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Royal Aeronautical Society

 

CVs

Student and Graduate CVs

Length

TWO PAGES! Longer - it is unlikely to be read; shorter and you may miss the opportunity to include a Skills Section to really highlight your transferable skills. At this stage you need to demonstrate both your technical knowledge and soft skills and strike a balance between academic ability and coming across as a well-rounded individual.

Structure

Recommended order for Student/Grad CVs:

  1. Name and contact details
  2. Career objective
  3. Education
  4. Employment History
  5. Skills
  6. Leisure Interets and Other Information
  7. References

Content 

1. Personal details

Your name; address; telephone/mobile; email address and driving licence.

You don’t need to include age, marital status or nationality. Nationality may be useful however for defence applications and other roles requiring security clearances.

2. Career objective

Often neglected from CVs, you can actually increase your appeal to employers with a 2-3 line introduction which is targeted to the type of employer and the role you are applying for:

  • Introduce yourself e.g. “Recent graduate of …”
  • Say what type of job you are seeking (“sandwich placement” or “graduate position”) 
  • Which field – e.g. aerodynamics, astronautics, airport marketing etc. 
  • Type of company e.g airframer, small company, regional airport etc. 
  • Your aim: e.g. gain Chartered Engineering status/specialise in yield management etc.

A well-written targeted objective will light up the recruiters face! However, you need to review and modify the career objective for each application and ensure the other sections which follow also match your aim. 

3. Education

Use reverse chronological order:  

  • Dates clearly presented in separate margin on left/right hand side)
  • Course title, institute name, location (full address not necessary) 
  • Key modules studied relevant to the role and your career objective, possibly including good grades
  • Final year project/dissertation – title, summary of research objective 
  • A levels subjects and grades or equivalent and institute/school name and location
  • GCSEs/equivalent – but summarise with one line highlighting Maths and English grades; your recent qualifications are more important - and institute/school name and location

4. Employment History

ALL jobs, whether within aerospace or aviation, or simply  part-time or vacation work, voluntary etc. will enhance your application. They show the employer that you can work with people, take financial responsibility for your studies and have developed soft skills. So don’t feel you shouldn’t include part-time jobs etc. – maintain the same format you have used in the Education section.

  • Reverse chronological order*
  • Dates (as above) 
  • Job title, employer name, indicate location
  • Summary of duties and responsibilities 
  • Some key achievements

 * If you did a one-year or summer placement prior to your final year, and then return to your part-time job on return to university, your direct work experience becomes less prominent on the CV. In this case, it may be worth dividing your employment into two sections: e.g. ‘Work Placements’ followed by ‘Other Employment/Work Experience’, so your placement can take priority. 

5. Skills

Now, show what makes you stand out from other candidates!

  • You need to be able to list your ‘best’ and ‘most relevant’ skills and provide a short, clear and memorable example of how you have this skill.
  • You can use all kinds of experiences – university projects, part-time work, extra-curricular activities, industrial placements, voluntary/community work, sports and interesting leisure activities …

Use sub-heading for each skill, and then a short example (1-3 lines)

COMING SOON: Our SKILLS EXERCISE to help you plan your examples off-line and record separately for other uses such as application forms and interview preparation. Spending time reflecting on and recording your skills separately before going back to the CV with some summarised examples will help ensure this section highlights your abilities in the most interesting and memorable way possible. 

6. Leisure and Other Information

Are you sporty? Part of a university society? A member of a professional body? Active in your community? Involved in an interesting project? You may have used some of these examples in the skills section. List them briefly here to confirm any skills examples, or add ‘ingredients’ for possible interview questions.

Mention also your Royal Aeronautical Society membership!

7. References

Finally, now add two people who can back you up! You need to sound confident, not arrogant, and two credible referees will provide weight to your statements. Make sure they are can comment on your current/most recent  academic/professional experience.  

  • Two referees – one academic (i.e. university) and one professional (current/previous job or work placement supervisor) 
  • Provide their name, job title, address, e-mail and telephone number 
  • Insert side-by-side or use one line for each if space is tight

Next step 

GET YOUR CV CHECKED! Visit your University Careers Service, or you can use the RAeS Careers Centre’s 1-2-1 service or organise a RAeS Careers Workshop at your University if you can get together a group of 10 people or more.

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