Thursday, 7 January 2016

CVs and/ Covering Letters

Year in Business students looking for placement positions can find a wealth of information from the University Careers Service to assist in making their applications:

Check here for tips on:
Application forms
Covering Letters
Psychometric tests
Assessment Centres

Royal Holloway students can also access further information using the site: this is a unique resource designed by The Careers Group. Search the information you want by typing in tag words like "Covering letters"

Paper Form With Ballpoint Clip Art
As part of the 2nd year Employability module (MN 2915) you will write a CV/ Covering letter which should be good preparation for the application process. Don't forget Emma Baker can also conduct 1:1 interviews with Year in Business students to discuss their CVs applications.

To quote the Careers Group of London University : " A CV isn't a list of everything you have ever done; it is a marketing document. It should focus on those skills and experiences most relevant to your target employer".

Here are a few areas to include in CVs:

Work experience:
Employers are increasingly looking for evidence of work experience on CVsThis could be:
>  Paid holiday work (internships/ work experience or part time jobs) ;
>  Workshadowing that you have obtained through personal contacts or
> Volunteering/ Charity Work. Volunteering for a charity not only demonstrates your passion for a cause close to you but also gives you the chance to learn useful skills for your future career. Within the School of Management there is the opportunity to apply for the voluntary Ambassador Scheme

Royal Holloway Part time jobs fair Oct 2015
Remember to show the relevance of previous experience to the placement you are applying for and the experience the employer is looking for.

Societies, clubs and extra- curricular activities
You are encouraged to engage in lots of co-curricular activities such as sports and societies while you are at University. These activities will ensure you are developing your transferable skills and have strong evidence of your attributes and abilities to put on your CV and discuss in interviews/ assessment centres. Employers will be especially interested in relevant societies (eg Royal Holloway's Marketing Society) and in seeing any positions of responsibility you have taken on (eg being a committee member)

We encourage 1st years to become actively involved in such societies but remember it is never to late to sign up for a new club or attend an event and start adding to your CV.

Hippolyte Petit was Creative Director of the Royal Holloway Marketing Society in his 1st year and Vice President in his 2nd year. He secured a Marketing placement with the Walt Disney Company  

Identify the skills the employer is looking for and think of examples from your work experience, volunteering, study, interests, travel or home life to prove you have these job requirements. If they ask for leadership skills, make sure you don't simply say you have "good leadership skills" but explain in detail how you have demonstrated these leadership skills in practice. You can use the STAR approach you learnt about as part of MN2915 (Situation, Task/Target, Action, Result).

CV Checklist : (source: The Careers Group, University of London)

> Look at your CV as if you were the recruiter. After a quick scan, can you pick out evidence of each of the job requirements?
> Is your CV two pages in length ? Some UK employers request a one page CV, but most are 2 pages.
> To ensure your CV is easy to read, is there about the same amount of text on both pages and have you avoided large chunks of text?
> Have you used formatting tools (eg bold, italics, capitals and spacing) consistently? Make sure you triple check your spelling and grammar.
> Have you asked Emma Baker from the Careers department for feedback on your CV and Covering Letter?

Covering Letters 
Tailoring a covering letter is really important if you want your application to be progressed to the next stage. You should express clearly who you are, what job you are applying for, why you are suitable for that specific job. It is important to highlight your specific strengths, motivations and reasons for applying.

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