A Critical Evaluation of Application Materials
The term 'CV' is an abbreviation for 'curriculum vitae' which in Latin roughly means 'the course of my life'. The function of a CV is to serve as a self-marketing tool in an individuals search for a job. It could be argued that the way in which a CV communicates the suitability of a job candidate is through the effective use of Impression Management. IM refers to the tactics people use in order to elicit a desired impression from an audience, these tactics can be said to be either conscious or unconscious (Schlenker, 1980, p.6). As part of the Professional Development module, this assignment will be focused on the analysis and evaluation of two fictitious and competing CV's and their accompanying cover letters. I will critically evaluate not only the appropriate skills both these applicants possess but also the suitability and effectiveness of their CV's. The CV's belong to Harvinda Patil and James Davis who are both applying for a placement position within the Psychology Department at Goldsmith, University of London. I will be analysing the two CV's through the eyes of their potential employer and making a decision as to who would be the more suitable candidate for the job. Both candidates submitted a covering letter in order to introduce their CV's. Unlike a CV, cover letters should be addressed directly to the employer who is being contacted. It should avoid going over the same points that are on the CV but instead it should relate these points to the specific job (Giang, 2012; cited from Business Insider, 2012). In Harvinda Patil's cover letter she describes her working roles and the skills she has gained from them, but in some cases she fails to link this back to the job she is applying for. For example, Harvinda talks about how she is a research apprentice for a PhD student. She then goes on to describe how this has developed her research skills and provided her with the opportunity to put her knowledge from her studies into direct practice. While this is relevant for the position she is applying for, she fails to directly associate this with how it would help her within this specific position. In order to improve this point she could have gone on to say how this would benefit her with the collaborative research the successful candidate would be expected to conduct alongside King's College of London and the University of Oxford. Harvinda does go on to relate some of her work to the placement, however she simply states that her work has provided her with experience that is relevant to the placement, and does not go into details such as how and why. In comparison to Harvinda's covering letter I feel that James has related his experiences to the position he is applying for in an appropriate and effective manner. In addition to the content of the cover letter, I also find James' cover letter easier to read. Harvinda's cover letter is long and contains grammatical errors aswell as unnecessary details such as the specific details of what she does within the Surrey Marrow charity. The point she is trying to convey is that she is competent in handling participants and their data, and that is relevant for psychological research. I feel that she could have put this across in a more concise manner that divulges the reader to the same necessary information whilst sparing them the unnecessary specifics. The grammatical errors also suggests that she has not proof read her work, giving off the impression that she is perhaps careless. This relates directly to the theory of Impression Management that suggests we are in control of what we allow others to see of ourselves, directly impacting the impression they form of us (Jones & Pittman, 1982) A study conducted by The Ladders recruitment group found that CV's that appeared more professionally written (were clearer, more precise and contained only relevant information), achieved a greater score on a Likert scale of 5.6 out of 7 for...
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