make it happen
As well as the weblinks listed under Explore Opportunities, this page contains general information and advice about making things happen.
The below websites offer some good practical advice on CVS, application forms, cover letters/emails and interviews:
And The Piggy Bank gives a variety of practical information about budgeting, moving home, saving money, finding jobs and more!
A CV is personal to you, and to the job role you are applying for. As such, there isn’t a standard template you should use.
The Prospects website gives a good overview of the different types of CVs. If you are applying for creative roles, you may want to consider a Creative CV – this page gives some pros & cons of using these.
As well as Start Profile, Prospects and the National Careers Service, the below recruitment agencies also provide advice and template CVs:
There are online CV builders (but beware as some advertise as ‘free’ but then ask for payment). The paid options however can be useful, giving you a variety of options and enabling you to upload information you already have. An example is MyPerfectCV and prices start from £2.95.
For personal statements for CVs, these pages on Prospects and REED give some useful examples.
Gome general pointers:
Presentation & relevance really counts.
- Make sure your document looks professional and ‘tidy’ – have a font size 11 or 12 in something like Verdana, Ariel or Calibri, and utilise formatting to make it visually attractive e.g. even spacing, bold, underlines etc.
- Keep it brief and to the point
- Have a professional email address & layout
- Check spelling & grammar, and ask others to check it too
- Make it relevant to the business – do your research! Check the job description & specification- what skills & qualifications are they looking for, and does your CV demonstrate these?
- Compare what you have written with some templates on Google – do they look as good? Google ‘Good CV’ and ‘Bad CV’ and make sure yours is good!
- Write a cover letter or email when sending your CV. This should convey why you are interested in the position & the company, and how your skills & experiences are relevant to the role. This should also be professionally written and check all content for spelling, grammar and capitalisations. Give the email a formal & relevant Subject title, and save your CV with your name, e.g. ‘Joe Bloggs CV’.
An important part of writing your CV is identifying the gaps, and what you need to do to give yourself the best chance when you apply. As well as part-time employment, qualifications and interests, think about other ways you can enhance your work history (as this can include voluntary as well as paid positions). E.g. become a class rep or student governor, join the student ambassador team, volunteer in your community, sign up for the National Citizen Service. Search for volunteering opportunities on the Do It website, or contact your local CVS who can help to match you to relevant roles (Cumbria, Lancaster & District)
Application forms contain most of the information on your CV, and often also asks for a personal statement.
If you are making an application to a university, click here for advice.
Personal statements on job application forms should include:
- The job role – explain why you want this job, with this specific company
- Your experience & qualifications – link these to the job role and responsibilities
- Your skills & qualities – link these with the job personal specification
- End with a strong summary – show your passion and enthusiasm for the role
- And read the above CV tips, as the advice is also relevant for application forms.
If you are preparing a short personal statement for your CV, see the CV section above.
Interviews can take many forms, and the more research you do into the type of interview & organisation/opportunity, the better.
Here are some useful websites with advice:
- National Careers Service
- Barclays – practice your skills with a virtual interview!