CVs, covering letters, job applications and interviews
Guidance to help you through each stage of applications and interviews for jobs or other vacancies or courses.
Do you need some help?
- do you know what you want to do, but are unsure of how you can make it happen?
- can you market your skills, strengths and aptitudes effectively to potential employers?
Taking the time to think about what you really want will save you time and effort in the long run.
Below is advice and guidance on how to write a standout CV and/or application form and top tips for interviews.
Help with CVs
What is a CV?
A CV is a document which outlines your work experience, hobbies and interests, qualifications and education. There are some useful links below, which should guide you through the writing process:
Whether you are applying for a job or sourcing a Work Experience placement it is likely you will be asked for a CV (Curriculum Vitae). CV's show employers your qualifications, experience and your hobbies and interests.
Though employers asking for a CV may become a thing of the past, it is still crucial to have a strong CV. If needed, its what’s going to set you aside from other candidates and help you get to the interview stage. Adding to your CV is something that you should be doing regularly. Though, it doesn’t always have to be work related.
Below should provide you with a guide to writing a strong CV and help you secure your next interview:
CV’s can be daunting
Updating or creating a CV or filling out a job application can be daunting but there is great advice and tips on how you can maximise the impact of a CV and show what you have to offer to a future employer. Though employers asking for a CV may become a thing of the past, it is still crucial to have a strong CV and its what’s going to set you aside from other candidates and help you get to the interview stage.
Follow the links below for tips on how to write a standout CV and make sure you are on their interview list.
You’ll often need a cover letter with your CV to introduce yourself and refer to the role / post you are applying for. Below are some guides to help you with writing a cover letter
- Cover letter: Your complete guide to writing one for 2021 | CV-Library (cv-library.co.uk)
- Covering letter | Careers advice | National Careers Service
Help with your CV
Download the CV templates and follow the links below for tips on how to write a standout CV and make sure you are on their interview list.
A cover letter is a tailored one-page letter that you send with your CV, when applying for a job. A well thought out cover letter can be the deciding point for an employer between you and another candidate. It is worth sending one, even if the employer doesn’t ask for one.
Again, there are some very useful links below, which should aid you:
Interview guidance and preparation
Congratulations! Here are some useful tips and tricks to help you smash it!
Interviews can be very overwhelming and scary, but it is important to remember that the interview should be a two-way discussion between you and a potential employer.
The employer wants to see if you are the right person for the job and this gives you the opportunity to show off your qualifications and skills, as well as see if the job is one that you want by asking questions.
It is more than likely that an employer will be interviewing more than one candidate for the role and therefore it is essential that you are well prepared. Doing your research on the company is one of the most important parts of the interview preparation.
Interview preparation and advice
If you get an interview this is the chance for you to show the employer if you are the right person for the job, make a good impression and show the skills you have to offer. This is your chance also to see if the job and company is right for you.
There are a selection of different interviews including face to face, panel and group discussions however due to the pandemic interviews are taking place virtually either over the phone or on platforms such as Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams.
Below are some links which can help you with tips and advice on interviews both face to face and virtually:
Use the websites below to discover everything you need to know about your interview, what to wear, what to expect, what preparation to do beforehand and example interview questions you could be asked:
- How to use the STAR technique for competencies-based interview Questions
- Common Interview Questions and Answers (With Tips)
- Careers Advice for School Leavers
- Top Interview Tips: Common Questions, Body Language & More
- Best practice for Interviews during COVID
- BT Webinar – Work Ready
- Interview advice
- How to prepare for an interview
- Preparing for an interview
Although many jobs ask for a CV and Cover letter, far more jobs require you to fill in an application form instead, giving you the chance to show recruiters that you’re the one for the job.
A good application starts with good preparation by firstly understanding the job description and getting to know what the employer wants from you, the candidate. Also do some research on the employer to find out who they are and what they do.
Good preparation allows you to plan your application form and shows your understanding of what the employers looking for and how you match what they want, making you stand out.
What are good interpersonal skills?
‘Must have’ is a requirement you’ll commonly see on job descriptions, but what exactly does it mean?
Interpersonal skills are the behaviours and traits you exhibit when you interact with others. When employers are hiring, they don’t just want someone who has the knowledge and experience to perform within a role, they are also looking for someone who can fit in with the team and represent the company.
A skills assessment can be helpful at any stage of your career particularly if you are just starting your career, returning to work or wanting to progress. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses, where your skills lie and what your interests or motivations are when considering the world of work and key in managing your career pathway.
If you have a friendly manner and a positive attitude, you’ll stand a better chance of getting to where you want to be. In this case, actions speak louder than words, so make the most of every interaction and work hard to make improvements where necessary.