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As many of you prepare to dust off that CV you may have given little thought too during the last few terms of parties, essays and generally living the student dream, we at Redbrick thought you might need a hand in updating or indeed STARTING your CV for that summer internship or graduate role which you are planning to apply for. Here a few of our top tips which you might want to consider……

DON’T “update it later” - This is a common mistake made by many people, not just students. After you have completed your internship, have finished that training course or finished organising that charity event - put it on your CV! Many of us will put off updating our CV's until it actually comes to applying for a job, often forgetting to include key information and failing to remember the gory details - too many nights in the union then. So PLEASE, remember to maintain and update your CV at every possible opportunity, its probably one of the most important pieces of paper you will ever own in your lifetime. Make sure your current CV is the one you have posted on Redbrick. 

DO - use the term “which means that” - This is something we at Redbrick learnt this year and its perhaps one of the best bits of advice we received as students - now we are passing it onto you! You many have represented the University at Rugby or you have been an active member of your Student Union which is great! But in order to maximise this you need to show your potential employer (or in this case, your recruiter!) what the true worth of this experience was. For instance, “I represented the University at Lacrosse WHICH MEANS THAT I am used to working within a team and co-operating with others, skills I believe are transferable into a professional environment." - W.M.T is a key tool if you really want to show your true talents.

DON’T - Overdo it. 10 page CV’s will not get read and even if the charity work you did in Tanzania does deserve three pages worth of mention (which it probably does) an employer only has a limited time to process applications and they want the facts laid out plain and simple, this is what I DID, this is what it INVOLVED, and this is WHAT IT MEANT. This is a good guideline to follow if you do find yourself overdoing it. 

By the same token, don’t sell yourself short. Be interesting, at the end of the day if you are employed, these people will be working with and they want to work with an employee who has a personality! Make sure your CV is full of personality. No one reads a dull book, so why would they read your dull CV? Your CV is a selling document: the reader should feel interested and curious to learn more. They can find out more at the interview. The purpose of the CV is to get you that interview. White space: don't have too much crammed on to each page, it will be easier to read if there is a good amount of white space on the page.

DO - include a photo. We wrangled over whether this was a DO or a DON'T but being able to put a friendly face to a strong CV helps make your CV more personal and helps the end recipient get a better feel for who you are. A small sensible photo (probably not best to include one from that time on your gap yah) is also important for candidates applying for positions overseas; in the far east being able to associate a face to a name will help reduce the uncertainty surrounding those applying from foreign lands. Redbrick would love to hear your thoughts on the DO or DON'T argument on whether to include a photo. 

DON’T - LIE! This is never a good idea, even if you are just bending the truth slightly. Even if you get to an interview, your employer will ask you about what you have done and if your story doesn’t match up then you wont stand much of a chance. Even if you story does match up, a lot of companies will refer to referees and previous employers to check your history. Even if you get through all of this stage and get the job, you still run the risk of getting the sack if you do get found out! Getting the sack for lying to your last employer will never look good at your next interview… be honest then. 

DO - Differentiate your CV for different jobs: amend your CV, the profile and perhaps the detail in the employment section, for each job you apply for. Tailor your CV so that your skills, abilities and achievements are applicable to the particular job profile you're applying for. Remember, its about personality and individuality. Show you have thought carefully about the vacancy on offer and tell your employer how you feel your skills and experience are perfect for the role.

FINALLY - don't expect a recruitment company to check and amend any mistakes in your CV. At Redbrick Recruitment we will endeavour, if we notice something that we think may not work in your favour, to give suggestions (if you give us permission to or you ask for our advice) and our feedback. Its all part of the service. We wont write your CV for you but we will certainly help those who are unsure as to where to start or on how to improve. Remember, this is graduates helping graduates. We will make this constructive, It's better to get feedback from us than continually missing out on getting to interviews and not knowing why. The whole ethos of Redbrick is to help others help themselves, we are graduates like you; the only reason Redbrick exists is because we want to help our peers and we understand the problems graduates face! 

Good Luck!
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