I decided to write a mini series on finding a part-time job. I know when I was in first year I wanted a job/a little extra cash to support myself so worked as a student mentor for the University for 10 weeks. In my second year I then became a Student Marketing Assistant, a Student Housing Assistant and filmed graduations – as well as keeping my part-time job at Waitrose at home! Rather than fit the process into one post I thought I’d turn this into a handy mini series.
Part 1: The CV, Part 2: The Hunt and Part 3: The Interview! 🙂
It’s always good to have a ‘simple CV’ handy for if you’re handing CVs out or found a job that you want to apply for. For graduate jobs or more specified areas you’ll want to create a CV that is catered to those areas.
Remember: purple door can always help check over CVs with their walk in workshops!
1. IMAGE IS IMPORTANT
In a lot of situations we’re not taught that image is not important but for CVs – image is everything! The first thing a potential employer will see is the layout. Before they read any information they’ll see the header, the footer, the font, the length and the general layout. If it looks crowded or messy then effectively they’ll base that as a reflection on you. Some employers may also even toss it to one side if they have a lot of CVs to read through. Keep it neat and organised to give a good impression. If you wouldn’t want to read your own CV because it’s crammed or unpleasant to read, then why would a potential employer?
2. BEWARE SPELLING AND GRAMMAR
The second thing the person reading your CV will see is the spelling and grammar. If they see words spelt incorrectly or unappealing grammar they may put it to one side and move a more efficient looking CV to the top. This is the same with online CV applications (where sometimes you may have to type your qualifications and experience in online) – it’s so easy to misspell something and have it corrected automatically – ensure you continually check over your CV and ask a friend to help too!
If you’ve seen The Apprentice you know the final job interview round includes a CV check where invariably at least one of the candidates has told a lie. This lie, which may have seemed harmless at the time of writing their CV, escalates into a ‘make or break’ career move. It’s always best to tell the truth. But ensure you do this appropriately. If you’ve been fired from a job or left early, it may not be best to write that in your CV. If you’ve had a very limited amount of previous work experience you can ‘play up’ the importance of it but be very careful because there’s a fine line. Anything on your CV could come up during an interview so be aware of this.
4. EVERYTHING IS RELEVANT…
This is crucial – especially for those who may be pulling their hair out at their limited amount of experience. There are key skills you’ve picked up from past experiences that can be relevant in virtually every field of work. Remember to include these, particularly if you’re searching to pad out your CV a little.
For example, you may think a paper round is irrelevant but consider the skills you need for that; time-keeping, organisation, liasing with your employer, a high level of responsibility and customer service, loyalty and trust… the list is endless..
Of course, we all want to ensure we have lots of experience but a long list of roles and responsibilities can become irrelevant. Stick to simple bullet points which is easy for your potential employer to read. It keeps the information concise and informative. Also, you don’t need to list every GCSE grade or include your National Insurance number or age on your CV. Especially the latter as this could lead to accidental/indirect age discrimination.
6. KEEP IT CURRENT
Update, update, update! This is so important – especially at University – if you’re sending off bulk CVs to companies make sure it’s all up to date and check over for any mistakes, such as your address! If you’re sending off CVs with an address in Wales but are applying for a job in Portsmouth (where you’re living at University) you may encounter issues!
Catch up for Part 2: The Hunt coming shortly!