Getting your CV right

Mike Burns, Gateshead College Lead Career Adviser, talks about getting your CV noticed.

As technology advances, the majority of job vacancies are advertised online and require you to complete an online application form, but there’s still often a need for a traditional CV. Recruiters spend on average only 8.8 seconds looking at your credentials, so it needs to be short, punchy and you need to stand out from the crowd.

Keep your CV to one page, or two maximum. Have your contact information first, then a short paragraph explaining your key skills, achievements and selling points. Next, briefly summarise your employment experience including dates. It’s also good to include any voluntary or unpaid work you’ve done, as well as clubs or societies you’re a member. This will set you apart from other candidates with similar qualifications and experience.

Always include a covering letter or email when you send your CV. Include your key achievements and how you’re right for the position. Last but not least, remember to ask someone to proof read your CV and covering letter or email before you hit the send button.

It’s always a good idea to refresh your CV now and again, so that if you do spot any opportunities you can be quick off the mark to apply. You can also use the content of your cv to copy and paste over into online applications.

We’re here to support you if you need any help searching for jobs, collating your CV or writing a covering letter. Get in touch. Good luck! 

Planning ahead for an interview

Gwen Siegel, Gateshead College Careers Adviser, shares her top tips on giving a great interview.

Recruiters receive so many applications for jobs that getting an interview is an achievement it itself, so well done. Now it’s time to polish your communication and inter-personal skills so you come across the confident and capable person you are.

Firstly, do your research on the company as well as those interviewing you if you know who it will be. Read the company website and news articles. Envisage how you might be involved in the day to day running of the business or a particular project the company is working on. You might want to ask a question around whether you’ll be involved in any of these projects or work at the end of your interview.

It’s important to study the job description and specification to get an idea of the questions the panel might ask. Make notes and include examples that link back to your experience whenever you can.

Look the part – always dress smart and presentable. Be polite and make eye contact with anyone you meet when you arrive, including receptionist, your interview panel and anyone who might escort you to and from the interview location – the panel might ask how friendly and conversational you were.

I advise students to do a practice travel run – public transport often isn’t reliable so if you’re getting a bus or train allow extra time on your journey for any unexpected delays. Traffic can also be unpredictable so if you’re travelling by car work out the best route. It’s good to plan where you’ll park and make sure you have some spare change too.

If you have an interview coming up and would like some extra support around confidence building or preparation, pop in and see us. We’re at Baltic Campus, directly opposite the main entrance. Good luck!

 

Check out Katie's Blog to read some great advice from a former Gateshead College Student.