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Employment Tips

Follow our top tips for your CV, application form and interview. Your perfect job is closer than you think!

Is your CV up to scratch?

A CV tells an employer all about you – your exam results, your skills and experience, and your hobbies and interests. A good CV helps you to stand out from the crowd. Some employers ask you to fill in application forms, but many also want a copy of your CV, so keep it up to date.

Before you start writing your CV, think about your skills, experience and achievements. When you write your CV, don’t be shy. This is your opportunity to tell employers that you’re right for the job, so focus on any areas where you have developed skills, for example, through work experience, summer and part-time jobs, sports and clubs, volunteering.

Things to remember:

  • Keep your CV to two sides of A4 and be concise. Make sure your CV is quick and easy to read.
  • Include a personal statement. This is your opportunity to personalise your CV and make it stand out from the crowd. Briefly summarise your achievements, explain what you hope to achieve in the future, and say how the role you’re applying for fits into that plan.
  • Give examples of your skills. If you say you’re good at teamwork or customer service, give an example of a time when you demonstrated those skills.
  • Match your CV to the job. Look at the job description – check the required skills and adapt your examples to match them.
  • Make sure your social media profiles are private. An employers could decide to Google you, so check that they won’t find anything that puts them off.
  • Add the details of two people who are happy to provide a reference for you – always check with them first that they’re ok to do this.
  • Think you’re finished? Check your grammar and spelling and then check it again. Then ask someone else to check it for you. It’s important that your grammar and spelling is correct.

Find out more from My world of Work about creating a great CV.

Job applications

Employers sometimes use application forms instead of or as well as CVs, so they can ask specific questions that are related to the job vacancy. Application forms help the employer work out which applicants they want to interview.

Here are our top tips for your job application:

  • Do some research on the company. Read the job description carefully. Look for specific words and phrases used to describe the job and the ideal candidate.
  • When you complete the form, put emphasis on any relevant skills and experience. Make sure your answers show that you have the skills needed for the job.
  • If you’re a school leaver, you may not have a lot of work experience. Don’t worry about that. Experience comes from all parts of your life, not just from jobs. Provide examples from home and school of things you’ve achieved and skills you’ve developed.
  • Application forms are your first chance to make a good impression – check and recheck your spelling and grammar
  • Add a covering letter. This gives you the opportunity to say why you’re interested in the job and lets you highlight how your skills are relevant for the role

Job interview

So you’ve been asked in for interview? Your CV or application form obviously stood out from the crowd. Now’s the time to persuade the interviewers that you’re the best person for the job.

Read Young Scot’s A to Z of Top Tips for interviews.

Remember to do some research on the employer, prepare some example answers to questions they might ask, and think of some questions that you can ask.

Good luck!