CV and Interview Skills
You can ask our advisers for help with CV writing and letter writing, as well as guidance on interview techniques.
Just contact us on 0800 707 6384 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What an employer is looking for in a cv:
- Name and contact details
- Sensible email address
- No National Insurance Number
- Date of birth is optional
- Postal address is optional too
An employer spends an average of 20 seconds looking at a CV. Make the personal profile paragraph short, sharp and to the point, stating why you are sending this CV: I am currently seeking an apprenticeship in etc… If you say you have excellent communication skills back it up with something you have achieved or took part in, for example: public speaking in school or part time work in a customer facing role.
An employer doesn’t want to know what you achieved at primary school, make it relevant to the past 2/3 years. Include things like DofE, NCS, Sports Captain, prefect and winning any awards.
If you are 16-18, put education before work experience on your cv. List your qualifications with English and Maths first and then list other subjects alphabetically, with the most recent achieved on top.
- Any employment is relevant e.g. paper round and baby sitting.
- Think about the skills that were gained and how they might be useful in the role you are applying for.
- Same as above
- Try to remember exact dates
Hobbies and Interests
Again, this should be short and sharp, think about hobbies which enable you to evidence teamwork, leadership, creativity or helping others.
Ask people if they are happy to act as a referee before adding any personal details
How to prepare for an interview
Preparation is key!
✓ Research the company (values, what they do, turnover etc.)
✓ Dress appropriately
✓ Read the job description
✓ Prepare some questions
✓ Plan your journey
✓ Check the name and job title of the person interviewing you
What are your skills?
During your interview you have the opportunity to highlight your key skills. These can be things such as…
✓ Communication skills
✓ Problem solving
✓ Achieving results
Can you give an example of when you worked well within a team?
The Employer is most likely going to ask you to elaborate on your skills with a question like “Can you give an example of when you worked well within a team?”. This is where we like to recommend the STAR technique.
✓ Situation (Describe the event or situation that you were in)
✓ Task (Explain the task you had to complete)
✓ Action (Describe the specific actions you took to complete the task)
✓ Result (Close with the result of your efforts)
Useful CV and Interview resources:
- Guide to writing a cover letter
- Interviews: How to succeed
- CV: Step by Step Guide
- How to promote yourself on social media
National Careers Service
How to write a CV, how to write a cover letter, filling in an application, interview tips, common interview questions, create a LinkedIn profile, Virtual internships and more.
Helps you explore careers and education pathways and apply for opportunities. Personal Development opportunities to improve yourself and your skills includes CV writing tips, preparing for an interview, work experience and skills builder.
BBC Bitesize Careers
Support with job applications, cover letters, CV's and interviews.
CV Quiz - Has your CV got what it takes?