Applications and Interviews
The purpose of creating and completing CVs, letters and application forms is to get you to an interview. To do that you need to tell a prospective employer about the skills, qualities, knowledge and experience you can bring to an organisation. All the information in an application should emphasize what you can bring to that particular role, with that particular employer.
Consider which skills, experience and abilities will be required for each job. Make a list of these requirements and identify evidence of your experience gained from study, social activities, full, part-time and vacation work, volunteering and placements. If you do not have access to a job description, you can use the careers guidance programme Prospects Planner, or other careers resources to discover the skills qualifications and qualities required in a particular occupation.
Identify key skills and prepare examples
Most employers will be looking for evidence of a number of employability skills and attributes including:
- Business and customer awareness
- Problem solving
- Communication and literacy skills
- Numeracy skills
- IT skills
In addition, employers state a positive attitude and an ability to demonstrate an innovative approach, creativity, collaboration and risk taking to be as important.
Source: Future Fit: Preparing graduates for the world of work (PDF, 2.5MB), CBI/UniversitiesUK (March 2009)
Draw up a personal profile of your personal skills and experiences. This will help you to review the different areas of your life including the skills you have used and developed. You could draw up headings that cover academic, social, community, voluntary, work placements, vacation and part time work, projects, extra-curricular activities and travel. You will then have a valuable tool to use in all job applications. Choose the most appropriate examples to suit each application and use these at interviews.
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