Back to basics…CV Writing

What is a CV?

A tool to market yourself for jobs

How your content effectively matches the role’s requirements (i.e. Skills, Knowledge and Experience) of a vacancy. The better you can demonstrate this match, with relevant information, the better your chance of being short-listed.

A reflective tool

Drafting a CV is a great way to identify blind-spots or areas in your Skills, Knowledge and Experience or further enhance what you already. This can also be a great way to start a careers appointment.

The Basics…making it competitive

In most cases, a CV ready for submission should be no longer in length than two sides of A4.

The main body of text font size 11 or 12.

The font type needs to be sensible. We recommend Ariel or Calibri.

Do not include a portrait, age, marital status, criminal record, nationality or disabilities.

Keep contact details to address, contact number and any relevant online profiles (e.g. LinkedIn) or websites that you would like the employer to know about.

Pick’n’Mix Your Sections

Below are a list of ideas for sections to include in your CV. You can choose some or all of these sections. However, the most important thing to consider is: does this document create an effective match between myself and the role? – i.e. does it present me in the best possible light?

Personal Profile: this is a brief overview of your Skills, Knowledge and Experience that briefly highlights why you are a suitable candidate for the role

Skills and Attributes: a short-list of skills and attributes that you consider relevant to the role and add value to your application. This is an effective section for candidates who have lots of technical expertise and/or those who are lacking in relevant experience to the role.

Education: list from most recent/current to last. Title line for each stage of education should look include: date (e.g. mm/yyyyy-mm/yyyy) course (e.g. Degree or A-Level or GCSE, etc) and institution. Depending on the relevance of the role, the reader may be interested in reading more about the content of your degree studies.

Work Experience: this can include paid employment and unpaid work experience. As with Education, you should list these from current or most recent with a title line: date, role (e.g. Chimney Sweep) and organisation (e.g. Hope Sweep inc). Briefly describe the duties of each role.

Other Information: this should include anything that you consider valuable to the employer that you haven’t mentioned already. This could include: driving license, additional languages, professional training, company visits, project work, etc.

Achievements: if you have received any official awards, commendations or recommendations this is the place to include it.

Hobbies and Interests: firstly, avoid content like: go to the gym, socialise with friends and read books.

Either include interests that are relevant to the role or pick one interest and describe it in greater detail (i.e. what it is? what you get out of it? what you might do with it in the future?).

Judge it Yourself

  1. Is there a clear message in my CV?
  2. Have I created an effective match between the content and the requirements of the job?
  3. Is it easy for a reader to find all the content they are looking for quickly?
  4. Does it have a professional appearance?

Before submitting…

  1. Check for spelling and grammar corrections
  2. Get a second opinion
  3. Save as a PDF

It helps to have more strings to your bow (from ISE: Insights)

A really interesting piece exploring careers and success of graduates in creative & performing arts

Adventures in Career Development

This post originally appeared on ISE: Insights on the 29th October. In it Robin Mellors-Bourne and I discuss new research in which we found that dance and drama graduates report having successful careers that make good use of their skills. We go on to reflect on what this means for our thinking about graduate success and draw out some lessons for graduate employers.

The image of the starving artist creating brilliant works despite the squalor of their surroundings is perpetually frustrating to those who train and practise as artists. Many would tell you that pursuing an artistic career shouldn’t exclude you from having a decent life and that ultimately art thrives where it is appropriately resourced. But it is equally true that pursuing a career in the arts is rarely a short cut to a high salary.

Policy makers and the media have often taken some glee in pointing out…

View original post 643 more words

Back to Basics: JOB SEARCHING

The country is re-entering a month long national lockdown this Thursday and reports in the guardian about how job losses during the COVID19 pandemic are hitting young people the hardest. You can be forgiven to feel overwhelmed and pessimistic towards finding a student job or your first role at graduate level. The aim of this blog is to help you combat any barriers you have and help you with your job searching. There are some reports which provide a more positive picture:

Working as a Careers Adviser, I quote Derren Brown’s book: Happy, a lot. He was inspired by stoicism and regularly refers to using stoic mentality to help you become and remain Happy!

He suggests that people over worry about things when they are facing challenges or adversity, which unnecessarily impacts on your happiness and therefore your performance and success.

With the COVID19 pandemic we are facing many challenges and adversity, especially students and graduates trying to find employment. One of the things which regularly comes up in Derren Brown’s book is that you are only ever in control of two things:

  1. Your thoughts – How you think, how you chose to think about things
  2. Your actions – how you chose to act or react to situations.

