Job Skills: Prepare your English CV for a job in the UK

Job Skills: Prepare your English CV for a job in the UK


Hello, everyone. I’m Jade. What we’re talking
about today is your British English CV. Maybe you want to put together your first British
English CV to apply for jobs in the UK. So in this video, I’m going to tell you what’s
standard, and I’ll tell you a little bit about it, so that you can create your first
or an improved British English CV. So what we’re going to talk about first is
the format of your CV. Because we… There’s not like one CV that’s… Everybody does.
There are conventions, there are set ways of doing it, but within that, there is some
leeway; you can do different things. And this is important when we think about format, because
it really depends what experience you have, which format you’re going to choose, because
you want to use your CV to sell yourself. So if you’ve got a lot of experience behind
you, then you want to do a chronological CV, with your most recent job and then going backwards.
We usually have the most detail… Or no, we do. We have the most detail for the most
recent or current job, and then after that, the previous job, some detail as well. But
generally after that, we don’t really say much about the jobs that far in the past. And
that’s the key difference that I’ve seen on many CVs when I’m looking at CVs from people
from Italy or Spain or wherever. They usually have a lot of detail for past jobs that were
quite a long time ago, whereas we don’t really say so much about things that were in the
past, especially if they were more than two years ago. Yeah. What if you don’t really have much experience,
well what do you do then? Well, you put your education in the first position. So, you would want
to put your education first. In the experience CV, the education isn’t the most important thing;
that can go at the end or on the second page. And what if you’re a freelance worker or a
temporary worker? So, you’ve got lots of little jobs, what do you do then? Well, you choose a
format where you’re grouping your experience in most important projects that you did. It’s
not really about the time that you worked on something; it’s about the skills that you
acquired. So in this kind of CV, you really need to express all your skills, not how long
it was, how long you were there, and this kind of thing like
in a normal job. What not to include, then, on your British
English CV? I think there’s a difference between what’s the law about what not to include and
what’s the actual practice. Because by law, we’re not meant to put our date of births
or photographs on CVs. But, it’s, it does happen for certain kinds of jobs. Let’s take
this example: you move to London, and you’re trying to get a job in London, and you want to
do a waitressing job or a bar job, or something like that. If you go into independent places,
independent places and maybe not like… Maybe they don’t really know about the law, and
actually they do want to know how old you are. So, in… I’m not telling you to do it,
I’m just saying that it happens that some people choose to put this
information on their CVs. I, this is a just a personal thing of mine:
on a CV, I just find it completely pointless that somebody puts headings like “email” and
then puts an email address after it with a name in it, because it’s obviously your email.
It’s like a word that we don’t need. We don’t need to see that on the CV. Same with “mobile”.
We know what a mobile number looks like. So pointless headings I don’t like, and also, I
don’t like the title at the top, when somebody writes “CV” or “Curriculum Vitae” which is a
Latin word, because we obviously know it’s a CV. So, I’m against
pointless extra words on CVs. I’m also kind of against the hobby section,
which is always a bit lame. Not always. Unless you’ve got an awesome hobby. But, you know,
most people like reading and socializing, don’t they? So, just think about it. It’s
probably not worth it. But what you could do in place of “hobbies” is “membership of
organizations”. So you can… This means, you know, if you belong to any clubs or societies,
you can put that… Those things down there, and they can say something about yourself and
your interests, rather than you just saying these general hobbies;
not very useful. Also, you’re going to have this problem: when
you come to the UK and trying to get work, people are very unlikely to know the names
of your qualifications. It’s just going to be like: “All right, well I don’t know what
that is.” So, what can you do in that sense? You could consider writing “equivalent to”.
Find out what your qualification is equivalent to. What is it the same level as in the British
system? So if we’re talking about standard school qualifications, GCSE is the level of
exam you do when you’re 16; everybody has to do it. And A-level is the level of exam
you do when you’re 18, and you don’t have to do that. You choose to stay in school longer
to do that. And then the next level is degree, so this could be a BA, or a BSc in the British system.
