If you’re going along to our part-time jobs fair this Thursday 2nd Oct (Sugden Sports Centre, Grosvenor Street, Manchester, 12.30-3.30pm) it’s a good idea to take copies of your CV. If you don’t have one that’s up to scratch, or have never needed one before, here’s a few tips.
First, start by thinking of the kind of work you’re interested in and then consider what skills this requires. Bar work, for instance, calls for good communication, a helpful manner, occasionally diplomacy and problem solving, ability to work under pressure and so on. If you haven’t done the kind of part-time work you’re interested in, you may be able to evidence the skills needed through thinks like voluntary work, involvement in school/student societies, work experience, hobbies e.g. sport and so on. Refer to the skills under the relevant entry on your CV. To see what I mean, see an example standard CV on the CV types page of our website. From viewing this you’ll see that a CV should be two pages long (unless you’ve been asked for a one page CV) and you’ll get a clear sense of how it should be laid out.
If you’re handing out your CV at a fair it might be worth including a personal profile between the address and education section. Personal profiles are usually no more than a few sentences in length and explain your current situation (e.g. first year English student at the University of Manchester), examples of skills (with waitering experience and further useful skills developed through organising training sessions for a local 5-a-side football team) and what you’re looking for (seeking part-time work where commitment and excellent organisation and communication skills are required). If you know you want to work in a particular sector, e.g. retail, you can be more specific.
If you’re responding to an advert it’s a good idea to include a covering letter with your CV. This is your chance to explain why you’re interested in that employer and explain what you have to offer them. Sending a covering letter usually does away with the need to include a personal profile on your CV.
References – aim to include a couple of references at the end of your CV but always seek the referee’s permission first. One referee might be someone you’ve worked for, or know through a voluntary activity, while the other could be an academic. If you’ve just started at university you might want to include a former teacher until you’re established on your course. If you’re short of space, writing ‘references on request’ at the bottom of the CV is usually fine (check the employer hasn’t asked you to include them in full).
If you’d like feedback on a CV, covering letter or application form from a qualified adviser, don’t forget you can use our Quick Query service – just call into the Careers Resource Centre in Crawford House on Booth Street East on the day you would like to be seen for a 15 min appt.