You have no control over anything else and as such should try and not worry about them as they are beyond the limits of your influence or control. Applying this to COVID19 we can help prevent the spreading of the virus by our own actions. If we regularly wash our hands, wear masks when advised to and respect social distancing we will contribute to isolating the virus in our own small way.

We can also apply this to the current situation with the student and graduate labour market. You have no control over how many companies are recruiting or over how many people you are competing with for a job. What you can do is chose how you think about this and how you respond with your actions.

If you think negatively and allow yourself to worry about those things, it will affect your performance with finding a job. You need to think positively, accept the situation which is out of your control and be the best you can be at finding employment.

The rest of this blog will help you with the basics of job searching, if you would like to develop a positive thinking mentally further, you can complete our e-module on Positive Thinking on My Career Centre: and another one on Mindset: . Use your My Hope login details if asked to log in.  

Job Searching back to basics:

  1. Know yourself, understand your strengths, the skills you have and what motivates you. We have a number of self-assessments which you could complete on My Career Centre:
  • Read our Job Searching 101 blog for comprehensive advice on which job search websites you can use plus much more information about job searching:

  • Understand the role you are applying for through the job description and person specification.
  • Research the employer if you can. Some recruitment agencies do not share the employer information for competition reasons. In those cases you need to use the job description and person specification as a guide. We have a ‘The what, why and how of researching employers’ e-module on My Career Centre:
  • Tailor your application statement or CV and Cover letter to meet the requirements of the job you are applying for. Points 3 and 4 prepare you for this. No generalised or sweeping statements. Prove you have each of the required skills with an example of how you have used that skill to achieve a relevant outcome, in a relevant context (if possible) as concisely as possible.
  • Do not procrastinate, make yourself a plan and stick to it. Develop a job searching routine and set up a spreadsheet to write notes about which jobs you applied for, the company and the date. So you don’t duplicate your applications. Also keep a file of all of the applications so you can revisit what you said in the application if you are asked back for an interview. We have an e-module on Self-management on My Career Centre:

If you have left Hope and part of our Alumni and did not activate your access to My Career Centre before you graduated. You will need to email who will send you instructions to gain access for all of the above links to work.


How I got my job at BDO in Liverpool

We have a Placement Year information session with BDO on Thursday 5th November at 1pm. In the session they will talk about their year in industry roles within their Shared Services Centre. Read about Hope alumni Denis who secured a graduate role within this department.

Careers and Employability

Here in the Careers and Employability Team we love hearing, and sharing, the experiences of our graduates in the workplace. In this blog we hear from Denis, A Geography graduate from Hope, who’s now working for BDO LLP in Liverpool.

What is my job role?
I work at a large accountancy and business advisory firm called BDO LLP. I work in the firm’s Shared Service Centre (SSC), which is based in the Liverpool office, and my job title is SSC Assistant. I do bank letter coordinating for various BDO offices, mainly for London and Leeds. This means that I am constantly in communication with banks around the world and our Audit Managers to provide account balances for our clients end of year audits. This requires careful management of large databases consisting of hundreds of entities and client private banking information. At the moment our team is relatively new, so we are always implementing new…

View original post 466 more words

Focus on: Computer science, maths & ENGINEERING careers fair

On Tuesday 27th October Liverpool Hope University is hosting a careers day for students studying Computer Science, Mathematics and Engineering.

There are a range of sessions available for students to tap into ranging from information on year in industry placements to graduate programmes.

Some of the sessions are available for students of all courses to attend and will have placement and graduate programme sessions that they can apply for.

Below is a list of sessions with the link to register. Once registered you will receive a zoom link.

12pm BDO

BDO is an international network of public accounting, tax, consulting and business advisory firms which perform professional services under the name of BDO. As of 2017 BDO has member firms in 162 countries, employs around 80,000 partners and staff in over 1,591 offices throughout the world, and is the fifth largest professional services network globally.

BDO will discuss their Industrial Placement opportunity (13 month) starting June 2021 until July 2022, for students looking to complete a placement/sandwich year in industry. This will be based within our Liverpool Shared Service Centre, which is essentially a centralised support function for our client facing teams across the country. Various teams and roles to be fulfilled and we are looking for students from studying ALL DEGREES, due to the variation in teams and support we offer.

We will also be highlighting our entry level role possibilities, for students/recent graduates that have not had the opportunity to enrol in a graduation scheme, but would still be interested in a career in accountancy & finance and are happy to join through entry level roles within the Shared service Centre.

Book on here –

1pm Autotrader

Autotrader will deliver a session on their graduate programme opportunities for Software Developers, Finance Graduates and more.

Autotrader’s recruitment team and current employees in the graduate roles will discuss their opportunities and share insights on the application process. The graduate roles are: Software Developer, Finance Graduate, Account Manager and Project Manager.

