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poorly presented or contains errors of spelling or grammar.

Applying for jobs .

CVs (UK) / Résumés (US) A CV (curriculum vitae) sets out information about your education, work experience, and personal details in a clear way. It should be: .

clear to read and attractively presented. Remember that the person reading it may have to read many other applications. They must be able to find the information they need quickly and easily. Even with the best qualifications and experience, you are much less likely to get an interview if your CV is

relevant. Extra information is distracting and may give the impression that you are not committed to the particular job you are applying for.

In the UK, it is usual for a CV to be about 2–3 A4 pages. In the US, a single page (210 x 297 mm) is preferred, especially for new graduates. Use a clear typeface in 10 pt or 12 pt. There are many different ways of setting out a CV. This is an example for someone who is applying for a job as a support worker in a charity for the homeless.

Serena Johansson CV Address 5 Denson Court, Cambridge, CB1 3AM Telephone 01223 539840 Email 1 Personal Profile 2 I am a lively and friendly person who loves working with people of all ages. I have a lot of volunteering experience, and am a hardworking team member. Education 3 2009–2012 BSc (hons) Psychology. Anglia Ruskin University. 2:1 2007–2009 Hills Rd Sixth Form College 3 A-levels (Psychology A, Chemistry B, Maths C) 2001–2007 Parkside Academy 11 GCSEs (grades A-C, including maths and English) 4 Work Experience 5 2012–present Volunteer English teacher, Southern India. I teach large classes of children using locally produced materials and assist in extracurricular activities such as sport and theatre. I have set up a new drama club at the school. 2008 –2012 Volunteer, Re-Home (charity which supports the homeless). I supported clients in running a community café. 2009 –2012 Weekend work in a local café – waitressing and food preparation. 2007 Two weeks work experience at local newspaper, shadowing news reporter. Other skills and interests 6 Full, clean driving licence. I am very computer-literate, and have experience of setting up and maintaining websites. I play hockey and have a great interest in the theatre. References 7 Dr J Khan (tutor) Anglia Ruskin University East Rd Cambridge CB1 1PT


Mrs M Mulholland (volunteer co-ordinator) Re-Home 13 Water Lane Lanston LS9 3PQ

Data Standards Ltd, Frome, Somerset – 7/1/2013

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1 It is not necessary to give your age, gender, marital status, or religion. 2 This section should summarize your skills and qualities in a way that shows why you are suitable for the job. Try to write specific things that you can link to your experience rather than general statements about your personality. Use phrases such as these:

relevant to the job you are applying for. Give more detail for the most recent experience. Use phrases such as these: was responsible for… lead a team of six… assisted in all aspects of… worked at a senior level in…

good communication skills work well in a team keen to take on new challenges able to work independently remain calm under pressure

introduced new systems for… gained extensive experience of… 6 Include any skills that may be relevant to the job you are applying for. Try to include one or two interests to give some idea of the sort of person you are.

understand the importance of meeting deadlines

Full, clean driving licence. Fluent French. Familiar with QuickBooks and other accounting packages. Trained lifeguard.

Useful adjectives: accurate, creative, hardworking, effective, efficient, flexible, innovative, loyal, meticulous, numerate, organized, practical 3 Start with your most recent qualifications first. If you have had one or more full-time jobs, it is usual to put the Work Experience section before Education. 4 If you have higher qualifications, it is not necessary to give full detail of lower school qualifications, unless they are particularly relevant to the job, or are a specific requirement of the job. 5 This section should start with the most recent experience first. For each job, you should explain your main responsibilities, stressing any that are


Voluntary literacy tutor. 7 Choose referees who can say something relevant about you if asked. You should try to include at least one referee who has worked with you, preferably as your manager. You may also choose one personal referee who can talk about your character. It is often considered acceptable to write: ‘References available on request.’ You may do this if you do not wish to ask someone to be a referee until a later stage in the application process.

Data Standards Ltd, Frome, Somerset – 7/1/2013

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Covering letters (UK) / Cover letters (US) When you send a CV or other job application, it is usual to enclose a covering letter. This letter should summarize the reasons why you think you would be suitable for the position, and include any extra information you want to give, for

example about your own career objectives or about your current personal circumstances. The tone of the letter should be formal. Here is an example of a covering letter to accompany the CV on the previous page, sent to apply for a job as a support worker in a charity for the homeless.

5 Denson Court Cambridge CB1 3AM 19 July 2013 Dear Ms Park 1 Support worker, Ely 2 I am writing in response to your advertisement in The Big Issue magazine on July 3rd for a support worker based at your Ely premises. 3 I enclose my CV, from which you will see that I have a long-standing interest and involvement in the area of homelessness. For almost the whole of my time at university, I was a volunteer at the homeless charity Re-Home, where I undertook a variety of tasks connected with running a small, client-led café. My experience at Re-Home confirmed my desire to work in the charitable sector. I believe that my academic training in psychology would be valuable in this job, where psychological issues are such an important aspect of many homeless people’s lives. As part of my final-year dissertation, I conducted in-depth interviews with several homeless people. 4 I am a good team member and I am quick to learn new skills. I love working with people from all kinds of backgrounds, and am friendly and cheerful. 5 After almost 18 months of volunteering in India, I am now looking for a permanent position. 6 I plan to visit my parents at the above address in the near future, and could arrange the time to coincide with an interview date. Please use that address for any correspondence. 7 I very much hope that you will consider me for this post 8, and look forward to hearing from you soon. Yours truly,

Serena Johansson Serena Johansson Enc. CV 9

1 You should address your letter to a specific person. If the job advert does not contain a name, phone the company and find out.

I am looking for a post with more responsibility. I feel that this post would make better use of my experience and qualifications.

2 Write the title of the job your are applying for at the beginning of the letter.

I am no longer able to undertake the travel that my current post requires.

3 Say how you found out about the post. 4 Give the main points of your experience that make you suitable for the post. 5 Explain the personal qualities that make you suitable for the post. 6 If you are already in a job, it is usual to explain why you want to leave. Phrases such as the following may be used: I now feel ready to move to a more challenging position.


I have recently moved to this area in order to support my elderly parents. 7 Make sure you include any practical information about your address, availability for interview, etc. 8 In a formal job application, it is common to use the words post or position rather than ‘job’. 9 If you have enclosed any documents with your letter, state this after your signature.

Data Standards Ltd, Frome, Somerset – 7/1/2013

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Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - Applying for jobs  

Sample pages taken from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, Forth Edition. Published by Cambridge University Press.

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