Principal Musings – CV Writing

CV writing has begun!

Week 7 of the first term is upon us and that means it’s time for me to support our students with CV writing! Teaching PDP (Personal Development Planning) is something I really enjoy, especially when it’s time to start talking about these all-important personal documents.

Most of our students have a CV of some sort when they join us. However when I start to explain how important they are in helping them to secure a job they soon begin to sit up and listen carefully to my advice on how to make improvements.

How we support our students with CV writing

CV as you may well know means a brief account of a person’s education, qualifications, and previous occupations, and as you would expect it is incredibly important that your CV gives the reader the right impression of you. I often ask them whether they want to come across as being creative, sporty or academic, as this can influence what they should consider including on it.

I also liken their CV to the act of choosing a restaurant online. When we want to decide on where to go we often book a table just by reading the menu. You haven’t visited the restaurant or seen what it looks like, but the words have persuaded you to go and try it.

This is exactly what your CV is doing. Wetting an employer’s appetite to make them want to see more of you and invite you in for that first interview. It also demonstrates how powerful the words you use on it can be!

How we help our students optimise their CV’s

I also explain to my students how their CV needs to be written in sections with clear divisions. Employers do not need much of a reason to bin a CV! Hence the importance of proofreading them extremely carefully in order to avoid this.

It is also critical to have a CV with plenty of white space, as most employers will quickly scan it rather than read it end to end. You need to make sure it clearly outlines exactly what the company wants to see and make it as easy as possible for the reader to understand this!

The CV writing skills our students learn without a doubt put them at the top of the interview list. They also benefit from our relationship with our partner recruitment agencies which helps to get them noticed, but this does not diminish the need for their CV to be absolutely perfect.

Making sure the CV showcases each of our students

I also work with our students to help them highlight their work experience. I want to help them get across what they have been responsible for in their employment to date and what skills this has helped them develop. I then discuss with them how important it is to illustrate their other achievements and interests in order to give the potential employer a great impression of what makes them tick, what they are good at and therefore whether they will fit into the ethos of the recruiting company.

I often say that creating a CV can also create quite a headache! Partly because I will be asking them to check it and write it again and again in order to get it perfect. It can be hard for them to find the right words to describe themselves but the confidence and sense of fulfilment achieved from having a CV ready to send to an employer when an exciting job opportunity arises makes this worthwhile.

Job opportunities can arise at any time during the Professional Business Diploma

My intention of having them create a CV so early on into our one year Professional Business Diploma is simple. Christmas is almost upon us. A time when we gather with friends and family, seeing more people than usual or people we haven’t seen for a while.

It is a time for our students to start networking and be proud of who they are and what they have achieved in the first 3 months of the course. They deserve to feel excited about where it is going to take them and above all they have a wonderful CV ready to email to anyone wanting to see it.

Happy CV building everyone.

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