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4 simple ways to get experience for your CV

Posted on: September 17th, 2015 by admin No Comments


One of the biggest issues for a job hunter is having an empty CV with a lack of relevant skills for the profession. For instance, if you’re a student just out of Uni, you may be struggling to land your first job when you have so little experience. Or even if you’ve been working for years but decide you need a change of career, you may find it difficult to book any interviews without industry-specific experience.

Don’t fear: there are quick and easy ways that you can bulk up your CV to appeal to employers, giving you a better chance at securing your dream job.

1. Volunteer

Volunteering is an excellent way to boost your CV and gain vital experience, and with the variety of volunteering opportunities available, there will always be a prospect relevant to your desired career.

By volunteering for a charity helpline, for example, you can display your communication skills to prospective employers. Furthermore, you can show your ability to adapt to new environments, work under pressure, and deal with difficult situations. Charities and not-for-profit organisations constantly have opportunities to get involved in, and volunteering for them in-house or at particular events they’re running can show your interest in helping others whilst demonstrating your passion about a particular issue. This will make your CV stand out from the masses.

Politics is another area that is easy to get involved in, as political parties and organisations are always looking for help, especially during important campaigns. If you are interested in a career in politics, or within the non-profit sector, working for a political party can show you are dedicated to a cause and are motivated enough to use your spare time to make a difference in society.

Websites such as vInspired and m4mp are excellent for finding volunteering opportunities, or you can contact your chosen organisation directly.

2. Blog

Blogging is an excellent way to show potential employers that you have outstanding writing, design and photography skills – and there are numerous ways to start blogging online.

By creating your own blog and including a link to it on your CV, you can showcase your budding initiative to hiring managers, plus you can alert them to the field of work you are interested in. For example, you could start a fashion blog or a food blog, depending which industry you want to pursue a career in.

Alongside your own blog, you can prove your social media skills to potential employers by marketing your content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and so on. Social media is a huge part of branding and marketing, thus most businesses will appreciate your proficiency in this area.

There are plenty of other ways to write articles and blog pieces online too, requiring less setup than starting your own blog. Tremr, for example, is an online blogging platform that enables people to publish articles about current affairs and politics. Another is The Tab, an online student news platform, which is an excellent resource that allows students to publish articles online to gain essential experience and exhibit their writing skills.

3. Apply for work experience

Gaining work experience is an invaluable way of filling up your CV with excellent experience because, not only will it greatly improve your chances of getting a job, but it can help you understand the industry you are going into in more depth.

On-the-job experience takes the form of internships and work experience placements. The majority of these opportunities are unpaid, although most will cover your travel and food expenses, and the placements will last anywhere from a week to several months.

By contacting companies directly, or searching graduate websites for available work experience placements, you can find work opportunities relevant to your ambitions, whether that’s events, media, or the industrial sector.

It is also important to always use your contacts. If you know someone in an industry you are interested in, ask if they would allow you to shadow them for a week or so. Even work experience in an industry or role you might not be considering as a career path could be valuable; all experience is good experience, as you’ll learn a lot of transferable skills, plus you may even discover that you prefer this line of work once you explore it.

4. Book onto a short course

Many universities and colleges offer short courses for the general public. By completing a short course in something you are interested in, you can bulk up your CV whilst refreshing your skillset, which may help you secure a job in the future.

The University of London, for example, has a large selection of short courses varying from Business, Innovation and Marketing to Chinese Culture and Society. With additional qualifications on your CV, you can illustrate your keenness for development and you’ll have an added selling point over your peers when applying for jobs.

We have a variety of job opportunities available, from graduate level all the way through to senior roles, with some of the world’s most renowned companies. You can visit our jobs page here or contact us if you’d like to discuss your job search in more detail.

Is your CV sticky?

Posted on: July 7th, 2015 by admin No Comments


The average recruiter will spend all of six seconds1 reading your CV before moving on to the next one, so if your resume isn’t enticing readers to stick around for a little longer, you’re definitely not getting an interview.

In the media, marketing and advertising industries, professionals spend their working days creating campaigns that stick, and those landing the best jobs are doing the same for their CVs.