We have lots and lots of other qualifications. I haven’t put anything down about skills-based
training and that kind of thing. You’d need to research that yourself, because these are,
you know, so many different qualifications you can have. But that’s an important point
that British employers are probably not going to recognize your qualification unless you
tell them what it means. When we come back, we’re going to look in more detail about
what you should put on your British CV. Let’s have a look at what could be advantageous
for you to include on your British CV. Because if you’re applying for jobs here, employers,
they’re looking for someone easy, someone who can start, someone who already knows the
country, someone who’s available to work. So, if you can manage to include a UK phone
number, a UK address, and a UK email address, that’s going to help you out a bit, because
it will be suggesting that you’re already in the country. If you are already in the
country, and for some reason you’re not including these things, this is really not
helpful for your wish to get a job. And a lot of people stick with their email
program that they use in their own country, so if you’re Italian, you might use that. But
this, again, is just suggesting that you’re, like, a foreigner. Foreigner, basically. I
don’t like that word, but anyway, that’s what it’s suggesting. So people don’t really…
People don’t use that here. The main ones are Gmail and Hotmail, but Hotmail is not
really seen as a… Something professional to have that. What else to say? Talking about the actual
format of your CV: it’s standard just to have a two-page CV. So even if you’ve got 20 years
of experience doing lots of different things, you need to compress all that information
just to two pages. People are not interested in reading really, really, really long CVs.
You should include page numbers, as well. And I always suggest: don’t just put the page
number in automatically. Show how many pages you have as part of your CV. So, it should say
“1 of 2” or “2 of 2” so that when somebody’s looking at your CV, they know they have all
the relevant parts that they need, and if one gets lost, they know
that something’s missing. I’m a fan, means I like, using bullet points
in CVs. You don’t write in complete sentences. But you need to be careful of doing very,
very long lists of bullet points, so I would say between four or six bullet points for a
heading. Don’t overuse them in the space of one heading. Also to do with formatting, it’s
standard to use 11 or 12 pt, so not really, really big writing. We also like Arial or
Times New Roman. Make sure you don’t put that Comic Sans in there on your CV. It’s not right
for your CV. It’s not right for anything, especially not right for a CV. And don’t be
too crazy with your style, so draw attention to different parts, and your sections, by using
a mixture of bold, underline, or center. So play around with
formatting like that. Let’s have a look at the sections to include.
So you don’t need to include all of these, but these are different sections that you
could. And again, we don’t necessarily need to use them as a title. So, you don’t need
to put a title saying “personal information” when you put your name and your address and
these kind of things. You don’t need it, but it’s an option if you want to. A personal
statement or summary: this is a very, very short two-sentence introduction to yourself,
basically. Who you are, and what you’re looking for. We’ll look at that in
further detail in a sec. You can also include education and qualification
section. You don’t necessarily need to put the word “and” in there, you could put a dash
there, put a line there, to break it up. Then, these other… Again, if you don’t want to
use extra words, you don’t even need to put “work experience”, you could just say “experience”,
and then start to list your most relevant experience underneath it. You can have a skills section. What do you
put in a skills section? Well, this would be something like the programs you could use,
can use. So you can put Microsoft Office, any relevant software that you know how to
use. It could be like a database that you know would have a… Whatever the name of
the database is. Or maybe you’ve got design skills, so you could
put Adobe on here. Anyway, you know your skills. Put
them in the “skills” section. What I really like to see on CVs is a section
where you talk about your achievements, like what have you actually done in your job, which
you’re like pleased with, and shows results? Because when someone’s just looking at a CV, and
it’s information, information, information, it’s hard to know what really like stands
out, what we should know about the person. So make it easy for whoever’s looking at your
CV. Put some key achievements there that are targeted for the job you’re applying to. So,
yeah. Just know that people are not really going to closely read every single thing; you
need to make it easy for them. We’ll talk about this a little bit as well. We touched on this a minute ago: I don’t like
the “hobby” section, so you can replace that, if you feel like you want to, with “interests”.
You could call it a different word, basically. Interests. Your interests are reading, and
sport. No, I don’t think you should do that. But anyway, if you have an interesting interest,
include it in the interests section. And as I said earlier, you could include memberships
of professional organizations. This sounds quite impressive sometime. References in a British CV are generally separate;
you don’t put them on the CV itself. But I do occasionally see it where somebody will
write “references” and put the names of two people there, and their contacts. Very rarely,
but most of the time if anything is said, it’s: “References Available on Request”, which
means: “I’m happy to give you the information of my references”, the people who will say
that I’m a great worker or whatever: “If you want to. If we get to that stage,
I’ll give you that information.” Then there’ll also be an additional section,
sometimes, and in there you can put anything that you haven’t covered yet. So it could be
you could say: “Full and clean UK driver’s license”, if you’ve got a UK driver’s license.
