Every year in October, it's incredibly difficult for students to get a CV and Applications Advice appointment - they fill up as soon as they are released. We do our best by offering back-to-back appointments trying to help as many of you as possible with your CVs. And we do really love talking to you and helping you – it’s why we do this work....
HOWEVER! It is incredibly frustrating to see so many students with the same basic issues on their CVs: poor presentation, not writing much about their degrees and not providing the right level of detail. We end up spending most of the appointment covering the basics and not having the chance to look at how to tailor the CV to a role.
Students always leave with a better CV than when they arrived, but if you know where to look you can come away with an outstanding, tailored and application-ready CV! If you cover the basics before the appointment you can spend that elusive 20-minute appointment fine tuning and polishing your CV.
So here are my top tips on how to get the most out of the Careers Service when it comes to producing an outstanding CV.
1. Use online resources to cover the basics
Sections 1 and 2 of our Application, CV and cover letter guide provide a great written introduction to the essentials of CV writing. If you prefer watching and listening instead of reading, then watch our Writing Effective CVs webinar recording.
2. Book a group CV feedback workshop
Once you’ve produced your first draft of your CV, and improved it as much as you can, book a group CV Feedback workshop, by searching for 'CV feedback workshop' in MyFuture Events. In this workshop you'll get some feedback on your CV from one of your peers and get some practical experience of critically reviewing CVs. You'll also get to view loads of real CVs and you’ll be guided through the session on crucial things to watch out for. By applying this advice to someone else’s CV you’ll be cementing your learning and widening your understanding about what makes a great CV.
3. Tell us what your applying for when you book a one-to-one appointment
Once you’ve incorporated what you learnt from the CV Feedback workshop and reflected on the feedback you received, book a CV and Applications Advice appointment, by selecting the option, 'Go to CV and aplications support'. Before you book, you are given the opportunity to complete a form to tell us what you’re applying for. Do this! You will get even more out of the appointment when the adviser knows what you are applying for, what skills you need to demonstrate and what you’re concerns are. You will have a ful 20 minutes to fine tune your CV and get some bespoke advice about tailoring it to the role(s) you’re interested in.