With a busy few weeks ahead with A-level and GCSE results being released, along with the start of the new academic year in early September, it can prove to be a stressful time of year to understand all of your options and choosing a direction to take.
For those receiving A-level or other level three results, the choices are primarily whether to continue into a higher education setting, to head straight into the world of employment, or to combine the two with the option of an apprenticeship.
For those leaving school and receiving GCSE results, the options are a little more limited as those under the age of 18 are required to stay in formal education until their 18th birthday at least. The options here emanate around going to a sixth form college, heading into further education to take a study programme, or to combine earning and learning to find an apprenticeship opportunity.
Whatever your situation, Crown Vocational Training are here to help and provide careers advice and guidance, to arm you with all the information you might need and steer you towards the best options available. You can call us on 01702 597499 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get you started, we’ve written and prepared some advice for all those looking for that next step below, including ensuring your CV gives the best impression of your skills and qualifications along with preparing for interviews.
CV writing tips
- Keep it concise – A CV should ideally be no longer than two pages, especially if you’re early in your career.
- Use a clean format – Choose a clean, professional layout with clear headings and bullet points to improve readability. Use a consistent font and formatting style throughout.
- Tailor it for each job – Customise your CV for each job application. Highlight skills, experiences, and achievements that are directly relevant to the position you’re applying for.
- Include a personal statement – Begin with a brief personal statement or objective that summarises your career goals and what you bring to the table. This can help set the tone for the rest of the CV.
- Highlight your skills – Create a dedicated section to showcase your skills. Include both hard skills (technical abilities) and soft skills (communication, teamwork, leadership, etc.).
- Prioritise relevant experience – List your work experience in reverse chronological order (most recent first). Focus on the roles and responsibilities that directly relate to the job you’re applying for.
- Quantify your achievements – Whenever possible, use quantifiable data to highlight your accomplishments. For example, “Increased sales by 20% within six months”
- Include education and certifications – List your educational background, including degrees earned, institutions attended, and graduation dates. Include relevant certifications and training as well.
- Consider volunteer work and extracurriculars – Include relevant volunteer work, internships, and extracurricular activities. These can demonstrate a well-rounded skill set and a commitment to personal growth.
- Keep it professional – Avoid using informal language or slang. Your CV should present you as a professional, so use formal language and proper grammar.
- Proofread carefully – Errors can make a negative impression. Proofread your CV multiple times to catch typos, grammatical mistakes, and inconsistencies.
- List references or mention “Available upon request” – You don’t need to include references on your CV. If required, you can mention that references are available upon request.
Preparing for an interview
- Research the company – Show your interest and knowledge about the company by discussing their mission, values, products/services, recent news, and any projects that resonate with you. This demonstrates that you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested in the organisation.
- Highlight your skills and experiences – Focus on your relevant skills, experiences, and achievements that make you a great fit for the role. Use specific examples to illustrate your points and provide evidence of your capabilities.
- Tailor your answers – Customise your responses to match the specific job description and the company’s needs. Address how your skills align with the requirements and how you can contribute to their success.
- Be concise and to the point – While it’s important to provide details, avoid rambling. Keep your answers focused on the question and avoid going off on tangents.
- Show enthusiasm – Express genuine enthusiasm for the position and the company. Positive energy and excitement can make a significant impression on the interviewer.
- Ask questions – At the end of the interview, when given the opportunity, ask thoughtful questions about the role, team, company culture, and expectations. This demonstrates your interest and engagement.
- Focus on your personal brand – Highlight your unique strengths and qualities that set you apart from other candidates. This can include soft skills, personal values, and your approach to work.