You can view more information about the roles here

Auto Trader sits across the technology, automotive and advertising industries and is a major consumer brand. We are:

Data-led: Data, and the insight derived from it, power everything that we do from new products and development to enhancements to search and advertising. Our colleagues are organised into high-performing, data-oriented squads to ensure we are agile and quick to respond to change.

Inclusive: Ensuring Auto Trader is a diverse, inclusive and conscious employer that contributes positively to its communities is a key strategic priority for our business.

One team: We have built a simple, lean and relatively flat-structured organisation, and we value our people and their opinions. We host an annual employee conference to share ideas, bringing colleagues together from Manchester, London and those based in the field around the UK.

This session is available to students across all courses

Too book on register here

12pm Andy Kent, How to be more Employable

Andy Kent, CEO of Liverpool Software Developer Angel Solutions, shares hints and tips on employability and developing a career

Andy Kent is CEO of Angel Solutions, an award-winning Liverpool-based software development company supplying every local authority in the country alongside a suite of products that service the schools market.

Their core products handle vast quantities of pupil level data and Angel has been innovating ways to help the sector get the best intelligence from this including alternative visualisations to help save time during budget cuts.

Angel has a growing team of passionate and innovative thinkers, creators, designers and educationalists.

The office is themed like a circus to reflect their unique culture which includes monthly innovation days, training programmes, charity days, birthdays off, fun days in the park and surprises throughout the year.

If you’ve not met Andy before he could arguably be Britain’s most energetic tech entrepreneur. This Ringmaster and his team of 50 (and growing) create innovative products out of an award winning circus themed office! Andy was in the 2018 BIMA 100, is the Chair of BIMA Liverpool and is a regular speaker at both local and national events. Andy now spends most of his time working across the city region on projects that invest in young people and mentors other businesses & aspiring entrepreneurs.

Andy’s event will share hints and tips on how to make yourself more employable and search for opportunities, and to provide some motivation and inspiration during an uncertain job market. Suitable for all courses

To book on register here

12pm LDRA

LDRA are a software company based in Birkenhead and will be discussing graduate opportunities available in the Wirral and across the globe.

For more than 40 years, LDRA has developed and driven the market for software that automates code analysis and software testing for safety, mission, security and business-critical markets. Working with clients to achieve early error identification and elimination, and full compliance with industry standards, LDRA traces requirements through static and dynamic analysis to unit testing and verification for a wide variety of hardware and software platforms. Boasting a worldwide presence, LDRA has headquarters in the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, and India coupled with an extensive distributor network.

To book on register here

1pm – RAF

A webinar with engineering officers from RAF discussing their career opportunities in Communications, Electronics and AeroSystems . This is a talk suited to students in Computer Science, Maths and Engineering with particular interest in engineering. More info on RAF can be found here

Too book on register here

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to meet these leading employers and too boost your chances of a placement or graduate role.

Back to Basics…Taking A Placement Year

For level I students it’s a critical time in the placement year calendar with applications now open for many of the big schemes but how much do you really know about this career enhancing opportunity? In this blog we go back to basics with the placement year.

What is a placement year? 1 academic year spent in the workplace – usually taken between level I and level H. You need to complete the equivalent of 9 months full-time work, the majority of advertised opportunities are for 1 year (12 months).

What kind of job can you do? Taking a placement year offers you the opportunity to spend time working as part of your degree and Hope’s programme is extremely flexible so you could work for a big blue chip organisation or for a charity…the choice is yours; just like it is when you finish your degree. So whether you see yourself donning a suit and working in audit or really want to work in curation in a museum why not get some valuable work experience by taking a placement year?

Who can take a placement year? Here at Hope almost every undergraduate has the opportunity to undertake a placement year (the only exceptions being those whose course already include a significant period on placement – Primary BA QTS, Social Work and Sports Rehabilitation). So if you’re on any other undergraduate course you have the option of undertaking a placement year as part of your degree.

For some students (e.g. Computer Science, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence) there’s the option to choose a placement year when applying through UCAS, for those without this option you can transfer onto a placement year variant at any stage in level C or I. By letting Careers & Employability know you’re interested we can support you through the finding and applying process.

How to access support contact Anna Worsley, Senior Employment and Placement Officer on if you’re interested in taking a Placement Year. Careers & Employability will then send you regular updates including opportunities we spot and details on how to access one to one support with your search and applications. We also have a lot of resources on My Careers Centre here you’ll find a jobs board with advertised opportunities, a list of upcoming careers events and a whole host of online learning and careers resources.

I’d recommend the work placement year to anyone

Joe Perrins, BA Business Management with Placement Year