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WiSE UP Workshop 2: CVs and online presence

There was a full house yet again for the second WiSE UP careers workshop, another fantastic session which gave us all plenty to think about.  I thought it might be fun if I tried to summarise what we covered in the session in the form of a CV but that was harder than I thought it would be!

Name:  Vivien Hodges Address:  WiSETI Project Officer, Equality and Diversity Section, 25 Trumpington   Street, Cambridge, CB2 1QA Email: Twitter:  @vivien_hodges

I have written my profile based on the first exercise on my ideal job, what I would enjoy about the job, the qualities I bring and skills I would like to use and learn (highlighting power words!).  It’s too long and not directed at a specific job application but I thought it might help to stimulate a few ideas for your own profiles.  To steal Mel Findlater’s words I’m a wannabe superhero currently lucky enough to work with superheroes.

Personal profile
I am currently working as the Project Officer for the Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (WiSETI) initiative, at the University of Cambridge.  I support University and Departmental Athena SWAN submissions and coordinate WiSETI activities. I really enjoy working in a university environment and I’m excited by the potential to support women in science and the opportunity to make a real difference to female researchers at all levels.

Having spent most of my career in a research environment within Industry and Academia I decided to use the transferable skills I had developed to move into the learning and development field. To enable a career change, I proactively gained experience in designing and delivering training within Queen’s University and completed a CIPD Certificate in Training Practice. I succeeded in securing a job with CRAC/Vitae, a national organisation championing the personal and professional career development of researchers.  As the Vitae research manager I developed further skills in planning, commissioning and delivering impactful reports for researchers and researcher developers.  I was actively involved in the development and promotion of a development framework for researchers.  The invaluable experience gained in this position extended my portfolio of skills.  The combination of my knowledge of working research environment and experience of researcher development and project delivery supported my return to a university setting.  I am developing expertise in the field of gender equality and learning how to achieve change within a challenging environment.

When you Google me the first 5 things that come out are my jobs at Vitae and WiSETI and my Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter personae! Phew!

I follow a range of people on Twitter but would particularly recommend Athene Donald, jobostock, steminist, guardiancareers, Dorothy Bishop and of course camawise.

I really loved Mel’s PREZI presentation – it may even inspire me to write blogs more often! Following the workshop my plans include investigating Tweetdeck for managing tweets, Weebly for blogging, Meetup for finding local group networks and Rescuetime for seeing how I really spend my day.  See you all next time for our CV networking on the 27th November 🙂

Top tips from the workshop for CVs and cover letters:

Tips for CVs:

  • Use POWER words but be authentic to yourself Examples include Planning, Evidence, Involved, Transferable skills, Individual, Impact, Achievement, Active, Developed
  • Quality vs quantity is important
  • Highlight relevant skills and achievements
  • Watch out for grammar and spelling – attention to detail is vital
  • Use bullets or headings to add structure and format When listing my skills I often use these headings but you will have your own unique lists.  Project Management; Communication; Teamworking and leadership; Liaising and networking; Finance, funding and resources; Application of research and knowledge; Training
  • Research the job you are applying for
  • Remember to sell your USPs (unique selling points)
  • 2 pages, clear font, 11/12 point
  • Use action words
  • Include a personal profile
  • First half of first page MUST have impact

A CV should be:

  • Specific to job you are applying to
  • Concise content
  • Well presented
  • Good structure
  • Presenting the gaps
  • Qualification and skills – demonstrate that you have them
  • Achievements
  • Use active language

Effective cover letters

  • Brief
  • You, me us
  • Why you’re writing
  • What you have to offer
  • Why you want the job
  • Thank them

Try to understand what an employer wants, carefully read the specification and extra details.  Use informal contact for more information and check if they have received your CV/application.

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