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  • So first, we're going to talk about CVs.

  • CV stands for curriculum vitae, Latin

  • for the course of my life.

  • In America, they use resume, a summary of your life.

  • The CV remember, is only to get you the interview.

  • It's not to get you the job.

  • What it should do is contain just enough

  • to intrigue the reader that the next thing they want to do

  • is actually meet you.

  • So the three points you're trying to get over in a CV

  • are that you take responsibility,

  • you achieve things, and that you're nice to have around.

  • But first, let's hear from some of our students.

  • I'd definitely like to steer my career in a more

  • creative direction where I'm less

  • restricted by corporate boundaries

  • and I can be a bit more creative in my approach to my work.

  • Last year, I took the decision to leave my job in finance

  • and pursue a master's in neuroscience.

  • It was a bit of a risk at the time.

  • And it's never nice to stop making money.

  • As well as fashion, music is something

  • that I'm really, really, really enthusiastic

  • and passionate about.

  • I've performed with choirs at the Brit awards.

  • I performed in front of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

  • My biggest achievement is working

  • with a big US bank on the Brexit project

  • during my summer internship.

  • And another big achievement of mine

  • was actually getting into university

  • despite my poor grades.

  • I had lived in three different continents and I travelled over

  • 25 different countries by the age of 25.

  • Something I'm very proud of is that I'm

  • doing my second degree on the side, which

  • is a distance learning course.

  • And I'm teaching everything to myself,

  • so at least I've been told that this

  • is something to be proud of.

  • So CV, the main rule is to think about the reader.

  • Think about the person on the other side.

  • It could be a wet Wednesday night

  • and they've got a column of 80 of these things to get through.

  • And they'd really rather go home now than be in the office

  • and they've got to work through them.

  • So it's that first no more than two seconds

  • that someone is going to read them.

  • So they're going to glance, let's just pick this one,

  • and what you want is the person to say, oh, OK.

  • Well, that's good, rather than the ...

  • the heart sink, too much to read sort of stuff.

  • So thinking about the reader.

  • What we want on here is evidence, not assertion.

  • And my first point would be, many of you

  • have put a little background, or a little sort of commentary,

  • at the start, a paragraph at the start, a personal statement.

  • And you called it, Nithya, you called it background.

  • We've got a profile from Bradley.

  • And another one from Cosima.

  • In fact, nearly all of you have done it.

  • The problem with them is A, it takes up

  • space, which you would be better used with some more

  • evidence on here.

  • And secondly, a lot of it is assertion

  • with no evidence behind it.

  • And you've got to think anybody could write some of this stuff.

  • So anybody could have written: "I have a strong record

  • in extracurricular activities."

  • "I'm an ambitious third-year student."

  • I wouldn't actually have the personal statement

  • because you're going to need the space for evidence

  • of other things.

  • And we also, ideally, going to get this

  • onto one page rather than two.

  • There is a variation in these, and that's fine too.

  • It is your CV.

  • There is no standard one format to go.

  • You've put education at the top.

  • Generally, at this stage, education and then experience.

  • And I would put all experience together,

  • not just volunteering separately, or skills

  • and achievements, or work.

  • I would just have experience, in reverse order,

  • and then, finally, other outside interests.

  • Hi.

  • Let me just interrupt for a minute.

  • My name's Elizabeth Uviebinene, and I'm a marketing manager.

  • I've also just co-authored a bestselling book

  • all about empowering women.

  • As you start out on your career, I

  • want to share something I found empowering for myself

  • - building a personal brand.

  • When I was 16, I was convinced I was going to fail my GCSEs.

  • I decided to find a job before disappointment on results day.

  • It forced me to step out of my comfort zone

  • and apply some creative thinking.

  • I pitched an outdoor film screening

  • to a London gallery and ways to appeal

  • to a younger, diverse audience.

  • They took up the idea and it became my first experience

  • in marketing.

  • I did do well on results day and I went on to college.

  • But what I didn't know was I had already

  • started to build an authentic personal brand -

  • collaborative, creative, enterprising.

  • And it's a brand that's been vital

  • as I progressed in my career.

  • So what does a personal brand even mean?

  • Ultimately, to understand your brand

  • is to understand what makes you unique, special,

  • and what makes you stand out.

  • Ask yourself, what are you good at?

  • What are your values?

  • Which qualities do you want to accentuate?

  • What contribution do you want to make?

  • What do you want to be known for?

  • That's something that you should start thinking about

  • as you sit down to write your CV and start applying for jobs.

  • Find three words that best describe you

  • and the impact you want to make at work.

  • Yes, it's a bit about marketing yourself,

  • but it's also a self-reminder of who you are or want to be.

  • I've heard people say, "if I'm good at my job,

  • then that should speak for itself."

  • And that's true.

