shaping the stars of tomorrow

 
CV Advice

CV Advice

You are the right person for the job, but does your CV say that?

 

When writing your CV, it is important to consider the following:

 

What do employers look for in a placement student?

  • Demonstrable personal interest in computing that goes beyond taught materials (e.g. active involvement in open source projects, building and maintaining small networks for voluntary organisations)
  • Demonstrable personal commitment to gaining knowledge and skills beyond the scope of your education (e.g. learning and using new programming languages, experimenting with home networking and services)
  • Evidence of supporting skills for example Customer Service experience shows that you have communication skills 
  • Discipline and maturity
  • Initiative and curiosity
  • There should be credible evidence that you can do what you say you can, and that you have what the employer is looking for – add in links to any examples of your work if you have them.

 

Students who have been short listed for interview have CV's that:

  • Are well thought out
  • Are logically written
  • Have detailed topics covered in their study and grades achieved
  • Include sections covering skills/expertise
  • Include sections covering work/project experience
  • Are good at evidencing their ability
  • Have made themselves stand out from the crowd.

 

Things to avoid when writing your CV: Common mistakes

  • Referring to the wrong company (often a cut and paste error)
  • Omission of contact details
  • Missing exam results (always include expected degree result)
  • Badly chosen email address (make it polite and professional)
  • Poor grammar, poor spelling
  • Lies
  • Document format (send to friend to make sure others can read it)

Ready to get started? Check out our example CV and use it as a template, or keep reading for more specific hints and tips.

 

Presentation

  • Your CV should be ideally be no more than 2 pages in length.
  • You should always add a short Profile statement in which you sell yourself to employers.
  • Make sure you include a Technical Skills section and an Other Skills sections.
  • Don’t be afraid to Experiment to achieve the best layout. It doesn't need to be fancy, but it does need to be easy to read. (We are happy to take a look at your CV before you apply to any placement opportunities to offer any suggestions on changes.)
  • Make use of headings and paragraphs for various sections which may include some of the following:-
    • Education and Qualifications
    • Technical Skills
    • Employment
    • Transferable Skills
    • Achievements o Responsibilities
    • Interests

 

Content

Your CV is a selling document designed to help you reach the interview stage so you must sell yourself, remember you are trying to stand out in a sea of other applicants.

  • You must be positive and avoid any negative statements; try to use action words
  • Education & Qualifications – use reverse chronological order throughout
  • Technical Skills: be specific with computer knowledge – this should cover any relevant skills that you want the employer to know about. Skills can be technical or otherwise but do emphasise those that are relevant.
  • Work experience: highlight skills learned & experience gained
  • Transferable Skills: e.g. good presentation skills; driving licence. Try to tailor skills to specific positions
  • Achievements: outstanding achievements from school; university; or hobbies
  • Responsibilities: gained from work experience or leadership roles
  • Interests: include any interests outside of university, especially computing areas
  • It is not necessary to add a date of birth or a photograph to your CV as these are not required, however there is nothing stopping you from adding them if you wish to.

 

Spelling, Grammar and Formatting

  • You must use a spellchecker
  • Proof-read your CV thoroughly for grammar & punctuation (Where possible get someone else to do this for you too)
  • Use a common format - Like Word for example which will open for most people with no issues.

Still not sure where to start? Check out our example CV as a good place to get going and remember, please do make sure you talk to your Careers Service for advice on your CV.

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