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CVs and job applications

Helpsheets and support

Published: 03 Sep 2013 Update History

This section looks at how you can demonstrate your skills in your job applications and how to create a great CV or apply confidently to a job application.

CVs and job applications – how to show your skills and qualities

When applying for jobs or writing your CV, it may seem easier to document which qualifications you have. This is useful as a way for employers to assess your suitability for the role, but employers will be looking for you to demonstrate in your CV/job application that you have the skills and behaviours that they are looking for.

So, what are some of these skills and behaviours, and crucially how do you demonstrate them on your CV in a way that employers expect to see. This webinar covers all this and explains the importance of ‘action words’.

Action words – the key to a great job application

An employer may spend just 30-40 seconds looking at your CV or covering letter before they make a decision to either a) read on and find out more about you or b) reject your application. So you need to make your application stands out for all the right reasons and that you have demonstrated your achievements, skills and experience. Using ‘action words’ in your applications can help your job success. Here’s how. 

Action words can help describe your success and achievements at work (and in your hobbies/leisure activities) in a way that shows employers three important things about you:

  • what you did / what your level of involvement was (or is) – can you do the job
  • what you were responsible for / how you approached doing those tasks – will you do the job
  • how well you did it / the results of your actions  – could you add value to the team / are you the right fit for the company? 

What do employers look for in your job application or CV?

Have you listened to our 45-minute webinar which explains what an employer typically looks for in any recruit, which skills and behaviours they usually see as critical and then how you can demonstrate these on your CV or job applications.

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Handing out your CV – does it work?

Read this heart-warming story from ICAEW member magazine economia about how a student was hired after handing out his CV at a train station. This is a great example of pro-active job-hunting.

Writing your covering letter

Even if you are applying to a job by email, you should still include a covering letter. This needs to be tailored to each job application rather than a ‘one-size fits all’ and is a vital part of any job application. The link below will help you learn what is needed and how to create a letter with impact.