Handy Hints & CV Tips: A Talk at City University

On Monday we went to visit City University to talk to students on the new MA Publishing course about the do’s and don’ts of CV writing. Even though they are only in their fourth week, it is never too early to start perfecting your CV!

One of the main questions that the students raised was whether they should stick to standard CV formats and covering letters or try and find creative ways to make them stand out. The answer really depends on the employer and the role. For example, it would be appropriate for someone applying for a designer role to be more creative with formatting their CV. Generally, as long as all of the details that make you a suitable candidate stand out on your CV, a standard format will get you an interview!

Your CV should be an outline of your experience, a taster of what you can offer a potential employer. It is your opportunity to promote your strengths and aptitudes to demonstrate how your skills match your desired role.

Here are a few of our top tips:

Contact Details – Make sure you always include your contact details at the top so that potential employers can get in touch with you!

Personal Summary – You should include one or two lines at the top of your CV to summarise yourself briefly. Things to include are your education or current job and what role you are looking for.

Dates –Be sure to include dates so that it is easy to read your experience as a timeline.

Include Customer Service roles – Don’t be dismissive of customer service experience, there are so many skills that you learn in these roles which are transferable!

Interests – Including a couple of interests at the bottom can help to differentiate your CV and can be particularly pertinent in Publishing, as a creative industry. Remember to make sure these are appropriate and keep them brief.

Two pages – Always keep your CV to two pages long.

Format – Make sure your CV is in a format which is easily accessible!

 

Your covering letter is your chance to let potential employers know how good of candidate you are and why you would be a perfect fit for their team. Therefore it is crucial each letter is tailored and personalised to each company and role that you apply for.

Even though each letter is different, there are a few key things to remember:

Explain your experience - Your CV must be brief so the covering letter is your chance to elaborate on how each bit of experience makes you a good candidate for the role you are applying for.

Do your research – Show that you have an understanding of both the role and the company. Really tailor your covering letter to each role to show that you are committed.

Engagement – Remember to show that you are engaged with the industry.

Use the job specification – Highlight the key competencies that the role requires and make sure you explicitly address them in your covering letter.

It was really great to see the students embarking on their journey into publishing and being able to give some hints and tips to help them on their way. We would like to thank Mary Ann for having us and look forward to returning at the end of the year!