CVs, Covering Letters & Application Forms

 Guidance on CVs, covering letters & application forms
in Placement Booklet and on S4S Bb site
 follow guidelines closely
 Remember the aim of a CV
CVs produced as part of Skills for Science:
 academic tutors may discuss guidelines
 hand-in draft CV at tut w/c 27/02/12
 feedback from tutor and/or peers during tutorial,
using feedback sheet
 CV drop-in clinics 10-11am 8/3 Rm 321; 9-10am 9/3
Rm321; 10-11 16/3 Rm 321, 11-12 15/3 Rm 5221
 submission deadline 30th March to Helpdesk
 email copy to [email protected] if intending
applying for placements
 get feedback from placement administrator (only
if you follow guidelines!)
 update during summer - results, work experience
 final electronic version by 24th September 2012 to
[email protected]
 It is your responsibility to ensure the final version
of your CV is appropriate for applications
 update during your second year - results work
experience etc.
General points:
 must be factually correct (employers sometimes ask us for
verification of information e.g. results transcripts)
check spelling and grammar
use bullet points
be as positive, informative and interesting as possible
2-3 sides of A4 maximum length
both content and presentation are important
Get some critical but constructive feedback
Ask yourself:
Would you give this person an interview based on this CV?
Specific 'content' points:
 present course info should start on page one - include
module and overall results
be concise re work experience: group similar experience
emphasize skills acquired
start of placement is 2013
head the CV with Sheffield Hallam University BSc(Hons)
year 2 modules are included in the year handbook - include
Specific 'presentation' points:
 personal info / early education - can use slightly smaller font
 avoid paragraphs and full sentences
 use bullet points
 selective use of bold to highlight achievements / key words
 avoid the use of 'I'
 change page set up from default for better layout;
presentation is important and may indicate IT skills!
 look at a hard copy of your CV before submitting it; proofreading and presentation
Which is easier to read?
When producing a CV, many people:
• Fail to identify what the employer is looking for
• Undersell and underestimate themselves
• Fail to provide the right evidence to support key
• Fail to ask for constructive feedback
or this?
When producing a CV many people will fail to
identify what the client (i.e. the employer) is
looking for. They may not be confident and hence
will undersell or underestimate their abilities,
hence providing a reduced picture of their skills.
They may also fail to provide the right evidence to
support the key skills they are claiming to have.
Even worse they may not even mention those
skills. Not obtaining an interview is often seen as
negative and complete rejection of the person and
rather than asking for constructive feedback to
help with future applications people may give up.
 your CV is to get you an interview (1st impressions count!)
 the reader may only take 15 seconds to scan a CV
 follow the guidance provided (p39 booklet) and use the
resources available to you
 look at the websites given with the CV guidelines
Covering Letters
 Many companies require a covering letter to accompany
application forms and/or CVs
 the covering letter must be specific to the application (a
general one will not do)
 use the job descriptions on Bb (S4S employability folder) to
produce a covering letter
 submit the covering letter (along with your CV) to
Helpdesk by 30th March 2012
 submit electronically to [email protected] for feedback if
you intend doing a placement
Covering letters (contd)
 follow guidance in placement booklet (p43)
 ensure you use appropriate layout and terminology
 must be factually correct
 check spelling / grammar (presentation)
Covering Letters (contd)
 link job description / requirements to your skills /
 should encourage the reader to look at CV
 convey enthusiasm for the job / company
 Once you have a good covering letter you can use it
as guidance when producing further specific ones
for applications next year
Application forms
 example questions included in booklet
 practice answers over the summer
 email to [email protected] for feedback
 build up a 'bank' of answers - personalise to
specific applications
 use normal writing
Application forms (contd)
 small spaces to get concise answers
 think of your attributes / strengths; include in
 ensure answers relate to job description
Further help….
Use facilities available to you:
 placement team
 resources in Careers Service (Alison McHale, SLS)
 'google' CV, application forms etc to see examples
(remember these can be bad as well as good!)
 look at websites given in booklet (p 41)
 more workshops on applications in Y2 but may be
opportunities to apply for before then
And if you are still undecided…..