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Career coaching tips on writing a great CV

write a great CV

Graduate Coaches Chris Davies shares key career coaching tips from the Times job challenge on how to get your CV interview ready.

Many of us take job finding skills for granted, but the Times job hunt project reminds us all how much help graduates really need to get on the career ladder.

 Take 20-year old Siobhan Guyan as an example. She was selected as one of the Times six from almost a million unemployed young people – the idea being to follow them over a two-week period as they search for employment. 

After sending out in the region of 75 CVs over a six-month period, Siobhan was on the verge of giving up. But then, thanks to the Times project, she finally landed her desired position as an apprentice dental nurse at a practice in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

Career coaching tips on writing a good CV

Coach Chris Davies, the CV expert appointed by the Times, had coached Siobhan on getting her CV to ‘interview-ready’ state. That means your CV meets the requirements of the interviewer and is therefore of the standard required to secure you an interview.  A key part of Chris’ approach to career coaching is to help graduates stay positive, so she was encouraged not to give up, to follow up her efforts and advised to visit dental practices in person.

This week, still celebrating her good news, Siobhan told the Times, ‘I am still in shock. It feels amazing.’ She said the Times job hunt had given her the motivation to go on.
The need for this type of on-going practical support to help graduates find a job is the major outcome from the whole project, say the two journalists responsible for the series.

CV help – where are we going wrong?

Kaya Burgess and Laura Dixon, who are not much older than those who took part, concluded that looking for a job can be a lonely, demoralising and frustrating experience, no matter how motivated and creative you start out.
They found that most of the young people searching for a job received little or no feedback, encouragement, practical help or advice on where they were going wrong.
Kaya reminisced over his own experience of ‘weeks and weeks traipsing the high streets of North London looking for work’ and how he ended up taking a job as a charity fundraiser, which he described as ‘soul-destroying’.

He said schools and universities should be more proactive in teaching young people how to sell themselves or, even better, begin teaching job finding skills earlier, to 15-year-olds, who could be coached on ‘how to write a CV and apply for a job as part of their GCSEs’.

Helping graduates get the career help they need

At the very least, said Kaya, ‘no student should be allowed to leave university without a fully written-up CV, tailored to their ideal jobs’.
Help is out there, but you need to know where to look. Finding it would give graduates the needed confidence boost, encouragement and strategies to get their foot on that elusive career ladder.

It certainly meant the difference between giving up and landing that dream job for Siobhan Guyan. She said it was worrying to hear that youth unemployment had gone up because finding a job is already hard enough and seems to get harder the more you try.
Graduate Coach offers a range of practical help and support to graduates trying to find employment.

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