  • But your reputation is part of your brand.

  • It's what people say when you're not in the room.

  • And it helps you stand out in a competitive professional field,

  • meaning you no longer have to chase all the opportunities,

  • they'll start chasing you.

  • So remember, branding is not just about businesses or logos,

  • it's about your own unique selling points.

  • Right.

  • Back to the classroom.

  • Three things we're trying to get over

  • in the content of what you write.

  • That you take responsibility, that you achieve things,

  • and that you're nice to have around.

  • That's why I would employ you.

  • So in all the bullet points, a great way

  • to write them is to actually start them by saying,

  • responsibilities included, or achievements included.

  • We don't want process.

  • Process is boring, actually.

  • And also, it doesn't tell me if you spent 10 minutes producing

  • the annual report, or six months,

  • and who you presented the annual report to.

  • Here's - I'll pick out one here - "attending team meetings."

  • Well, but that's what you do as part of the job.

  • But what was the outcome?

  • Did you write the minutes?

  • Did you arrange things?

  • What did you achieve?

  • Because that's the only reason people

  • pay you is that you achieve stuff.

  • So you could just say, key responsibilities

  • included X, Y, Z. Included means there's

  • so much I could write to you about.

  • But remember that point, we're trying to intrigue people.

  • I really want to find out how they did that.

  • How did they raise a business?

  • How did they work with this company?

  • What was that?

  • But now, I'm going to have to meet them.

  • And then you've won because then you're in the room.

  • Make your applications look attractive, clean, easy

  • to read.

  • Short sentences.

  • Active verbs.

  • No jargon.

  • Use Anglo-Saxon words, not Latin-based.

  • Check you've got the correct use of apostrophes.

  • No overused words like honed or passion.

  • And certainly, no typos.

  • Above all, remember that no applicant

  • meets all the criteria.

  • So if you think you only meet 80 per cent,

  • you're doing really well.

  • Show how you have equivalent experience or skills

  • to meet their criteria.

  • Finally, polish to perfection.

  • So lets go into more detail within the bullet points.

  • And let's pick yours, Cosima.

  • Numbers add power to all of these bullet points.

  • So, for example, you said, "Helped the site administrator

  • with a diverse range of procurement-related tasks."

  • It doesn't tell me whether that was half a day,

  • or two months of working there, or whether it

  • consumed a lot of your time.

  • If you told us what sort of tasks,

  • what the values were, even rough ranges of values.

  • When you talk about "wrote a technical manual,"

  • who is now using that?

  • Has that been implemented and rolled out

  • to the rest of the company?

  • What happened with that?

  • What was the achievement you got there?

  • "Wrote a research report for somebody."

  • Again, kind of give us a length of how long it was,

  • who it went to, who you presented it to.

  • There was one over here: "Organised a charity event" -

  • which is great because, especially with students,

  • there isn't a lot of work experience,

  • but there's lots of other stuff you've done

  • - "to raise money for underage refugees."

  • Brilliant.

  • Great things to have done.

  • Tell us how much money.

  • And it doesn't matter if it was $50, $500, $5,000 or whatever,

  • because getting people to part with money

  • is pretty difficult usually.

  • Everyone says they will, but you've actually

  • gone out and done it.

  • So tell us how much it was.

  • And that tells us two things - that you

  • know that money is important and that measuring things is

  • important.

  • And that's a really strong implicit message

  • to send to any recruiter.

  • Remember the third thing of a CV is teamwork, always

  • nice to have around.

  • You can't really write on here, I'm

  • a nice person to have around.

  • But what you can do is show, with third-party endorsements,

  • that other people think you're nice.

  • So if you were elected to a position, tell us about it.

  • How do you deal with gaps in your CV?

  • Every employer recognises that you're human beings.

  • People get ill.

  • You have to look after other people who are ill.

  • You might have been travelling.

  • It's fine, but explain what happened.

  • We want to make sure you weren't in jail.

  • Even with travelling, like if you take a gap year,

  • you can make a big virtue out of it about,

  • I visited 17 countries in three months.

  • I photographed four active volcanoes, whatever it was you

  • did, I swam in four oceans of the world.

  • This third section, which is classically interests,

  • community activity, social activities you do,

  • try to avoid things that we all do

  • like reading, going to cinema, cooking, socialising, using

  • Facebook, or whatever it is.

  • And focus on something that's going

  • to start a conversation, something common that's

  • not about the job that you can talk to the interviewer about.

  • Any good interviewer would spend a couple of minutes warming you

  • up anyway and say, oh, I see that you've

  • driven a car to Ulan Bator.

  • Tell me about that.

  • How was that?

  • I've never been to Mongolia, so how did that go?

  • Are there any major red flags that you'd say we

  • should avoid having on our CV.

  • We don't need to know about your clean driving