What is The Stickiness Factor and how does it relate to my job search?

Malcolm Gladwell first wrote about The Stickiness Factor in his book The Tipping Point (2000), a cult hit amongst marketers that is somewhat of a black book for 21st Century marketing. Gladwell demonstrated that very minor tweaks to enhance relevance, talkability and memorability can dramatically improve a product’s success rate.

You need to think of your CV as the product. Your job is to market it.

Chip and Dan Heath further delved into the art of making a message resonate in their book Made to Stick (2008), laying out the following six principles for success:

#1 Simplicity
#2 Unexpectedness
#3 Concreteness
#4 Credibility
#5 Emotions
#6 Stories


#1 Simplicity: Does your CV serve its true purpose?

The simplicity principle is about getting to the core of your message. Are the hiring company looking for a Sales Manager with five years experience? If you’ve got it, turn it into your tag line! In doing so, you’ll answer the recruiter’s primary burning question within the six-second window, saving them from the time-killing task of trawling through the small print on your CV.

#2 Unexpectedness: Take the hiring manager by surprise!

CV formats haven’t evolved much since job seekers first started jotting down their credentials with pen and paper. Even LinkedIn, with its new-age digital platform for professionals’ resumes, hasn’t swerved too far from the generic intro-experience-education-skills CV template.

It’s not wise to turn the format on its head until your CV becomes a complete conundrum, but a little creativity doesn’t always go amiss, especially when applying for roles within the creative sector. Are you a Graphic Designer? Don’t submit a plain text document; create a unique, slick layout. Web Developer? Give your CV its own website! Or maybe you’re a Data Analyst? Try presenting your experience, qualifications or skillset as an infographic – is a free online tool that’ll do it for you.

#3 Concreteness: Don’t be scared of white space.

Our brains remember concrete information, not abstract fillers. If the Head of Events role you’re applying for requires French-speaking candidates, you don’t need to be fluffy about it to fill empty space on your CV – you just need to state that you speak French.

Some of the best CVs have plenty of white space because candidates are simply stating the important facts rather than worrying about their CV looking bare. These CVs will often focus a recruiter’s attention better too, as a de-cluttered resume can provide some much yearned for respite amidst hours of heavy reading.

#4 Credibility: Include references and keep your online presence up-to-date.

‘References available upon request’ has become the default response on job applications, particularly from those in work who fear that a prospective employer may unwittingly contact their current employer. However, you can still include a previous employer or teacher who will vouch for your credibility until a job offer is officially made.

It’s also important to keep your LinkedIn profile updated, along with any other professional and social networks you are on, as most recruiters will Google you to verify your experience and connections.

#5 Emotions: Be human.

Don’t let your professionalism falter but do allow a little of your personality to reach out to the hiring manager, who will be looking for a person that they believe could settle into the company’s culture.

You can put this message across via the tone of your CV – just read through the company’s website and marketing materials to understand the styles in which they communicate first – or you can include an ‘about me’ section on your resume. The more specific you are, the more interesting it is to read; most people say they ‘love TV and books’, so instead, say that you enjoy reading George Orwell but you’re finding it hard to pry your eyes away from the latest season of Orange is the New Black right now. It could become a great icebreaker at the interview stage if the hiring manager mentions that you share a similar fondness for Piper Chapman.

#6 Stories: Never forget to tie up your narrative.

If you’ve read Made to Stick, you’ll know that a carefully constructed story is the key to stickiness. Your CV is your professional story; you set the scene in the introduction, provide the backstory with your education and past experience, and give the reader a glimpse into the future with your skills and covering letter.

You need them to push the story onto its next chapter by calling or emailing you. So think like a marketer and provide a clear call-to-action at the end of your CV, and if your CV is online, include a direct link to your LinkedIn page or email address to get the conversation rolling faster.

Not sure if your CV is sticky enough? Send it to and one of our specialist consultants will be in touch to offer you some advice and help advance your job search.

1 UK Business Review, 2015. Here’s What Recruiters Look At In The 6 Seconds They Spend On Your Résumé. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 7th July 2015].

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