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Effective CVs and Interviews

Effective CVs and Interviews

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Effective CVs and Interviews

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  1. Effective CVs and Interviews Dr. Lorna Dargan Careers Adviser for FMS

  2. Outline • Highlight the principles of an effective CV and interview • Briefly examine what makes an effective covering letter • Peer feedback.

  3. A CV should... • ...persuade the selector that you are worth interviewing by providing • evidence that you have the knowledge, skills and ability to do the work (CAN) • evidence that you are sufficiently motivated to do the work (WANT) • evidence that you will fit the culture and lifestyle demands of the work environment (FIT)

  4. What do you need to research? • Industry • post • product/service • department • organisation • sector • competitors • Academia • post • field • department • faculty • university • sector

  5. Where can you look? • Job description • Company web page • Staff web pages • Prospects • Trade press • Networks • Make use of the informal call!

  6. What can you offer? • Academic experience e.g. knowledge, technical skills • Research skills and experience e.g. methods • Teaching skills and experience • Research outputs and success e.g. Publications; conferences; grants; patents.

  7. Attention to Detail Intellectual rigour Data handling and analysis Experimental design Report writing Research involves Numeracy Performing experiments Working with others Project Management Problem Solving Analytical skills Literature reviews Communication Information retrieval Technical competence

  8. Core information ….. personal details education work experience interests skills and achievements referees Headings might include… research profile publications, conferences technical skills research/industry experience teaching experience research abstract professional memberships What do you include?

  9. Outside academic research • emphasis on relevant skills and knowledge including projects and resources managed • personal and skills profile may be helpful • include achievements outside research context • describe level of competence and performance • include additional responsibilities and professional development activities including • professional memberships and interests.

  10. What can you use as evidence? • Academic background: relevant modules, research training, academic success, scholarships, awards and prizes • Research experience: practical work, laboratory or field, research assignments and projects, research skills • Research success: publications, conferences, funding, training (research training programme) • Work experience: industry placement, teaching, casual, voluntary, commercial, military service • Interests & achievements: committees and societies, positions of responsibility, professional memberships.

  11. A CV with impact? CURRICULUM VITAE Name: Sadie Smith Email: Date of Birth: 1 September 1988 Age: 20 Place of Birth: Sheffield Nationality: British Marital Status: Single Sex: Female Permanent Address: Furnace House Leconfield STreet Cleator Moor Cumbria CA25 5BX Telephone: (01946) 681 124 Term Address: 10 Sidney Grove Fenham Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 1AB Mobile: 07780 7890123

  12. A CV with impact Sadie Smith 10 Sidney Grove Fenham Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 1AB Tel. 07780 7890123

  13. CV exerciseIn groups, exchange CVs and give constructive feedback

  14. Basic principles 1) Relevance: research the yourself, sector, employer and job description. 2) Order: put the most important information first and give it the most space. 3) Format: make it easy to read, normally use 2 sides A4 4) Attention to detail: check spelling and grammar, beware of cut and paste! 5) An effective covering letter.

  15. Common Mistakes…. Spelling errors Too much, too little information Irrelevant details (including age) No personality Poor presentation Dull vocabulary Too general.

  16. Covering letters • Need to highlight key selling points and add value • opening paragraph - outline the purpose of the letter: who you are, what specific job you are applying for, and where you saw the job advertised • why you want the job - demonstrate your interest with enthusiasm • what you have to offer - refer to your CV or application form and highlight the main evidence that your skills and experience match the job requirements. • why you are interested in this employer/job - demonstrate you have done your homework on them • closing paragraph - a polite and positive ending, stating when you would be available for interview.

  17. CVs - final points • Start with a clear understanding of what the selector is looking for • Ensure your CV is targeted and relevant • Use the best examples you’ve got • Review – ask yourself “so what?” • Ask others for feedback - first impressions.

  18. Interviews

  19. The selectors want to know: • That you CAN DO the job (Skills) • That you WANT the job (Motivation) • That you FIT the organisation (Values)

  20. Types of interview questions competence-based strength-based motivation-based • commercial-based • technical-based • careers service website

  21. Interview exercise • Break into groups of 4: an interviewer; an interviewee; and two observers. • Each interviewee will be asked 2 questions from the list with constructive feedback.

  22. A few practical tips • First impressions • 55% on body language • 38% on tone of voice • 7% on what you say • Talk and listen/watch • 50/50 ratio, maximum 2 minutes at a time • Never be afraid of a pause

  23. General advice • Think about why the question has been asked • Ask for clarification if necessary • Answer the question with relevant and specific evidence of your achievements • Keep to the point • Focus on positive examples and comments.

  24. The key to successful applications? • RESEARCH!

  25. Careers Service Level 1, King’s Gate Drop-in advice, Monday to Friday 10am to 4.30pm 