CV writing and covering letters (Young HPC)
So you know you need to get a job, but what will you actually need?
How to create a CV
The first thing you need to do when applying for a job is put together your CV. It’s basically a snapshot of who you are and what you’ve done. But more importantly – it’s your opportunity to promote yourself to a potential employer.
CV is actually short for the Latin phrase 'curriculum vitae'. But most people just refer to it as a CV. It’s a record of your achievements, so it’s a good idea to update it whenever you gain more experience and skills. A CV needs to include the following:
- Information about you (name, address, contact info etc.)
- Your education (where and when you went to school, any qualifications you have etc.)
- And your personal interests (sports, hobbies etc).
While it’s important to ensure that the content is good – and you’re giving a good representation of who you are and your skills – your CV also needs to look good... The smarter it looks, the easier it will be for someone to read and understand. And that’s going to make your CV stand out against somebody else’s, who hasn’t bothered to do the same.
CV top tips
As well as a CV, you’ll need a covering letter. This is a letter that accompanies your CV to explain why you’re applying for the job. It should convince the person reading it that they want to know more about you.
Desirable skills to include
The chances are that you won’t have much experience to put on your CV, or to tell potential employers about if you haven’t had a proper job yet. All is not lost though as, with a bit of creative thinking, you can turn your experiences and things you do into transferable skills an employer is looking for.
What about the musical instrument you’ve recently picked up? The ‘practice makes perfect’ theory is exactly what employers want as a quality in their staff – determination. It’s also a great indication that you’re creative, have great listening skills and have the desire to learn outside of school or college.
Remember the volunteering you did last Summer? Volunteering can change the way you see the world, and can therefore give you a broader perspective and a real sense of community. Not only does volunteering create the perfect team worker, but it can also develop networking and leadership skills too.
What about if you haven’t done any of these activities? Did you play any team sports either at school or outside? Well just like musicians, athletes never give up and are great at managing their time. People who play team sports work well with others and develop strong communication skills… not to mention they’ll work hard to achieve their goals.
- Almost anything you do, you can develop into a work-placed skill.
- Even just mentioning these in your CV and covering letter will create a better overall impression of yourself – remember, it’s all about selling yourself.
Build your CV
To help you present yourself in the best way, we’ve created a tool to put together a professional CV. Just fill in the information below honestly – and check any details required, such as dates and spellings – so that it’s accurate about you.
Build your covering letter
Creating the right impression in your covering letter is just as important as in your CV. So use this tool to make sure your covering letter is as professional and presentable as it can be.