CVs, applications, interviews

It's often said that just getting to the interview stage is half the battle when applying for jobs. Your CV, application form and covering letter will very often be the first contact you make with a prospective employer, so it's important you get it right and make a good first impression. 

If you get invited to interview it's up to you to persuade them that your personality, aspirations, experience and skills are better suited to the role than the other candidates.

We have gathered together various resources in My Career Zone to help you in all stages of the application process. They are grouped together under the topics below.

Most large graduate employers now use online application forms as the first part of their recruitment process and you will need just as much time and care to complete this as you will for a paper version. 

See our Application Form resources in My Career Zone.

There is no single right way to compose your CV and everyone's will be unique. Remember it is your own personal advertisement and, as such, should show you off to the best advantage for the position you are applying for. CVs are simple to produce but difficult to get right. 

It is vital to include a covering letter with your CV and it is a chance to highlight your skills for the job and why you want to work for this employer.

See our CV and Covering Letter resources in My Career Zone.

The interview remains a major part of the recruitment process and preparation, as ever, is the key to success. 

See our Interview resources in My Career Zone.

Graduate employers often use psychometric tests as part of their selection process. Most tests used are ability tests which aim to measure aptitudes such as verbal reasoning, numeracy and other abilities such as diagrammatic and abstract reasoning. Some employers may also use personality tests or questionnaires to identify certain character traits and profiles. These are more difficult to practice and have no exact answers.

If you would like to take our online practice psychometric test, please contact us contact the Career Zone on 01392 724493 to register; the test is also open to graduates. The test consists of verbal reasoning and numeracy tests similar to those most commonly used by graduate recruiters. Your results will be emailed to you as soon as you have completed the tests with a full explanation of the results. You can also book an appointment to discuss the results with a Careers Consultant. Employers can also use E tray exercises with a designated pass mark.

Some employers may also use personality tests or questionnaires to identify certain character traits and profiles. These are not usually offered as practice examples and have no obviously correct answers only your honest responses. Some employers also use situational judgment tests which are not strictly a psychometric test but an indication of how you might act n hypothetical situations.

See our Psychometric Testing resources in My Career Zone.

Large recruiters will often have an assessment centre where you may be examined through a variety of methods such as E-tray exercises, group discussions and presentations.

This is usually at a later stage in the recruitment process after application and a first interview. Attendance at an assessment centre is likely to be at least a full day away from campus so needs strong planning. If you are required to go to an assessment centre, try to establish what exercises or tasks are expected so you can prepare effectively.

See our Assessment Centre resources in My Career Zone.

CV, Covering Letter and Application Form checking service

If you are applying for a job then we are happy to check over your CV, covering letter or application form before you send it off. You can book an appointment in My Career Zone

15 minute appointments take place in our Career Zones in Exeter and Cornwall.