12 Things You Can Do to Breathe More Life into Your CV or Personal Statement

12 Things You Can Do to Breathe More Life into Your CV or Personal Statement

Young people

The saying goes: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That is why a great CV or personal statement is extremely important. It represents who you are and will be responsible for deciding whether a potential interview is on the horizon.

An employer often has to search through hundreds of CVs to find the best candidate for the post that needs to be filled. Often an employer is pressed for time, so a CV that does not impress at first glance could be quickly rejected.

This can make creating a CV to be a daunting task. Applicants usually endlessly ponder questions such as “How could I make my CV or personal statement stand out from the crowd?” or “How could I prevent my CV from being overlooked and not being added to the pile of unsuccessful applications?”

To answer some of these questions, here are 12 things that you can do to breathe more life into your CV or personal statement:

1. Make it readable and pay attention to the layout:

First and foremost, you want to make your CV readable. Information provided must be to the point and quick to read. This will make it easy for your potential employer or the dean of admissions to find information and navigate to different sections of your CV.

2. Make use of a professional resource:

GT Scholars is an excellent example of an organisation assisting young scholars through mentorships and workshops. Outstanding guidance for putting a good CV together is essential if you are unsure what to do. You could also gain significant helpful experience when entering the professional world.

3. Adapt your CV to the role:

Try and stray from a generic CV. This does not mean you must write a new CV for every position you want to apply for. Add a few details to your CV to be more prominent to a recruiter. This applies even more to a personal statement, as you want to ensure that the most suitable qualities stand out. Read our blog here on extra-curricular activities that will boost your CV.

4. The importance of the first three words:

In writing, it is believed that the first three words and the last three words in a written piece are what people remember most. IApplyingthe same principle when writing bullet points in your CV makes sense because employers do not read the whole document word for word.

5. Pay attention to buzzwords:

Try to avoid words that have been overused. These words have lost their charm and, most of the time will have lost their meaning to the recruiter as they most probably read many CVs and personal statements with the same word choice. Check out this post on LinkedIn for the buzzwords to avoid in 2017.

6. Let who you are shine through:

Your statement should reflect clues about your personality. More often than not an employer will interview a potential candidate because he might have read something that interested him other than your professional achievements and experience. This can be anything from a sport, a book, or a volunteer activity that could be of mutual interest.

7. Be aware of the CV length:

An unspoken rule is that a CV should never exceed 2-3 pages. Try to keep your CV short but also not too short. Having a CV with 4 or more pages can result in important information not being read.

8. Pay attention to font and size:

Always pay attention to the font and size of your CV and personal statement. Ensure that it has the same font and size throughout the document. Use bold, italics and underlined words but be careful not to go overboard. Never make your font size below 10 points.

9. Good presentation goes a long way:

There is more to presentation than having the perfect layout, length and font size. A dash of colour or a well-placed border can make your CV stand out from the rest and might be as good as a breath of fresh air, giving the recruiter something appealing to look at for a change.

10. Name your file:

Rename your CV file for each position you apply for via email or online. You can rename the file using your name and job title followed by ‘CV’. It will draw the recruiter’s attention, and they will be able to find your job application more accessible.

11. Trim the excess:

Do not waste time and space listing every achievement or position you have ever had. The recruiter will only be interested in reading information relevant to the work that needs to be filled.

12. Keywords are very important:

It should come as no surprise that in today’s day and age, your CV might be read by a software programme before it is even submitted to a human. These programs are designed to look for words and phrases related to the job specifications or relevant industry. Ensure you search and add keywords to your statement or CV.

You might feel that landing an interview will take forever, but by using these steps, you can improve your chances. We hope that you find these tips helpful and that they will boost your confidence when sending your CV.

GT Scholars can provide you with an experienced mentor to help you write your CV and personal statement and apply for a new job or university acceptance. Feel free to contact us to find out what other opportunities and events we host for young people.

Growth Mindset: The one thing you or a private tutor should be teaching your child

Growth Mindset: The one thing you or a private tutor should be teaching your child

Growth mindset

Dr Carol Dweck said it best: “If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is teach them to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy the effort, and keep on learning.” The Psychology Professor from Stanford University presented and popularised this philosophy in 2007 through her book, Mindset. Here, she explains her very profound yet simple idea – the differentiation between two mindsets: fixed and growth mindsets.

Mindsets shape how we perceive our abilities and impact how we view the world around us. With a fixed mindset, a person believes that their core personality, talents, skills, and overall intelligence are fixed traits. In a fixed-mindset world, you are either perceived as intelligent or simple-minded. On the other hand, a person with a growth mindset believes that skills and talents can be developed through consistent effort and persistence. This mindset makes you more receptive to learning and improving through hard work. Essentially, this mindset lends itself to the idea that there are no smart or simple-minded people but those who have or have not unlocked their intellectual potential.

