Spring Clean Your CV
There are daffodils in the hedges, lambs in fields and there are job adverts sprouting up in anticipation of hospitality and retail opening up later this month – so it could be time to dust off your CV and start looking for part time and summer jobs. But after a long dark winter of lockdown, your CV may need a refresh – QMU Careers Adviser, Rebecca, gives us her top tips for spring cleaning your CV:
Check the Facts – Nothing is more off putting than outdated email addresses and phone numbers that don’t work. A good place to start with a CV update (or if you are starting from scratch) is to make sure that the factual information that you provide on your CV is correct. Have you added your university studies? Is your location still correct? Do all your dates match up?
CV Gaps – Current students don’t need to worry too much about gaps in your CV, employers may expect that you will work around your studies, and everyone acknowledges the impact that Covid has had on available opportunities. Concentrate on building a full, rich CV which demonstrates how you spent your time: make sure you include volunteer experience, club and society membership, short courses and university projects – and focus on what you achieved in these roles.
No relevant experience? No Problem – Focus on transferable skills. You might not have worked as a bar tender, waiting staff or at a checkout before – but highlight where you have demonstrated the skills you will need to do that job – customer service, communication, team work, learning to use new systems quickly and accurately – think through your school, university, work and extra-curricular activities to provide evidence for employers.
Tailor your CV for each job that you apply for – This is vital and the number one tip you will hear from careers advisers and recruiters. Make it really easy for an employer to see at first glance that you are a perfect match for their job and their organisation. Read each job description carefully, and don’t just assume that because the job title is the same that the job will be the same too.
Focus on what you achieved rather than just what you did – Elevate your application above the others in the pile, by providing evidence for the impact that you had on customers, clients and the business. Rather than just describing the tasks you undertook, give evidence for how good you were at them. Include targets that you met, feedback you received, systems that you improved – and for each statement, describe what you did and the impact that you had.
For a personalised review of your CV, cover letter or application statement, you can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or book an appointment with a Careers Adviser on Student Central here: https://studentcentral.qmu.ac.uk/s/careers/appointments
Article written by Rebecca Clacy-Jones, QMU Careers Advisor.
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