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    (Original post by PQ)
    I was laughing at "There isn't that much you can do to tailor your CV.."
    Oh I am sure you can do small things, but realistically you can have 3-4 different CVs for the different sectors you are applying to.

    It does not take time to tailor your CV, it just seems like everyone is too lazy to do what is necessary.
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    (Original post by Sabster)
    How can it be counter productive?

    it really doesn't take long to research a firm/role then write 100 or so words on it.
    You're doing it wrong to be honest. There's not much more to it than that. If you've managed to get through to the odd interview and performed well enough to get offers after making only cursory edits to a standard form covering letter on the basis of cursory research then I'm happy for you, but you would have had a much higher interview rate and used your time much more effectively overall if you'd picked a smaller number of places that really appealed to you and taken a proper amount of time to explain why you were right for each other.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    You're doing it wrong to be honest. There's not much more to it than that. If you've managed to get through to the odd interview and performed well enough to get offers after making only cursory edits to a standard form covering letter on the basis of cursory research then I'm happy for you, but you would have had a much higher interview rate and used your time much more effectively overall if you'd picked a smaller number of places that really appealed to you and taken a proper amount of time to explain why you were right for each other.
    I didn't make cursory edits, I would write a paragraph explaining why I was correct for the firm, tailor the formatting, add the firms address, and address the letter to the head of graduate employment, which took me around 30 minutes every time (and no longer than an hour).

    I had a very high interview rate for the most competitive roles in the country.

    A cover letter is about jumping through a hoop, it's very easy to understand a firms values and the role. If you get to interview its completely irrelevant. I think you are just bitter that you wasted your time.

    Do you have a job/offers?
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    (Original post by Sabster)
    I didn't make cursory edits, I would write a paragraph explaining why I was correct for the firm, which took me sub 30 minutes every time (and no longer than an hour).

    Do you have a job/offers? I think you are just bitter that you wasted your time.

    I had a very high interview rate for the most competitive roles in the country.
    Yes, I have offers, thank you.

    In the areas with which I'm familiar I'd expect a successful application to require substantially more research and time than that, whether by CV and covering letter or (especially) by application form. I'll confine myself to saying that, because I don't think continuing will be constructive.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    I was laughing at "There isn't that much you can do to tailor your CV.."
    In reality there is not. If people think that by changing their ECs or communication skills or something like that it gives them a lead, it doesn't.

    A graduate CV cannot be tailored much because unlike a professional CV where one might have worked in numerous relevant jobs with a bunch of different responsibilities and has acquired professional qualifications, a graduate will not have done all that.

    A typical graduate might have an internship and a couple of other semi-relevant or irrelevant jobs on their back. Are you saying that any of those can be omitted from a CV? The education part of course cannot be omitted either. And then it comes to the ECs and soft skills in which case the only thing that can be done is for someone that is a member of 10 societies or voluntary activities to choose the most relevant ones for the position they are applying.

    That's the only kind of tailoring that can be done to a graduate CV, with the exception being the minority of students that have done like 3 internships and another 3 or more relevant work experiences, so they will have the luxury to be selective in their CV and probably won't need to worry about their success rate as well.

    In contrast, a Cover Letter can be tailored, regarding the position and the company.
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    (Original post by KTS89)
    In reality there is not. If people think that by changing their ECs or communication skills or something like that it gives them a lead, it doesn't.

    A graduate CV cannot be tailored much because unlike a professional CV where one might have worked in numerous relevant jobs with a bunch of different responsibilities and has acquired professional qualifications, a graduate will not have done all that.

    A typical graduate might have an internship and a couple of other semi-relevant or irrelevant jobs on their back. Are you saying that any of those can be omitted from a CV? The education part of course cannot be omitted either. And then it comes to the ECs and soft skills in which case the only thing that can be done is for someone that is a member of 10 societies or voluntary activities to choose the most relevant ones for the position they are applying.

    That's the only kind of tailoring that can be done to a graduate CV, with the exception being the minority of students that have done like 3 internships and another 3 or more relevant work experiences, so they will have the luxury to be selective in their CV and probably won't need to worry about their success rate as well.

    In contrast, a Cover Letter can be tailored, regarding the position and the company.
    If you're sending off a chronological CV then you're right - there's little that can be changed.

