IXD302 – Week Two: Applying for a Job

This week in Daniel’s class, we looked at the essential needs when applying for a job.

The following are needed when applying:

  • A CV
  • A cover letter
  • A portfolio

CV

What is it?

A CV is a concise, formal document that summarises your education, skills and experience. It should be easily read and referenced and explain who you are.

What do you need to include?

  • Contact details
  • A short bio
  • Skills
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Awards and additional information
  • References

Helpful Tips

  • CVs should be short and concise as possible. They are for conveying information as quickly and efficiently as possible. It should be either an A4 page or no more than two sides of an A4 page.
  • Remember to spell check your CV.
  • Include your most recent work experience and education first, working backwards chronologically.
  • Use a limited colour palette.
  • Include white space, making sure everything is spread out and easy to read.
  • Use good, easy-to-read typography.
  • Keep it as its own document, not something that is part of your portfolio.
  • Put a link to your online portfolio in your CV.
  • Be honest and self explanatory.
  • Make sure to ask permission from your references before including them in your CV.

Cover Letter

What is it?

An introduction for the person receiving your application and a chance to explain to them what has attracted you to their company specifically. It’s also an opportunity to summarise what you’re good at, your experience so far and your aspirations (that align with what the company can offer).

Helpful Tips

  • Keep it short and simple.
  • Remember to spell check.
  • Find out who you are addressing it to. If you are in doubt, call the company and ask. It goes a long way.
  • Use ‘Dear…’ instead of ‘Hi/Hey’.
  • Keep your tone of voice respectful and natural – too formal is off-putting but informal is a big mistake. If in doubt, lean towards formal.
  • Be enthusiastic, showing your passion and excitement.

Workshop

At the end of our class, we had a workshop. We were asked to select a random sticky note with a job title on it. We would then keep this job title secret, and we had to guess what each others jobs were using 20 questions or less.

I enjoyed this activity as it was a fun, interesting way to understand the most important qualities of a job, and why we need certain skillsets to do well in jobs. I also found that it was getting easier to guess what someone’s role was the more people we went through, as we all got used to the skillsets and questions we needed to ask.

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