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Effective Applications

Producing effective application forms, cover letters and CVs

By end of session you should be able to:


Understand the principles of completing a job application form effectively Write an effective, targeted cover letter Understand how to put together a tailored CV Appreciate that there is no definitive way to produce a good CV/application/cover letter but there are guiding principles

Typical application process (but check!)


Explore options, research sector

Take test, phone interview (both?)

Assessment Centre

Search for jobs

Practice tests, prepare for phone interview?

Final Interview

Research company, role

Apply (early if possible)

Offer or plan B!

Before you start


Research the occupational area for which you are applying:
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/scs/findingajob/researching/

Understand what the role involves Identify the skills and qualities required for the job
http://www.prospects.ac.uk

Identify your relevant experiences, skills and strengths Define your unique selling points

Application forms - types of questions


Why this industry & role? (motivational)
Show what or who has influenced your decision Show a realistic and accurate understanding of job Career motivation & ambition

Why this organisation? (motivational)


Show what research you have undertaken What differentiates them from the competition

Why you? (competency questions)


What it is about you that makes you compelling? Do you have the potential to progress

What do I have to offer?


Use examples from a range of experiences academic, work, volunteering, extra-curricular (sports, societies, etc.) Employees value commercial awareness
Its always good to see some work experience, even if this was a Saturday job while at school. Any involvement in university societies, any charity work or fund raising. The usual activities and interests too.

Graduate Recruiter, Cummins Inc.

Competency Questions Writing a good answer

C ontext A ction R esult E valuation

Use 15 - 20% of your word limit to set the scene Use 60 -70% to talk about your action & the skills you used and developed Use 15 - 20% to explain the outcome of the situation & learning points

Top tips for a good application


Carefully research the company and the job role Think why are they asking the question? Keep within the word limit Complete but succinct sentences Use professional language Use a wide variety of tailored examples no repetition Dont exaggerate or bend the truth Reflective not descriptive Be accurate Make it unique dont copy and paste Keep a paper copy for reference

The covering letter


First document an employer may see Opportunity to summarise your suitability Shows why you are interested in that particular employer and job role Is short and to the point (1 page max 500 words) Shows how committed you really are to the job For up-to-date company information consider social media (LinkedIn, Twitter), Inside Buzz, The Job Crowd, Target Jobs

Covering letter content


Sum up why you want to work in the company/role
Current news/initiatives, company culture Show how you connect/fit in What is your motivation/ambition?

Demonstrate some of the key skills the employer is looking for


What it is about you that makes you compelling? The need to differentiate yourself

Consider company style, tone, culture etc. Communicate energy, enthusiasm (but dont go over the top!)

Personal statements postgraduate study


Aim to cover the following:
Why you want to do this course/research at this institution discuss course structure, other special features Why this field/subject especially if you are converting to a new discipline Academic ability demonstrate your aptitude for research/study; highlight relevant skills How the course may fit with your career plans Relevant w/ex or project work for vocational study
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/scs/applications/statements/

CVs make an impression


Your CV may be one of hundreds Your CV & cover letter must make you stand out Prime purpose is to secure you an interview

You have 30 secs to make an impression.

CV format
Traditional
Reverse chronological See CV Example Library Clear and concise

Other Options
Skills-based Academic (2+ pages) Visual consider a LinkedIn CV. See Prezi and other design websites.

Compiling your CV
Sections to include Qualifications Work experience Extra-curricular achievements Skills: IT, languages
Other considerations 1 vs. 2 pages (IB, some consulting firms 1 page) Easy to read at speed 30 second rule Keep to the facts not a prose document Personal profile yes, no or maybe?

How to tailor your CV


Read the job description and underline the key requirements Look at the front page of your CV and check you have provided specific evidence of skills/experience sought
Important,

relevant info on first page

Write a winning CV
Do
Dont

Format appropriately Be consistent Focus on accomplishments Use professional language Check spelling & grammar

Detail your entire life history Include a photo Use personal pronouns I Use negative words Include explanations Lie or exaggerate

What next?
Use the resources on the website Job sectors CV & cover letter libraries Applications Drop in to see a Job Search Adviser Allowed x2 CV/application checks per year Available 12-4, Learning Grid, University House

Further resources
How to book appointments Make the most of our skills programmes Use our social media: Read our blogs:
The Careers Blog Warwick Law Careers Blog

Get some work experience - theres even a bursary Develop your research skills Find out whats on For everything else theres the help desk!