Confused about what you should be doing to improve your chances in the world of employment? We have pulled together our best hints and tips on how to make the most of your CV and your employment opportunities. We hope you find them helpful!
Your CV is one of the most important employment tools. It will be needed for the majority of jobs that you apply for and will play a big part in whether or not you get asked back for an interview. Therefore, it is crucial that your CV looks professional and says ‘Hire Me!’. There is a lot of CV writing advice out there, but we have pulled together a quick list of tips to get you started.
- Do keep it clear and simple.
- Do make it easy to read.
- Do stand out. You can play around with fonts and layouts but remember to keep it classy.
- Do sell yourself. Be confident in yourself and believe that you are the best suited for the role.
- Do have a personal statement section which you can tailor to each application. This is a snapshot of your personality, aspirations and reasons for applying for the role.
- Do put your education and experience in reverse chronological order (i.e. most recent first).
- Do use specific examples to explain why your university degree or summer job is relevant for the role.
- Do check your spelling, grammar and contact details. Then check them again!
- Do make sure that you are using the correct job title.
- Do create a CV that you are proud to share.
- Don’t make it too complicated or fussy.
- Don’t go over two pages.
- Don’t underestimate your potential.
- Don’t forget about your hobbies and interests. These say a lot about your personality and are great way to make you stand out from the crowd.
- Don’t write big long lists (i.e. grades, modules etc.).
- Don’t add things that aren’t relevant to the job. Employers want to know exactly why a certain course or passed job can contribute to the role at hand.
- Don’t underestimate the power of transferable skills.
- Don’t rely on CV jargon to describe yourself.
- Don’t describe your ideal profession as something different to the job you are applying for.
- Don’t try to be someone else.
If you have applied for a job and have successfully been invited back for an interview, there are a few things you still need to be prepared for. Remember that you are likely to be up against some strong competition. So it is crucial that you prepare ahead of time. Make sure you have looked over the job spec, checked the company’s website, researched the business, and thought about what the role entails and how you can deliver what they are expecting. On the day, try to relax (remember we have all been there).
- Make sure you know where you are going
- Make sure you are on time
- Dress smartly. Always go to your first interview smartly dressed.
- Be confident. Remember that you have made it this far!
- Sell yourself and your skills. Only you know what you are capable of.
- Stay optimistic even if you are not feeling confident and remember to smile.
- Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you have any
- Don’t slouch or get to comfy
- Practice your hand shake
Interviews are difficult for everyone and chances are everyone who is being interviewed will be as nervous as you are. Relax, try to be confident and make the most of your opportunity to show the employer what you can offer their company and why they should invest in you.
There are many places you can go for advice on your CV and Interview skills. Some of them are free, such as your University Careers Service and some of them cost a little but are worth the investment in some instances.
Please find below some links to places that can help and don’t forget to check out our job board for our placement programmes: Environmental Placement Programme
- Heriot Watt careers advice
- Dundee careers advice
- Careers advice (Stirling University)
- Edinburgh Uni careers advice
- Aberdeen careers advice
- St Andrews Careers Advice
- GCU careers advice
- Glasgow careers advice
- QMU careers advice
- Stirling Uni careers advice
- RGU careers centre
Other Useful Links