    If you're sending CVs off for speculative applications or in response to specific job vacancies though then a recent graduate would be better off using a skills based CV which should be highly tailored to the role you're applying for.

    When recruiting a skills based CV that's targeted to the role is far more likely to be shortlisted than sending me 2 pages of your life story and expecting me to pull out whether you have what I'm looking for.
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    (Original post by chazwomaq)
    There you go Post 92 students, you know what's wrong with you. You just don't try hard enough! :lol:



    You're right that selectivity of uni is a proxy for quality of candidate. But a clever student going to a less selective uni is running the risk of being overlooked by being compared to the (less clever) classmate who gets a 2.1 rather than the equally clever colleague who went to the higher ranked uni and got the 2.1.

    But you're wrong on degree type. That makes a big difference. There is nothing the arts graduate can do to get the job in science, medicine, engineering etc except get a new degree.
    what is wrong with you? youve been proven incorrect on every point you argue, and respond with crappy rhetoric. again, if youre able to read without having pre judged assumptions, stem students are usually moreso motivated. a specific degree degree means little for 90% of the best graduate schemes.
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    For what it's worth - the best CV I've ever seen was a skills based CV, but instead of just putting a list of stuff they'd done under each skill (that they'd identified were important for the role) they had a selection of quotes from former colleagues and clients (from Linked-in so all verifiable) praising the applicant's abilities in those skills.

    Combined with a brief employment history and a statement from the candidate about who they were and what sort of role they were looking for it was extremely powerful and convincing. The applicant was able to boast about their abilities but because it was in the words of a number of third parties it came across as a glowing list of recommendations instead of just an ego trip.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    For what it's worth - the best CV I've ever seen was a skills based CV, but instead of just putting a list of stuff they'd done under each skill (that they'd identified were important for the role) they had a selection of quotes from former colleagues and clients (from Linked-in so all verifiable) praising the applicant's abilities in those skills.

    Combined with a brief employment history and a statement from the candidate about who they were and what sort of role they were looking for it was extremely powerful and convincing. The applicant was able to boast about their abilities but because it was in the words of a number of third parties it came across as a glowing list of recommendations instead of just an ego trip.
    How do you even put a selection of quotes on a CV without looking like a ****? :lol: Genuinely curious.

    Also, even if it doesn't specify on the advert, is a skills-based CV better for graduates?
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    (Original post by InadequateJusticex)
    Also, even if it doesn't specify on the advert, is a skills-based CV better for graduates?
    Personally I'd say yes - if you've done your research a skills based CV will make that very clear and it makes life a lot easier for the person shortlisting.

    It allows you to draw on both academic, extra curricular and employment experiences to demonstrate that you have the skills and competencies that they're looking for. A chronological CV makes that a lot more difficult...plus tends to be more listy rather than pulling out particular examples of times that you've demonstrated a specific skill. Just plopping in that you got a good grade in your degree and expecting an employer to infer from that that you have good time management or self motivation etc etc is lazy and risks getting overlooked.

    I've been having a nose around different careers sites since this discussion started and I think https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-adv...n-you-graduate is particularly good advice. That first one - about commercial awareness (and the second one about communication) putting a CV in someone's hands that lists the skills they're looking for with examples/evidence of those skills demonstrates both of those attributes. You're understanding your audience and catering to their needs.

    Graduate chronological CVs are very bland....they're a pain to read through and they all contain the same dry information.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    Personally I'd say yes - if you've done your research a skills based CV will make that very clear and it makes life a lot easier for the person shortlisting.

    It allows you to draw on both academic, extra curricular and employment experiences to demonstrate that you have the skills and competencies that they're looking for. A chronological CV makes that a lot more difficult...plus tends to be more listy rather than pulling out particular examples of times that you've demonstrated a specific skill. Just plopping in that you got a good grade in your degree and expecting an employer to infer from that that you have good time management or self motivation etc etc is lazy and risks getting overlooked.

    I've been having a nose around different careers sites since this discussion started and I think https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-adv...n-you-graduate is particularly good advice. That first one - about commercial awareness (and the second one about communication) putting a CV in someone's hands that lists the skills they're looking for with examples/evidence of those skills demonstrates both of those attributes. You're understanding your audience and catering to their needs.

