#IXD302 Week 2 – CV

IXD302 – Applying for a Job

In the beginning of today’s class, Daniel went over various student reports on slack about placement detailing the problems that many students could face while searching/applying and how to avoid it. It felt really refreshing Daniel showed us this as this allows me to avoid future mistakes and stick out when applying. Some of the things that I will keep in mind:

  • Nothing to loose; try to apply for as many places as I can, even those who aren’t advertising.
  • DON’T copy & paste CV to all jobs, as this can contain errors and not structure properly. Make it unique for each job.
  • Be passionate, ask questions & ready to learn.
  • Stand out, personalized message.


The necessities to apply for a job:

  • CV
  • Cover Letter
  • Portfolio 


  • What should my CV contain? 
  1.  Contact Details – All direct and active platforms which you can be instantly notified.
  2. A Short Bio – Describing yourself and what you do.
  3. Skills – Relevant and alternative skills.
  4. Work Experience – The more relevant the better.
  5. Education – Degree & A-levels, as GCSE’s aren’t important at this stage there is no point going into detail.
  6. Awards and Additional Info – Relevant & extracurricular activities
  7. References – Can be from lecturer.
  • Making it eligible 
  1. Short – I must ensure my CV is as concise and compact as possible, meaning no waffling or big fancy words – get straight to the point. (Average 1-2 A4 pages) No more than 3.
  2. Relevancy – Ensure the CV is affiliated with as much relevant information for the job as possible.
  3. Grammar – Ensure there is no consistent grammar errors. Use grammar checkers if I have too. (Hemingway Editor)
  4. Reverse chronology – Whilst writing it is better to tell the timeline backwards as it instantly shares all your most updated and relevant information first.
  5. Competency Indicators – *AVOID* – a common theme is CV’s charts that describe their skillset such as “62% proficient in Photoshop”. This is an unaidable and strange way of confusing the reader.
  6. Limited colour Palette – (2 colours max) – Too many colours can be confusing and distracting when trying to look for simple information.
  7. Typography – A nice clean modern sans serif typeface can make my CV more readable. Reasonable custom typefaces can make your CV more friendly and unique.
  8. Add a link to my Portfolio 
  9. Tailor to the jobs needs – Depending on what job I am applying for I must tailor my CV such as skillset, etc. to match the values of that job, this gives me greater chance of success.
  10. Honesty 
  11. Ask permission for references
  12. Consistency – Ensure that CV and LinkedIn are all updated and share the same information.

Cover Letter

  1. Structure – Spell checks, personalised,  Short and simple sentences.
  2. Create a sense of connection – Phone the company and ask questions, come prepared to the call and involved.
  3. Tone of Voice – Respectful and natural (not too robotic or too casual) Allow for others to re-read my cover letter to see if it flows well and natural.
  4. Flair – Talk with passion, involvement and excitement. Add myself in the company and explain why I am a good fit. Talk about my respect for them and how I came across them.
  5. Gain attention of employer through different means – This involves different creative approaches to gain attention, for example Daniel shared a successful story that he done by sending a decorated tube with his CV to an employer.


Workshop Task  – Job titles 

For this task Daniel set us out in groups all with individual post-it notes with a job title containing it all for the others to guess and unveil our job title under 20 questions.

This was quite a fun exercise, but ultimately this was to put us in a certain mindset and allow us to start thinking of our most important qualities of a specific job as well as the skills that are involved. I found this self assessment very entertaining thus easy to grasp.

What did I learn?

Overall, today’s class was a very interesting and detailed class. I am now more aware on how to create a successful CV through structure of content and visuals and what to add & not to add. This class has been a big boost for my confidence as I now know the foundations of producing a cv and has been a huge relief as I go into placement. I will now begin to write my own CV using the same principles as Daniel has discussed today.

Things to do: 

Join Slack group (NI Design Chat) nidesignchat.com

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