When a potential employer reads your CV, they will be asking themselves the following questions;
- Is this person qualified to do the job?
- Does this person have the necessary skills and expertise identified in the job specification?
- Do we want to interview this person to find out more?
You will only have a couple of minutes to make a good impression on your CV, so you need to make sure that it’s the best it can be. In order for it to be effective, it should;
- Be no longer than two pages – don’t worry if you have a lot to say, keep the most important bits in the CV and save the rest for the interview!
- Have been created using Microsoft Word or a similar word processor – honestly, we’re in 2018, handwritten CV’s are an absolute no go.
- Look clean, be easy to read and have a clear font.
- Have clear headings for each section.
- Outline the important things an employer would need to know about your education, skills and employment history.
- Be relevant and adapted to the job you are applying for.
- Have no grammatical errors – this is especially the case for a job in further education. One error and your CV is in the bin!
You should always start your CV with your name right at the top. Underneath that, add your address, then follow this on with your points of contact, so your telephone number/s and your email address. It’s not important to include your D.O.B here, as it is not a relevant part of the process at this time.
This is one of the most important parts of your CV, as it summarises you, your knowledge and your key skills/experience from studies and employment. It’s a good idea to relate this opening statement to the job that you are applying for – so, in this case, something in the further education sector. For example, if you’re applying for an Assessor job, make sure the employer will know straight away the qualities you have that make you a good assessor – confident, easy to talk to, can prioritise workloads well etc.
Something to note about putting your qualifications on your CV is that you should always start with the one you have most recently achieved. For example, if you have just achieved your Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement and Level 3 Education and Training, you should put them first. Include the name of the company you trained with, and if this is a reputable company then your employer will have an idea of your credibility. Don’t forget to add the start and end date of any courses that you have completed. It’s also a good idea to include what you did during the course and outline any key study areas or projects.
If you are in the middle of a course, you can state this in your CV and include a date that you expect to be finished by. The employer can get in touch with the training provider if they feel they need to get more information on this. Do not, under any circumstances, state that you have a qualification which you have not yet achieved. You do not want your prospective employer to find out that you’re lying – what an awful first impression!
If you have a degree, here is where you should include the details of it. State your degree, where you studied and what grade you achieved. Don’t assume that your employer will know everything about the course – summarise your degree and it’s main elements, and highlight any academic/educational topics you covered.
Finally, add in any other qualifications you have achieved. This could be diplomas, A-levels or GCSEs. Again, remember to put the most recent qualification first. It doesn’t matter how long ago you achieved these qualifications – if you’ve got it, write it down!
To make the information clearer, you could add columns to your CV so you can include where you studied, the dates you studied, the type of qualification you achieved and of course, the grade.
If you’ve had any relevant work history in the further education sector, whether it was paid or voluntary work, now is the time to give details and dates on this. If you’ve been in the FE sector/teaching for a number of years this section is going to contain a lot of information so it’s probably best to use bullet points to make it clearer and cleaner.
For each role, you should focus on teaching responsibilities and achievements. Again, start with your most recent experience and work your way backwards. It’s important to list all the places in which you have taught, including the age range and subjects covered, along with any other areas of responsibility.
If you can add any specific contributions you’ve made towards areas such as extra-curricular activities or teaching materials, then definitely do so. This will give prospective employers an idea of how you can contribute to their place of work.
However, if you’re entering teaching/assessing from another career – say you’ve been a carer for the past ten years and now want to become a health and social care assessor – you will still need to provide dates and brief details on what you’ve been doing. It’s important to focus on aspects of your previous job which directly relate to teaching, perhaps such as staff training or presentations.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
It’s a really important responsibility for people who work in the further education sector to have an up-to-date CPD record. Prospective employers should know that you’re on top of your CPD, especially if you’re applying for an assessor job. Assessor’s need to pass on best practices and up-to-date industry knowledge, therefore they should be fully aware of any changes in their industry.
Potential employers will want to see that you’re committed to CPD so you should provide details of any CPD you have done throughout your working life. Just as an example, a bitesize refresher course on your speciality subject would count as CPD.
Interests, Skills and Hobbies
Now, at this point in your CV, the employer will want to know more about you as a person. So now is a good time to highlight your interests and skills, especially if they are relevant to the position you are applying for. This may be that you play a musical instrument or have a strong interest in sport – whatever it is, let them know more about you!
Your references should, as much as possible, be a previous employer. They are the best people to provide an insight into your competencies and personality. If you are currently completing a course that’s relevant to the job you are applying for, you can speak to your training provider about asking them to be a reference and they will also provide the proof that you are in the process of completing the qualification.
However, if you’re doing this, you will need to make it very clear that you haven’t worked for this company, you’re just doing or have done a course with them. If you don’t, your prospective employer may give the training provider a call, only to find out you haven’t actually worked for them. This will look bad on your behalf.
Finally, you should do a final check of your CV before you send it off anywhere. Triple check for any spelling or grammar mistakes, especially when applying for a job in the further education sector. The last thing you want to happen is to lose out on a job because you didn’t proofread and spot that silly mistake…
It may also help to have someone else proofread your CV as a fresh face will be more likely to spot any grammatical errors!
Time to send your CV in! Don’t worry – by following this guide, you’re sure to have written a CV that outlines you and your abilities perfectly.