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CV - Sally's Journal
September 20th, 2005
04:50 pm

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CV
Well, here's my first draft. As I have a job deadline tomorrow morning, it's not going to get too polished for this one, but I thought the collective polishing minds of LJ might want to help me out. There'll be a cover letter and an application form that you could kindly proofread later, if you'd want to do that too.

My first CV

The job description

I'm sorry it's a word file.

(67 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
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From:megaleena
Date:September 20th, 2005 04:03 pm (UTC)
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Length and layout are great. The only thing I'd suggest is adding a sentence summarising where you are now to the top, and explaining instead of what you did in uni, what you learned (in a 'teamwork', 'self-motivator' type way)
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From:megaleena
Date:September 20th, 2005 04:04 pm (UTC)
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And additionally to my above comment - because I'm a premature poster! - how it's relevant to your working life.
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From:bluap
Date:September 20th, 2005 04:08 pm (UTC)
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A couple of quick nit-picks:

* Increase the size of your name
* I prefer even justification
* The hyphens with the dates aren't consistent. Personally, I prefer the first one (an en-dash), though I would remove the spaces on either side.
* The spacing for MPhil Engineering (expected) looks odd
* For Part III, try something like "(Part III of the Mathematics Tripos) Equivalent to a 1-year taught Masters course Specialised in Applied Mathematics, Theoretical Physics and Fluid Mechanics.
* In the Positions of Responsibility, I would increase the size of the sub-headings by 1 points.
* Perhaps use bullet points when describing the positions of responsibility
* Put your name in a header on the 2nd page
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From:bluap
Date:September 20th, 2005 04:10 pm (UTC)
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A tip that I read in a CV book - bold italic is strong, italic is weak.
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From:kosai
Date:September 20th, 2005 04:13 pm (UTC)
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The only things I would definitely change:
  • "Communicated complicated mathematical ideas" is potentially demeaning to the reader. Use "complex" if you have to use that statement.

  • You use "a range of.." many times in two subsequent paragraphs.
You might also consider changing the layout; I found the left and right columns too far away from each other, such that I parsed "Chair of Publicity Subcommittee" as being the position after "Inter-Varsity Folk Dance Festival 2006", rather than its elaboration. Didn't help that they have the same font/style despite one being the child of the other, IYSWIM.

- C.
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:September 20th, 2005 04:35 pm (UTC)
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Complex could be misinterpreted :) OK, just kidding. Preferably all things like that would have some examples if they fit...
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From:geekette8
Date:September 20th, 2005 04:14 pm (UTC)
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Take out the GCSE IT. Anyone who knows about it knows how pathetic it is (sorry but it's true, I did it myself) and anyone who doesn't know about it will already have been impressed by the other entries under the "IT" heading.

I didn't realise you were so young :-p
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From:atreic
Date:September 20th, 2005 04:20 pm (UTC)
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It's in my user info :p

Just because you only know me through my fratinisations with Old Men ;)

The problem is, the Dream Job* wants someone with database experience. I have *no* database experience *except* using Access in GCSE IT, which is why I stuck it in.

*Well, it's not a dream job, because it's part time. But you have no idea how much I want to organise the Cambridg Science Festival
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From:enismirdal
Date:September 20th, 2005 04:17 pm (UTC)
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*knows nothing about writing CVs really and therefore is taking notes on all of this!*

This stuff will be really useful the next time I have to write a CV, so thanks! :)
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From:atreic
Date:September 20th, 2005 04:22 pm (UTC)
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Go to the careers service. Get the How To Write A CV book. Follow it. It'll look a bit like this :)
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From:satanicsocks
Date:September 20th, 2005 04:18 pm (UTC)
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Others have given formatting advice; I'd try to standardise it a bit and as you're using the third-person CV language try to weed out the odd 'am' from there. Though that's not important.

I didn't have much time to read it[1], it seems to cover most things (no previous paid employment?) but if I were writing it I'd match it up more closely with the job description. For example I couldn't obviously see mention of databases, where it's pretty clear from the job desc. that they want that. Also, your positions of responsibility items all seem to just have huge globs of text which contain all the important info but are pretty hard to read if you're only skimming.

Just my 2p, nothing vitally important to be honest! I've seen far, far worse first CVs :)

[1] Neither will the person recruiting, though; skim reading is the recruiter's friend.
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From:atreic
Date:September 20th, 2005 04:20 pm (UTC)
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Paper round aged 17. Nothing apart from that. Err, yeah.
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From:filecoreinuse
Date:September 20th, 2005 04:21 pm (UTC)
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Involved extensive use of computers, experimental work, and presentations to industry.

Remove the last comma from this sentence. It also lacks a subject but that is personal taste when it comes to CVs.

Remove GCSEs. No-one cares anymore :) — they will be assumed or discussed at interview.

Inconsistent use of full stops. For example, your description of the Masters had one, the description of CASM did not.

Page break between 'Cambridge Hands On Science Summer Tour - Demonstrator' and description but that might just be OO.org.

Are the referees personal or professional? Make it clear.
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From:atreic
Date:September 20th, 2005 04:22 pm (UTC)
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I would have thought M Phil Supervisor and Director of Studies *did* make it clear... what should I say?
From:nlj21
Date:September 20th, 2005 04:37 pm (UTC)
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I think satanicsocks has already touched on this, but I think a previous paid employment section might be helpful, even if it is just supervising.

