Employability

Employability - resources such as CV and Letter templates and videos, Interview techniques

We are committed to ensuring that each student at Waterfront is well equipped and prepared for the world of work when they leave us. Throughout the academic year, students have the opportunity during their Careers lessons to write their CV, learn about letters of applications, interview techniques and other vital skills needed to succeed.

In this section, we have added some resources that may be useful for your child.

A CV is an essential part of any job search, not to mention a great way to put all of your skills, experience, and qualifications in one place. In fact, a well written CV could be the difference between getting an interview and not being considered for the role.

To help you understand what they’re all about, and make yours work harder for you, here are a few things you should know about CVs:

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What is a CV?

A CV (also known as a Curriculum Vitae, or résumé), is a written overview of your skills, education, and work experience.

They may be used for a variety of reasons, however, the most common of these is to send to prospective employers when looking for a new job.

What should a CV include?

Although there’s no official CV structure, certain key information should always be included.

Here a few essential things you should aim to cover in your CV:

  • Your personal details (e.g. name, address, phone number)
  • A personal statement (a brief personal summary of who you are and what you’re looking for)
  • Relevant key skills
  • Work experience (listed in reverse chronological order – with the most recent coming first)
  • Education and qualifications (listed in reverse chronological order)
  • Hobbies and interests (if you think they might help you get the job)
  • References (often available on request)

What is a CV used for?

You’ll usually be required to submit your CV during the initial application stage for a job, often in conjunction with a cover letter or application form.

An employer will then be able to judge it in line with their person specification and company needs, to see if you’re a good fit.

If you are, you’ll usually be invited to interview, whether it’s on the phone, face-to-face, or through a video format. If that goes well, you could then be offered the job.

A CV will also be needed to apply for: internships, work experience, or volunteer work.

How should a CV be formatted?

The layout of your CV says a lot about you as a candidate, and the presentation is just as important as the content.

After all, how is a recruiter going to see your skills and experience if they’re written in size 10 Comic Sans, in one paragraph, filled with spelling mistakes? It also wouldn’t be a good example of your organisational skills or attention to detail.

To make sure your CV is clear, concise, succinct, and easy to read – it’s always best to follow these key rules:

  • Be logical
  • Keep it brief (and relevant)
  • Check spelling and grammar
  • Choose a professional font
  • Use headings and bullet points
  • Use a template

How many types of CVs are there?

There are many different ways you can get your skills across to recruiters – and it doesn’t always have to be in writing (yes, video CVs are a thing).

Whether you want to draw attention to your education, prove your creative abilities, or place an emphasis on your relevant skills, it’s all about tailoring your CV according to your strengths, and the industry you’re applying for work in.

It may also depend on your previous experience, or current circumstances. A graduate CV, for example, will look a lot different from the CV of someone returning after a career break or redundancy.

Here are a few more CV types you could choose from:

  • Creative CV (for showing skills in marketing, design, and other creative fields)
  • Technical CV (for IT-based positions)
  • Teaching CV (for teaching roles)
  • Academic CV (for research/lecturing based positions or PhDs)
  • Skills-based CV (for those with little work experience)

How long should a CV be?

Size matters when it comes to your CV.

In fact, 91% of recruiters see a Word document of two to three pages as the perfect CV length – so always aim to keep it short and sweet.

Only include what’s going to make you a good fit for the role you’re applying for, and don’t overdo it with unnecessary detail. You can always use your cover letter to elaborate on any skills and experience you didn’t have room for in your CV.

As long as they’re relevant, of course.

Covering Letter/Letter of Application

A cover letter accompanies your CV as part of a job application. It provides further detail on how your skill set aligns with the role, what you can bring to the team and why you want the position. Cover letters allow recruiters and hiring managers to develop a better understanding of your suitability for a position. 

When your cover letter is being reviewed, this is often the point at which first impressions are made in the mind of an employer, making it an essential part of your application. In addition to this, employers often favour CVs that are accompanied by a cover letter and will in most cases specifically request one as a mandatory requirement to apply for their vacancies.

What is a CV cover letter?

A covering letter is a one-page document addressed to the interviewer or potential employer that includes your contact details, the role you are applying for and further detail surrounding the information in your CV. Cover letters should highlight your interest in the role and expand on your skills and experiences that make you best suited for the position.

Within the letter, you should align your qualifications, relevant skills and previous experience clearly to the job description to emphasise that you have done your research into the role and are keen to join the team.

A good covering letter will increase your chances of being invited for an interview.

Writing a winning cover letter

During a recruitment process, recruiters and hiring managers may receive hundreds of CVs to review. The better applications will also include a cover letter. Your cover letter must reflect the unique capabilities that you possess, which position you as an ideal candidate for the job you are applying for. 

The overall goal of a cover letter is to demonstrate your uniqueness as a candidate, one that can bring value to the position; and to show that you are literate, experienced and enthusiastic about it. A well-written cover letter is an opportunity to show the reader you encompass these key attributes, which is why it is important to invest the necessary time and effort into writing yours. 

Value

What do you have to offer as a professional and how could you positively affect the organisation if you were to be offered the role? Sell your key strengths confidently to grab the reader’s attention. This will increase the likelihood of progression through the selection process.

Literate

There’s nothing worse than a glaring spelling error on your cover letter. A mistake in your letter shows you not only lack attention to detail but also suggests you don’t care enough to take the time to proofread. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you check it over and have a friend do so as well before submitting. A fresh pair of eyes could go a long way in securing an interview. 

A well-written cover letter can also showcase your ability to effectively communicate via written text. A thorough spelling and grammar check is an absolute must. 

A unique candidate

Use your cover letter to display your unique combination of skills and experience that relate to the job selection criteria of the role. Provide examples that will demonstrate a clear link between your knowledge, experience and abilities, and the needs of the employer.

Experienced

While soft skills, as well as academic skills, are critical for securing an interview, it’s also important to demonstrate your experience in relation to the job description. Be sure to include examples of relevant experience in your cover letter to highlight the value you would bring to the role and why you would be the best-suited candidate for the position. 

Enthusiastic

A tailored, compelling cover letter shows you have taken the time to research the company and understand the employer’s needs and job requirements. It is an opportunity to express that you are enthusiastic about the role, keen to be part of the team and demonstrate the value you would add to the company.

A cover letter should bring your CV to life. By aligning your CV with the job spec for the role, you can highlight exactly why you should be hired for the position while expressing your keenness to become a part of the team

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