conferences, grants
Internal talks, worked in research group
Learnt skills (programming, operating instruments, etc)
DSSCC etc
“I am familiar with Word and Excel” may imply “I am hopeless with computers”.
List work experience
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Paid work
Gap year, holiday work
Voluntary work
Consider leaving off old jobs which aren’t relevant
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Describe your interests positively
• Leave out“going to the cinema and socialising with friends”.
• Emphasise why your interests are relevant
• instead of “Travel”, say “I organised a 4-week Interrail trip on Europe for four
friends”.
• instead of “Martial Arts”, say “I have practised Judo twice a week for eight years
and currently hold a green belt. I am an instructor in my local club”.
• instead of “Cycling”, say “I am a member of the UCL Cycle club and I enjoy refurbishing bicycles for friends”.
You don’t usually need referees at this stage
• Tailor referees to the job
• Include an academic referee for academic jobs - your tutor or project supervisor
• Maybe somebody you’ve worked for or a second academic referee.
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Covering letter
Include a covering letter
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May be in the body of an email
Make it specific to that job
Send it to the right person
Point out why you are the best person for the job
Ok to repeat what’s in the CV
See also
There is lots available on websites
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http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/cv/CVProfiles.htm
http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/cv/PostgradCV.htm
http://www.iop.org/careers/university/preparation
Generic advice may not be completely relevant for academic jobs
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/students/information/jobs/applying
http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/files/writing_cvs.pdf
Summary
There is no single correct CV but ...
• target it at the job you want
• use logical and clear structure
• give evidence
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• be concise
• be accurate in spelling, grammar and content.
• tell the truth
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