Applying for a Mystery Job

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Employability Adviser
Nicola Urquhart
SECL: CVs and Applications
Mock Job Event
Introduction
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What is employability?
Common mistakes
found in CVs
How to write a
successful CV and
covering letter
Points to help your
application
Where you can access
further help
Questions
What is Employability?
‘A set of attributes,
skills and knowledge
that all labour market
participants should
possess to ensure they
have the capability of
being effective in the
workplace – to the
benefit of themselves,
their employer and the
wider economy.’ (CBI,
March 2009)
Why are employability skills so important?
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Increased
competition – over
400,000 graduates
leaving university
each year.
‘Our latest UK
recruitment campaign
closed having attracted
c.24500. The bank will
offer c.475 places in
2012.’ HSBC
newsletter April 2012
What employers say…
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"Few students are
able to articulate
what they have
gained from their
experience in higher
education."
(Association of
Graduate Recruiters,
1995)
Research by forum3 found:
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Average graduate
will send out 70 CVs
when looking for
their first graduate
job. The average
number of responses
is 7 including 4
rejections and the
remainder inviting
the graduate to
interview or further
contact.
The more CVs you
send out the more
interviews you will
get but avoid a
scattergun approach.
What is the purpose of a CV?
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To inform the employer about
your education, work
experience, skills and
interests
To show how you meet the
criteria so the employer can
not deselect you
To ‘sell’ your qualities and to
persuade the employer to
invite you to interview
When should a CV be used?
• When an employer asks for an application in
that format
• When an employer states ‘apply to…’ without
specifying the format
• When making speculative applications
Where can it go wrong…
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Too long
Untargeted
Confusing layout
Process focused
resulting in a
‘passive’ CV
Incorrect grammar
Incorrect spelling
Where can it go wrong …
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Out of date contact
details
Wrong application
method
No covering letter
Application never
reaches intended
destination
Application arrives
late
Why you need to use a spell checker
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I am a prefectionist
and rarely if if ever
forget details.
Proven ability to
track down and
correct erors.
I have good writen
comunication skills.
Develop an annual
operating expense
fudget…
And why you must read it carefully as well
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Extra Circular Activities
At secondary school I was a
prefix
Over summer I worked for
an examinations bored.
(Kent BA English graduate!)
I hope to hear from you
shorty
I am a conscious individual.
I have a desire to work with
commuters
Dear Madman (instead of
Madam)
My hobbits include - instead
of 'hobbies'
Choose a sensible email address for your CV:
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eek_eek_i_am_dieing_eek_
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
m
[email protected]
[email protected]
.com
yourself
• Google
what impression
are you giving
employers!
Facebook etc
What makes an effective CV and covering letter
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Right format
Well presented
Proof read/consistent
tenses
You have included all the
necessary information
Your skills and abilities are
clearly evidenced
Conveyed your
understanding and
enthusiasm for the job
Targeted it to the job
What does it need to contain?
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Personal details
Education and qualifications
Work experience
Skills
Interests and additional information
References
Different types
• Reverse Chronological (p.12)
outline your career history in date order,
normally beginning with the most recent
items. The "conventional" approach and the
easiest to prepare.
• Skills-based (p.14)
highly-focused CVs which relate your skills
and abilities to a specific job.
work well for mature applicants and for those
whose qualifications and work experience are
not directly relevant to their application.
Chronological
In date order (starting with the most recent
first) e.g.
EMPLOYMENT
April – December 2011: Venture – Editing Assistant
Working with Photoshop, I have learnt various editing styles. I
have gained customer service experience and understand the
importance of listening to what customers want in order to
achieve high sales.
February 2009 – March 2010: Topshop – Retail Assistant
My interest in fashion enabled me to help customers and to
suggest styles that might suit them. I helped to design the
layout of the stock in the store, with an aim to increase our
revenue by positioning various items in ‘eye-catching’ places.
Skills Based
Focusing on skills e.g.
SKILLS
• Attention to detail – as an Editing Assistant at Venture, I needed to prove that I
could spot any mistakes or flaws in the photographs, as well as being attentive to
the requests of the customers
• Computer skills – I regularly used Photoshop during my time at Venture. I am
also a competent user of Microsoft Office, which I proved throughout my time as a
Retail Assistant at Topshop, where I was often required to produce reports on our
sales
• Customer service – in all of my roles, customer service has been of key
importance. I have experience of dealing with difficult customers, and try to ensure
that every customer is satisfied with the service they have received.
However don’t be constrained by headings.
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Scholarships/Awards
Voluntary work
Relevant experience
Positions of responsibility
Publication/Presentations
Conferences attended
Research skills
Additional skills
Languages
PRESENTATION OF YOUR CV (p.10)
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The first visual impression your
CV makes is important
Formatting – make sure it’s
consistent
Size 10-12 font (depending on
font style)
Clear font e.g. Arial, Calibri
Use plain white or pale A4 size
paper
Check spelling.
Use bold type and bullet points,
but in moderation
Do not double side.