Or sometimes you could put in like: “First aid training”. I also see that’s first aid
certificate. I also see that in the additional section sometimes. When we come back, we will
do extra work on what to include on your CV. Now, we’re going to look at some of the sections
that I mentioned before, but I’ll give you some examples of things that you might include.
So, I mentioned before achievements. You should use your CV to really sell yourself for the
particular job you’re going for. So I did an example here. This would be an example of
someone looking for a sales kind of position, and I thought: “What kind of thing could they
say about themselves to make themselves seem like a really good
candidate for a job?” So, this imaginary person was awarded Salesperson
of the Month in July. We should probably put the year as well. Maybe… Also, it should
be recent. It wouldn’t be very good to put like 1992 there, that’s a bit long ago. Yeah,
so put the year. What year is it? I sometimes forget. I have forgotten. And then you’d put
the name of the store, wherever this happened. Also, this imaginary person was such a good
salesperson that they exceeded their sales targets by 20%, so they sold more than they
were asked to do by their company. They’re so good. And this individual also went above
and beyond the call of duty. That’s an idiom for doing more than is expected of you. They
developed an induction for new staff members, so that means that they put some training
together for new people joining the company. So that suggests that this person is responsible.
Yeah, someone who’s a bit better than your average staff member, because they’ve been
given responsibility here. Or maybe they used initiative, we don’t know. So, including this kind of thing and putting
it at the top of your CV is a really good way to attract attention. Imagine a really
big pile of CVs. When you make it easy for them to know how great you are, you’ve got a
better chance of being called for interview. Here’s an example now of the experience section
for the same imaginary person. We start by putting the job title, what is it that you
did, and we say… The terms that we use in CVs change. So, the word you might know for
this job, but actually people don’t really use now, is “salesman”. But because it says
“man”, and this is kind of sexist language, we don’t say it in that way now, we say like
“consultant” is gender-neutral; it could be a man, it could be a woman. So yeah, start with
the job title, then the name of the place, then the area, and then a city. Sometimes
it’s very revealing to say the area, because it shows the prestige of your job. So, if
you say the area, it shows that, you know, maybe it suggest that this was a very great
place to work, or something, based on the area. Then, it’s really helpful to have a descriptive
line, where you say not only what the… Yeah, you just explain a little bit about the place
you worked at, because the person looking at your CV might not know the name of the
company; it might not mean anything to them. So if you just put in a sentence explaining
what that company is and what they do, the employer can see that: “Oh, is that a match
for us? Is this relevant to what we do here?” Then, I’ve got a couple of bullet points.
You could use these to think about what you would put on your CV. This imaginary person
in their job, these are some of the duties. And it’s in this format, because this job still
exists for this person. “Assisting customers with purchases.” They’re still in this job.
This is a current job. If it’s a past job, then you would write: “Assisted customers
with purchases.” They’re still in this job, so they say: “Providing product knowledge to
customers. Helping them. Telling them about the products in the store.” They also in their
job are acting as casher or cashing up. And if you notice something, in these bullet points,
we’re keeping the same format. So if we’ve got “ing”, we’re using “ing” throughout, we’re
not changing it around. And also notice that it’s not full sentences. It’s not: “I am assisting”,
okay? We don’t need to use full sentences. This is a format when we’re writing
bullet points, we can do like this. And let’s lastly take a look at the education
section. As I mentioned before, if you have education… Qualifications from your own
country, people are not really going to know about them in England. So, that line you can
put in is “equivalent to”, just so people know what we’re talking about. What they like to
see is the most recent or highest qualification you have, so you can put that in. A-level is
typically, people do three, sometimes they do four of them. And then, there’s less detail.
So if you want to write… If you want to mention your GCSE level qualification, which
is lower, it’s okay to say something like: “Nine subjects B to C grade”. You don’t need
to write every subject you took and the exact mark; it’s not so relevant. People just want
a general idea of your qualifications most of the time. So, I really hope that was helpful for you,
and you can, based on this, develop a really good British CV that’s going to get you the
job that you want. You can also go to the engVid website and do a quiz on this, so make
sure you got all the important details about what you really do need to
include on a British CV. If you like this video, please do subscribe
on my channel, here. I’ve got lots of other videos about learning English that might be
of interest to you. I’ve also got another YouTube channel, so I’ve got two YouTube channels;
you could subscribe in both places. I’d really appreciate that. So, I’m going to go
and read a really big pile of CVs now. And come back and join
me again sometime, okay? Bye.

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