How to write a CV Tutorial Sessions at Bury College

Posted on Mon 03 May 2010 10:00

Whilst talking with the staff at the Open Evening we attended in January a topic of conversation was the very varied CVs that we received from job applicants at my company.  This lead eventually to me offering to provide a practical tutorial session for the students who were due to leave in Summer 2010 regarding what I look for in a job application.

Things like this are a good idea but not always easy to put into practice when you are busy running a business.  So delegation is an art form and I delegated the task to several of the guys working for me.  After all they had gone through my interview process (which will probably be a separate Blog Article some time) and we put together a practical excercise to make students think about how their application would be received.  To make the process more realistic I offered a two week paid for work experience over the next vacation as an incentive to make the whole process more realistic.

After several prompts by the tutors four CVs all arrived in quick succession for the "job application" quite a poor result from around 60 or so students.  But this did lead to the whole way that we put the tutorial together.

When the CVs arrived in my in box I was away from my desk for an hour and as is always the case many emails arrive in an hour and it is easy for them to be missed.  These were classic failures right at the first stage.  No subject lines were included and they nearly got missed.

So the whole process we put together started with this.  I asked for a simple mock up of an email box be created with the applications "hidden" in amongst the other emails.  On the day the students were told the location of the web page and given 5 minutes to locate 5 CVs and short list two candidates for interview.  To make it a bit more fun there was an online voting page for them to make their decisions.

Some people struggled to even find the applications but in the end we had our votes and one by one we went through each of the applications and discussed with the students the reasons behind their decisions and compared them against my way of looking at the CVs.  Rather than try and discuss these here now I will in the future put up a video of the process and my summary of the discussions for you to look at.

What was however very pleasing to me was that at the end of each of the three sessions that we did it was an almost unanimous conclusion that everyone needed to think about re-writing their CVs.

Carl Taylor

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