CGI’s EmployABILITY programme helps students that are currently underrepresented in our industry to virtually build the skills needed to pursue a successful career in the exciting world of STEM. Gain industry insight, connect with STEM professionals and prepare for the world of work by learning about CV’s, interviews, networking and more!
What is a CV?
A CV (also known as a Curriculum Vitae, or résumé), is a written overview of your work experience, skills and education. CV’s are sent to prospective employers when looking for a job.
- CV Top Tips
Tailor it - Tailor your CV and cover letter/ personal statement according to the job that you’re applying for, highlight relevant skills and experience and use key words related to the role in your application
Include a cover letter or personal statement - This will help to keep your CV concise, allow the employer to get to know you on a personal level and show that you’re a good match for the job
Don’t leave gaps - If you have periods where you have not worked, put a positive spin on it! Have you developed skills or undertaken voluntary work in this time?
Be relevant - Keep your CV up to date, mistake free and honest. Getting caught out lying won’t look good!
Use numbers - Using numbers is a great way to back up your skills/achievements. E.g. the amount of stock you were responsible for in a previous job
Make it pretty - You will want to stand out with a CV that looks good. Use headings, bullet points and keep things clear and simple
- CV FAQs
How should my CV be formatted? - Your CV should be brief, clear and easy to read. Choose a professional font, check spelling and grammar and put the content in a logical order
Are there different types of CV’s? - Traditional CVs will be typed, however, some people choose to make video CVs in order to stand out. Everyone’s CV will look different dependent on their age and experience, just make sure that yours is tailored to your strengths and the role that you are applying for
How long should my CV be? - Aim to keep your CV between 2-3 pages. Recruiters likely won’t want to read CVs that are ten pages long! You can always add additional information in your cover letter or personal statement
What is a job interview?
A job interview is an opportunity for you to meet with potential employers to see if you are the right for the company and also decide whether the company is the right fit for you.
- Interview Top Tips
Non-verbal communication is key - Standing and sitting straight, eye contact and a good handshake all portray confidence
Stand out - Do this by giving interesting answers, being enthusiastic and being prepared!
Ask questions - The interviewer will ask you the majority of the questions, but be prepared with questions of your own. This shows enthusiasm and helps you to stand out
Listen - Take in everything the interviewer says. This gives you the best opportunity to successfully answer their questions and shows good communication skills
Don’t talk too much - Be clear and concise in your answers, use appropriate language and examples. Be sure not to repeat yourself
Answer the question - This might sound obvious, but remember to stick with the original question and answer clearly. Portray confidence but not arrogance
- Interview FAQs
What should I wear? - Dress professionally and make an impression, you don’t necessarily have to wear a suit, but you should aim to dress appropriately for the job that you are applying for
How can I practice for an interview? - Rehearse questions that you are likely to be asked in advance, get a family member to help you. Know your CV inside out by reading through it several times
What should I bring? - Bring printed copies of your CV and cover letter/personal statement. They may not be needed but this shows your interviewer that you are organised and prepared. You may also need ID such as a passport or driving licence, but the interviewer should make you aware of this in advance
How do I stand out? - Give interesting answers, be enthusiastic and do your preparation by researching the company and the role that you’re interviewing for
What is networking?
Networking involves building relationships with professional contacts. This is not just contacts related to your job, but anyone who you could build a mutually beneficial relationship with.
- Networking Top Tips
It’s a two way street - Remember, networking has to be mutually beneficial for it to work long term. Speak as much as you listen and offer as much as you take
Don’t be embarrassed - Everyone has to start somewhere so don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Remember, there’s no such thing as a stupid question!
Don’t force it - Networking doesn’t come easily to everyone and it can be difficult, but more you do it, the easier it will become. Even it’s a failed attempt, it’s a lesson learned
Network with your network - Meeting new contacts is a great way to expand your network, but why stop there? If appropriate, ask your contacts to introduce you to their networks. E.g. for specific career advice or guidance
Leverage social media - Social media is a fantastic way to globally expand your networks, make contacts more accessible and find opportunities that you otherwise might not have. Employers can also use social media to find out about you as an individual, so be careful what you post!
- Networking FAQs
Who should I be networking with? - Anyone and everyone. You never know when someone will be able to help you professionally or personally. You may even be able to help them
How do I start networking? - Start with your existing network. Friends, family and teachers may be able to offer advice and guidance and introduce you to some of their contacts. Be sure to keep details of anyone you meet at events and careers fairs. Set up a LinkedIn account to keep record of networks and make new contacts. Here you can also upload your CV and find jobs
How do I leave an impression? - Be enthusiastic, interested and thank people for their time. Finding a reason to follow up with your contacts is a good way to leave a lasting impression
What do I do after I network? - Keep a record of everyone you meet, through an address book or LinkedIn. You never know who may be able to help you find your next job opportunity or help with a specific piece of work. Remember to keep in touch with your networks to maintain strong relationships
Read through our guides, top tips and FAQs on this page to learn more about getting employed in STEM and connect with people already working in the industry through our Careers Talks.
If you have read through all of the information on this page you may be interested in booking a Careers Talk for your school or community group. Our Careers Talks cover:
- CGI virtually connect you with at least one industry professional
- The professional will provide background on CGI, who we are and some of the industries that we work in
- The professional will talk about their education route, career journey and a ‘day in the life’ of their current role
- Opportunity for students get involved in a Q&A
- Opportunity to talk through CGI’s school leaver programmes (business & technical)