Personal Details
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Name (as a heading rather than ‘CV’)
Website/online portfolio/CV
Address (term-time and home)
Telephone number
Email address
 Make sure this is a professional email
address
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The following are not requirements, but if you
wish, you can include: Nationality, Sex ,Date of
birth
Hints on wording
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Avoid personal
pronouns - No “I’s”
Avoid producing a
passive CV
Start with verbs
wherever possible
Use short sentences
& concise phrases
Focus on
accomplishments
Refer to specific
projects with
quantifiable results
Make use of Action Verbs
created instructed analysed produced
negotiated designed calculated maintained
administered controlled reviewed observed
consolidated delivered founded increased
studied invented supplied detected
programmed recommended distributed
developed solved prepared installed selected
arranged formulated solved started
Education and Qualifications
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Start with the most recent
Don’t forget your current study
 Mention relevant modules
 Projects or dissertation
 You might like to mention top marks
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You don’t have to put your grades on if you
weren’t happy with them
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Primary school not needed
Work Experience
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There is no need to list every job you’ve ever had –
detail the most relevant
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Don’t just list your duties – sell your skills. Which skills
are relevant to the position/company you are applying
to?
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Dates, name of company, position and skills:
Either include a skills section or make sure your
skills are evidenced throughout your application.
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Verbal communication
Teamwork
Commercial awareness
Analysing and investigating
Initiative and self motivation
Drive
Written communication
Planning and organising
Flexibility
Time management
Additional Information
Choose interests and activities which can
demonstrate skills relevant to the job such as:
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Teamwork
Organising
Commitment
Your intellectual ability
Your personality
IF YOU HAVE LANGUAGE SKILLS PUT THIS
ON YOUR CV!
References
• Ideally, one academic and your manager
permission from your reference and let
• Ask
them know what position(s) you’ve applied
for
• Use relevant references if possible
can say ‘references available on
• You
request’ rather than including contact
details if you wish
Covering letters
• Never send a
‘naked’ CV
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types of covering
letters:
• Speculative
• Letter of
application
What about the covering letter?
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(P.24)
One side of good quality A4 paper
Formal/conventional layout
Addressed to a named person
State position applied for & where advertised
Explain why applying
Convince the reader of your interest & suitability
Give dates when available/can start
Sign off “Yours sincerely” (if sent to named person)
Accompanying letter
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Should be three short paragraphs
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Opening paragraph – why you are writing
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Paragraph 2 – show knowledge of employer,
highlight your skills
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Paragraph 3 – Refer to your CV and availability
Matching up your CV with the position/company
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It is not ‘one size fits all’, you
need to tailor your CV to each
position you apply for.
Research the organisation. Do they have a mission
statement or core values? What will they be looking
for in you? Who works there at the moment? What
are they passionate about?
You need to tailor your CV EVERY time
CVs are normally targeted on a particular job
• What tasks would the daily routine involve?
• What skills would the job call for?
• What type of personality would suit the job?
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Mock Job
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Read CAREFULLY over all information.
Highlight key points and messages
Read the key accountabilities and
responsibilities – highlight key themes.
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Pay particular attention to the ‘Person
Specification’
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Firstly look at the ‘essential’ criteria – how can
you demonstrate you meet this criteria
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Then look at the ‘desirable’ criteria and
consider how you can demonstrate this.
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Use the follow up links provided
Find out what is happening in the sector.
What are the key words in this advert.
Communication
Languages
Income
Increasing applications
Student experience
Admissions
Co-ordinating
Website
Events
Monitoring
Social media
Managing relationships
Person specification – Possible evidence.
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Excellent IT and numeracy skills
Experience of dealing with social networking sites
Good interpersonal skills and the ability to relate
students, academics and support staff at all levels.
Ability to assess outcomes of work and constantly
review processes to improve them
Enthusiastic and self motivated with a positive attitude
Flexibility and the ability to respond positively to
changing priorities in the workplace.
A good team worker who is able to work across all
areas of the School and form good working
relationships at all levels.
Do some additional research
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I want to work in ...
http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin.htm
What can I do with a...
http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/humanities.htm
Employability Skills
http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/sk/skillstest.html
Applications and Interviews
http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/applicn.htm
Example CVs
http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/cv/cvexamples.htm
CV Checklist http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/cv/cvchecklist.htm
Careers Employability Award on moodle
http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/moodle.htm
Joining it all together.
What the employer wants
Qualifications
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Requested Skills
Interpersonal skills
Organisational skills
Customer service skills
Team working skills
What is my evidence
Certificates
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Jobs/internships/ work
experience, travel,
academic experience,
voluntary work, clubs and
societies, projects,
essays, committee work
etc
Social Media tools can help you develop and
showcase your employability skills.
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LinkedIn
Business and customer
awareness, self motivation
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Twitter
Communication, capacity to
develop
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Blogging
Communication, drive and
resilience, positive attitude,
ability to work
independently.
What is a good application?
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Targeted
Accurate
Interesting
Enthusiastic
Easy to read
Good Layout
Proof read
Further Information
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CES booklet “Making
Applications”
Come along to
Careers and
Employability
Service on 24th and
25th May between
2pm and 5pm- Bring
your CV with you.
Use CES Drop In
sessions for quick
query
Speak to me after
this session
Questions
The University of Kent
Careers and Employability Service
You can download a copy of this presentation
at www.kent.ac.uk/careers/slides.htm
Download