    Graduate chronological CVs are very bland....they're a pain to read through and they all contain the same dry information.
    Surely this depends on what field you want to go into? A skills based CV won't do much good for finance, consulting, corporate law jobs etc, where the volume of applications is so high that a one-page chronological CV will suffice. Recruiters extract any examples of skills via competency based interviews.

    I agree that a skills based CV can work, but in practice for the most competitive grad jobs it's not the best way to go.

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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    Surely this depends on what field you want to go into? A skills based CV won't do much good for finance, consulting, corporate law jobs etc, where the volume of applications is so high that a one-page chronological CV will suffice. Recruiters extract any examples of skills via competency based interviews.

    I agree that a skills based CV can work, but in practice for the most competitive grad jobs it's not the best way to go.

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    It depends - if you're submitting a CV to get shortlisted because you have the academic qualifications required then a chronological CV is fine. If you're targeting a specific job or applying speculatively and you're wanting to highlight academic, EC and employment experiences then a skills based CV will always win.

    Personally I'd always recommend getting any CV down to a single page of A4. You can easily combine skills covering 1/2 a page with an education/employment chronology for a graduate into 1/3 of a page (and use the remainder for personal details)
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    Is it abnormal that my CV is a mix of both? 1st page of chronological education + work experience and the 2nd page skills-based like, with Teamwork, Comms, Societies etc.
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    (Original post by KTS89)
    Is it abnormal that my CV is a mix of both? 1st page of chronological education + work experience and the 2nd page skills-based like, with Teamwork, Comms, Societies etc.
    That's pretty common.

    From experience reading through internship application CVs it's a pain to read through though....it's more of a brain dump than something organised in a way that makes it easy to spot relevant experiences.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    Personally I'd say yes - if you've done your research a skills based CV will make that very clear and it makes life a lot easier for the person shortlisting.

    It allows you to draw on both academic, extra curricular and employment experiences to demonstrate that you have the skills and competencies that they're looking for. A chronological CV makes that a lot more difficult...plus tends to be more listy rather than pulling out particular examples of times that you've demonstrated a specific skill. Just plopping in that you got a good grade in your degree and expecting an employer to infer from that that you have good time management or self motivation etc etc is lazy and risks getting overlooked.

    I've been having a nose around different careers sites since this discussion started and I think https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-adv...n-you-graduate is particularly good advice. That first one - about commercial awareness (and the second one about communication) putting a CV in someone's hands that lists the skills they're looking for with examples/evidence of those skills demonstrates both of those attributes. You're understanding your audience and catering to their needs.

    Graduate chronological CVs are very bland....they're a pain to read through and they all contain the same dry information.
    By skills based CV did you mean something like this?
    http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/cv/maturecv.htm
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    (Original post by jelly1000)
    By skills based CV did you mean something like this?
    http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/cv/maturecv.htm
    Yes. Although for most none mature grads it'd fit in 1 page because the chron section is v short.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    Yes. Although for most none mature grads it'd fit in 1 page because the chron section is v short.
    Interesting thanks.
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    (Original post by hamoncheese)
    *edit*

    Forget university guys. Nepotism is king.

    - brb university drop out.
    - brb no experience or qualifications in programming.
    - brb software engineer in civil service.
    - brb wealthy parents.
    You seem to hold too much value to your degree and that you were the best in your class. How you come across in your cv and covering letters/applications is often far more important. You need to get potential employers on your side in any way you can as early as possible, not brag about your degree.
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    (Original post by ParisInc.)
    I am so sorry to hear this and what i'm going to tell you may sound very odd, however this is what I know first hand. My economics teacher is an ex investment banker who also had a leading role in HR for many top investment banks before the recession. Basically he said there was always a trend that employers would always choose/favour applicants with a 2.1 in a rigorous degree over those with a 1st in a rigorous degree due to the often negative stigma attached to students achieving firsts in very academic degrees, that they would have poor social skills and not integrate well within a work place. Seeing as you have a physics degree which is probably one of the hardest degrees you can do I would say the fact that you have a first is making you seem overqualified...just my opinion. I'm probably grasping at straws lol
    But surely they can't just judge a person like that if they get a first. There many people with firsts from very competitive degrees that are very social.
    Is that even legal?


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