I think the positions of responsibility section might be too long, so being able to move supervising out of that would be good.
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From:bluap
Date:September 20th, 2005 04:51 pm (UTC)
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Supervising _is_ in there :-)
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From:piqueen
Date:September 20th, 2005 05:26 pm (UTC)
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Basically it's very good. You've done loads of stuff.

To focus the mind on the more important bits and reduce the size I would do the referrees as single lines.

Mr X, Queens' College, Cambridge, Postcode, (tel 07777 7777 777)

I would also do a similar reduction in size but not information to Alevels.

A-Levels in Maths, Further Maths, etc, etc (All grade A)

STEP Maths 2 (grade S) STEP Maths 3 (grade 1)



I'd also be tempted to put the responsibilities in as bullet points and pull some of the description into a covering letter. But it's equally valid not to. Just consider the lazy reader -who may prefer short bullet points.

e.g.

Chair of publicity subcommitee
  • Planned a successful publicity campaign
  • Co-ordinated the efforts of the subcommittee
  • Arranged advertising at large national festivals
  • Campaign included design and production of leaflets
  • Ran project to budget




[User Picture]
From:arkannath
Date:September 20th, 2005 05:39 pm (UTC)
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Couple of quick points -
1. Your formatting has gone a bit funny in my viewer, but admittedly I'm using wordpad.
2. You may want to consider the dates of completion rather than the dates of commencement for courses - your GCSE and A-levels are listed by year finished, and it seems inconsistent to change style for University qualifications.

Otherwise, good and impressive.
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From:naath
Date:September 20th, 2005 05:46 pm (UTC)
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And this is a daft point... but how does one go about learning Japanese in Cambridge if it isn't part of your degree?
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From:atreic
Date:September 20th, 2005 05:51 pm (UTC)
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You'd go to the language centre, but I didn't, I did the Cambridge Certificate at 6th form. Just one of those things the school did.
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From:crazyscot
Date:September 20th, 2005 06:21 pm (UTC)
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It's a splendid CV, others have said pretty much everything I was going to.
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From:arnhem
Date:September 20th, 2005 06:41 pm (UTC)
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  • I suspect it's "Queen Elizabeth's High School" with an apostrophe
  • In a similar vein, it's "Queens' College" (and the position of the apostrophe distinguishes it from the oxford one that only has one queen)
  • the second line of your Education section gets mis-formatted by OpenOffice:
    2000  – 	2005	Queens’ College, Cambridge University
    M.Phil. 		Engineering 				(expected)
    

  • I'd turn the description of the part III around:

    Part III of the Cambridge mathematics tripos (a postgraduate taught course in mathematics to Masters standard)

    to make it absolutely clear that we're talking the part III, not "something that looks a bit like the part III"
  • the IT: section of additional skills could use bullet points, to clarify that "GCSE IT" isn't a package that you're a regular user of ...
  • "Used both telephone and email" - I know what you're trying to get across, but this feels to be placing undue emphasis on these skills, perhaps? I think changing the order of words in that sentence may usefully de-emphasise them while still managing to mention them.
  • For a University of Cambridge post, I think you can afford to be rather more specific about what you supervised. For other posts, what you've put would work well (modulo other peoples' comments about complicated/complex)
  • CULES section: "to people who" rather than "to all people who" (otherwise there's the risk of satirical questioning on the subject of your tour of the antarctic bases ...)
  • CULES section: I'm not sure, but liaison may be a better word than liaising in that context?
  • CULES section: in fact, I think that in general, "foo-ing" words should be avoided if possible, so "arrangement of" instead of "arranging", and so on.
  • "The society more than quadrupled in number"
  • Warrington: "Re-wrote" instead of "Rewrote" ?
  • Campus: "Also have been" is a bit of an awkward phrasing. "Was also" ?


Yes, I'm a niggler ...
[User Picture]
From:atreic
Date:September 21st, 2005 07:13 am (UTC)
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Well, there was 2 of us. And by the time I stopped being on the committee there were at least 50 members, of which 30 would be acting in any given term. I'm kind of proud of that. But you're right, that's a crap way of saying it.
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From:hmmm_tea
Date:September 20th, 2005 08:52 pm (UTC)
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Just a small point that the careers service never tell you, but is still worth bearing in mind (as it's somewhere I've fallen unstuck a few times). Don't over sell yourself, employers start to think you'll get board and leave...

Don't think it applies in the case of the description given...
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From:satanicsocks
Date:September 21st, 2005 08:32 am (UTC)
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actually that's a good point, especially if applying for 'filler' jobs. I had a guy ask me straight out at interview "How do I know you won't leave after 2 months?"
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From:aiwendel
Date:September 20th, 2005 09:28 pm (UTC)
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utterly blinding CV!!! Blimey how've you managed all that lot... and you're 3 years younger than me!!!

Wow. you put us to shame!
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From:ptc24
Date:September 21st, 2005 09:21 am (UTC)
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Yes. It's really quite fearsome. Good job for everyone else in the job market that there's only one of her!
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From:robert_jones
Date:September 20th, 2005 10:49 pm (UTC)
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As other people have said, I would put supervising under employment, because it is. (Although now I think of it, I have omitted this from my own CV!)
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From:atreic
Date:September 21st, 2005 07:27 am (UTC)
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It would look a bit lonely, with only the paperround to keep it company...
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