Make winning CVs, covering letters and applications

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Make winning CVs, covering letters and applications
Make winning CVs,
covering letters and
applications
Sandy Chow
Emerging Talent Attraction Manager
Agenda
• Introduction (5 Mins)
• Understanding the job you are applying for (15
mins)
• Top Tips – how to write your Cover Letter, CV &
Application (30 mins)
• Reflection and Review (30 mins)
• Summary / Q&A (10 mins)
2
Understanding the job you are
applying for?
In groups of 5, please discuss:What do you need to know?
How / where do you find out about
these information?
What do you do with your research?
5 mins
4
What do you need to know?
- What does the company do
- What does the job involve
- What type of people they are looking
for
- Recent news ( company &
department)
5
How and where do you find
these information?
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Company website
Internet (Google, Wikijobs)
News / Industry publications
On Campus events
Social Media
Speak to people currently doing the job!!!
6
What do you do with your research?
- Cross match with your skills /
knowledge and experience
- Demonstrate it in your cover letter,
CV and application form
7
Top Tips – how to write your Cover
Letter, CV & Application
In groups of 5, please discuss:What needs to be in your CV?
How long should it be?
What should it include?
What should not be in your CV?
2 mins
9
Example CVs review (5 mins)
• Review individually
• Discuss with your neighbour which
one is good / bad
10
What makes a good CV
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No more than 2 sides of A4, Font size 10
Tailored to the job you are applying for
Clearly laid out
Informative but concise
Accurate in content, spelling & grammar
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Common mistakes on CVs
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Spelling and grammar 56% of employers found this
Not tailored to the job 21%
Length not right & poor work history 16%
Poor format and no use of bullets 11%
No accomplishments 9%
Contact & email problems 8%
Objective/profile was too vague 5%
Lying 2%
Having a photo 1%
Reference:- http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/cv.htm#What
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In groups of 5, please discuss:- What should your cover letter
include?
- What format / tone of voice should it
be?
- What should min / max length be?
5 mins
13
Purpose of a cover letter:-
A letter of introduction
A selling mechanism
The entrée before the main meal
An example of your writing skills
A perfect skills match
Reference :http://content.mycareer.com.au/advice-research/cover-letter/the-purpose-of-a-cover-letter.aspx
14
Examples of bad cover letters
Reference: http://www.businessinsider.com/worst-cover-letters-2011-10?op=1
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What makes a good cover letter
• Opening the letter
The opening paragraph should be short and to the point and
explain why it is that you’re writing.
• Second paragraph
Why are you suitable for the job?
• Third paragraph
Here’s your opportunity to emphasise what you can do for the
company.
• Fourth paragraph
Here’s where you reiterate your interest in the role and any
additional info i.e. when you are available for interview / start
work
• Closing the letter
Sign off your cover letter with ‘Yours sincerely’
Reference: http://www.reed.co.uk/career-advice/blog/2012/september/how-to-write-a-cover-letter
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Examples of good cover letters
Reference:http://www.prospects.ac.uk/cover_letters.htm
17
In groups of 5, please :Discuss what are your biggest
challenge when completing an
application form?
2 mins
18
Typical Faux Pas in application forms
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Not answering the question
Too long / too short
Copy & Paste
Lack of evidence / examples
Lack of research in role / company
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Top Tip #1 – Written
Communication
Example question
Question
Describe a situation when you effectively managed your
relationships with other people to ensure a goal was delivered
successfully. (350 Word Limit)
In your answer you must tell us:
• The actions you took to improve the way you worked together
• How you adapted your approach to work more effectively with
the others
• What would you do differently next time?
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Top Tip #1 – Written
Answer #1
Communication
Whilst at a clinic at XXX Hospital, I had to deal with an
agitated patient who was impatient with the hospital clinic
system.
I reassured the patient that I understood his frustration, and
attempted to reassure him; he was undergoing a lot of
stress. I was calm and clear. Next time, I would let it worry
me less!
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Top Tip #1 – Written
Communication
Situation - As part of my university modules, students were
Answer #2
divided into groups of four and each group had to lead the
lesson one week. The task involved watching a film and then
discussing the most important aspects of it in a
presentation to the rest of the class.
Task - We brainstormed as a group which aspects we thought
important to broach. However, when we were dividing up the
responsibilities between the four of us, I thought it important to
play to the strengths of each individual team member so, rather
than just letting the group divide up the workload randomly, I
initiated a discussion about what every team member thought
they would excel at.
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Top Tip #1 – Written
Action - I listened to the others’ views on which part of the
presentation theyCommunication
would like to be involved with and adapt my
contribution respectively. I am a confident public speaker and
nobody had yet expressed a desire to lead the delivery of the
presentation, so I offered to do so, which the rest of the team
agreed with.
Result - As a result, our power point presentation was
impressive and it was confidently and engagingly delivered to
the class. If I were in the same situation again, however, I think
that I would encourage more collaboration between team
members and suggest that pairs, rather than individuals, work
together on each section of the presentation in order to improve
its overall quality.
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STAR model answers
Situation
Task
Action
Result
Remember:- Link in your research
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Reflection & Review
In pairs (15 mins)
• Spend 10 mins individually
• Review your current CV and cover letter
• Note down what changes you need to make to
improve
• Swap with the person next to you. Spend 5
mins to discuss if they agree / have any
additional feedback
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Practice application form (15 mins)
• On your own, using STAR model, provide 1
example each for the below competencies:– Being One Team
– Leading by example
– Putting Customers First
– Seizing responsibilities
– Creating a positive environment
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Thank you. Stay in touch!
• Facebook
– Centrica Graduate and Summer Placement
Recruitment
• Twitter
– @Centricagrads
– #centricagrads
– #summeratcentrica
– #moneycantbuy
• LinkedIn