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Book Reviews

Winning CVs for first-time job hunters

Author: Kathleen Houston
Trotman and Company Limited
ISBN: 0 85660 851 3
Price £9.99

My first impressions of this book were good: it's not too complicated, and you can quickly and easily look up a particular section without having to read through irrelevant information.

The layout is excellent - each section is clearly titled, and there are many easy-to-follow diagrams, as well as case studies giving examples of coping with specific problems; for example, how to apply for a part-time job and how to write a CV suitable for applying for work experience, neither of which I have seen in detail in any other publication. (Why, by the way, doesn't there seem to be a suitable English word to describe a summary of your life so far and your plans for the future? CV - or curriculum vitae to give it the full Latin treatment - is the preferred usage in Britain, while Americans tend to prefer the French résumé to describe exactly the same thing!)

Each section is specific to creating a CV for a certain purpose, so information is easy to find and everything you need is in front of you, which saves wasting valuable time flicking through trying to find what you need. Some sections, such as that on writing gap year CVs and online CVs, contain information that is hard to find elsewhere, and every section gives plenty of detailed examples covering all sorts of situations.

Particularly useful are the tips on ensuring that you do not omit relevant information and on keeping the CV to a manageable length. It's also valuable to learn what employers don't want to see in your CV!

At the back there are several suggested books and websites for further exploration, relating to a wide range of issues, from job vacancies to gap year sites.

For a busy student adviser seeking a handy reference book to help first-time job hunters, this publication should provide all the information needed.

Lucy Roberts





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