As a parent, you don’t only want your child to be successful, but you want them to have the know-how to handle setbacks when they occur. Their journey to success should be a fulfilling and satisfying one. This will only be possible if your child takes on a growth mindset. There are a few ways that this can be done. Let’s look at some practices you can adopt today:

Growth Mindset Role Model

Take charge of the language you use about yourself. As a parent, you must remember that developing a growth mindset within your child starts with you. So, show your child your excitement for challenges and how mistakes can be a learning opportunity. Share instances in your life journey of success, failure and challenges.

Brain Knowledge

Showing your child how the brain works positively affects how they view learning. Teach them that the brain is a muscle that will grow bigger and stronger through continuous hard work, perseverance and practice. They will know that it is adaptable and can change and increase depending on how we use it. Equipping your child with the knowledge that the brain has an extraordinary ability to change and evolve based on our experiences illustrates that we have a lot of potentials to develop into much more than we ever believed. GT Scholars has an interesting article on Study Habits which is an interesting read on this topic.

Embracing Mistakes

Your child needs to know that making mistakes is a natural part of a learning journey. This approach facilitates building self-confidence in the mere act of trying anything. Your child will be less anxious about whether he will make a mistake. Another excellent method is to have daily learning discussions with your child, whether in the car, during dinner or bedtime. Ask questions like what they learned that day, what mistakes they made, and what they learned from it.

Power of “YET”

It is important to have an ear-on-the-ground approach to monitoring your child’s language. This will give you an indication of whether they are thinking with a growth or fixed mindset. Teach your child not to focus on their shortcomings but on the next step to their achievement. Look out for words such as “I can’t”, “ I don’t”, and “I won’t”. When your parental radar picks up on this, complete it by saying ‘yet’. Try to introduce story books where the character learns to do something he did not think he could do or where he learned from mistakes.

Hard work and persistence pay off, but the underlying secret to success is obtaining and maintaining a growth mindset. Use these four tips and start nurturing a growth mindset in your child today. It will allow them to go through life knowing they are in control of their ability and can continually improve by learning.

Get started by looking into GT Scholars programmes that support your child in reaching their full potential here! The GT Scholars programme wants to help young people aged 11-16 to achieve excellent grades and reach their future goals.

We need to make sure students are well informed about their options post 16

We need to make sure students are well informed about their options post 16

Apprenticeships Careers Narrowing the gap Post 16 University Volunteer mentors What's new? Work experience Young people

Post 16 options

Every young person is required to be in some form of education or training from the ages of 16-18. These years can be an incredibly exciting period, as young people for the first time are in full control over what subjects and qualifications they take. It is an opportunity to begin specialising in certain areas/subjects and to truly begin down the road to independence and adulthood. We at GT Scholars think it essential for all students to know the options that are available to them post 16, so we’ve made a list to help young people make the right choice for themselves. There is most certainly something for everyone.

A levels –

A levels are the next step for many young people post 16. They are subject-based qualifications, taken at school or college, that open up a variety of options later on. Universities and employers hold A level qualifications in high regard. They are a particularly good stepping stone towards university, as they offer a bridge between the teaching styles of schools and universities. A levels are a great academic challenge and give students the chance to further enhance their knowledge of familiar subjects such as English, Maths, History etc, or perhaps to delve into subjects that they may not have come across at school, such as Psychology or Politics.

Vocational Courses –

Another college-based post 16 option are vocational courses. They are different from A levels in that they typically are more hands-on, practical qualifications. They are specialist qualifications which focus on specific subject and employment areas, a few examples from the long list being business, social care and hairdressing . Vocational courses can help students gain employment skills and also provide a path towards a variety of university courses. They are a respected and well-established option post 16.

Apprenticeships –

Apprenticeships are gaining popularity in the UK, as more and more young people are recognising their value as a legitimate alternative to A-Levels. They offer something very different; practical, hands-on experience in a workplace. The skills you gain through apprenticeships are mostly job-specific and offer a fantastic route towards eventual full-time employment in your industry of choice. As an apprentice you can gain qualifications whilst working and earning money. The scope of apprenticeships has widened in recent years, with roles now available in a wide variety of sectors from engineering to IT to business. The modern apprenticeship is a challenging, rewarding and dynamic post 16 option.

Below are a list of links with further information to help you make the right choice for you-

https://www.careerpilot.org.uk/info/your-choices-at-16
https://www.ucas.com/ucas/16-18-choices/getting-started/what-are-my-options
https://www.allaboutschoolleavers.co.uk/articles/article/100/post-16-options
https://www.connexions-tw.co.uk/moving-forward-options-post-16