CV Tips

CV Tips

So imagine you’ve just found a vacancy for a job or an apprenticeship or a course, whatever it is you’re sure you’re perfect for it and you want to stand out. Every job will ask for a CV, so to make sure it’s detailed and impressive, here are a few tips if you haven’t written one or you think you could enhance your current CV.

1. Include a Personal Statement

Introduce yourself. This is the time to sell yourself and explain what your skills are and how they’d be suitable for the job you’re applying for. If the application doesn’t require a cover letter, the employer would still like to see why you want the job so by altering the personal statement to suit each vacancy you improve your chances of employment. If an employer receives a generic CV that could’ve been sent out to 50 other vacancies that day – they’re unlikely to believe you really want the job.

2. Structure

It’s important to structure your CV, making it easy to read but also appealing to look at – if the CV doesn’t make sense, they can’t see why you’re right for the job.

Include the details of your education, if you have GCSEs where did you receive them, how long were you there for and what grades did you achieve per subject – even if you think some of the subjects are irrelevant to the position you’ve chosen, any successful grade can show an employer you’re hardworking and determined. Then follow this with any further academic achievements you’ve received such as A-Levels or certificates, it all counts.

Discuss your work experience, whether this was paid or voluntary, include it. As with education, include where you worked and for what time period; include your tasks and what was expected of you, even if this isn’t the same position as you’re applying for, it could show that you’re able to adapt to a work environment and accept responsibility

3. Enhance your Experience

When you’re discussing your work experience and including the tasks involved, be sure to emphasise what skills were acquired in each task. In this way, a potential employer won’t see somebody who just completed work experience but somebody who developed skills and learnt from their experience. This potential employer also sees evidence here of any skills you claim to have and will be more likely to offer you a position if you can explain when you’ve put these skills into use.

4. Be honest

No matter how short you think your CV is or how tempted you are to exaggerate one online language lesson into “fluent in 2 languages” – don’t do it! In many cases, you’re likely to be found out, potentially when these things are expected of you in your new role and you don’t actually have the experience or the ability. Overemphasising tasks can easily get out of hand and won’t offer an accurate representation of yourself.

5. Avoid cliches and negativity

“Always gives 110%” – a cliche, something you definitely want to avoid in your CV. Not only will the employer see this as unimaginative and overused, they’re likely to think of it as lazy. When you’re discussing your experience or your education, it’s important to explain what these taught you and what skills you’ve developed but there’s much better ways to show this than using cliches. For example, instead of saying you give 110% you could say you’re a hard worker or even better that you used your own initiative. This will show the employer not only are you not afraid of accepting responsibility but also that you can work well under pressure and adapt to new situations.

As for negativity, even if you didn’t enjoy previous work placements or maybe a subject you studied, your CV is not the place to complain about this. Especially if the reason for a negative work experience was your previous boss, your potential new boss doesn’t want to hear this and it could appear immature.

To summarise, make sure you present the best version of yourself and adapt it to the job role, considering what the employer will expect from you and showing them you’re the right person for the vacancy.

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Web Security

Web Security 

Web Security refers to the protocols and protective measures one would pick in the protection of online services and entities, like Emails, Websites and DNS services, these are something that are vital for an online company, let alone anyone just using the Web.

There are many ways that a company could improve the security of their websites from malicious hackers and crawling bots, from small updates to smart passwords.

Keep Website Plugins Updated

Keeping your software up to date helps with site security, as out of date software can leave your site vulnerable to attacks from hackers, who look for these kinds of exploits. These updates will usually include patches and fixes for vulnerabilities and improved security, so not getting these patches leaves you very vulnerable.

Strong Passwords

Having a strong password may seem like such an obvious thing nowadays, but it is still a vitally important step that everyone should still think about, not just website owners. Having a password that is memorable is a good thing, but if you make it too obvious, say it links to your email or username, hackers could guess the password and gain access to your information and website. It is recommended that your password should have at least:

A capital letter
A symbol
A number
8-15 characters long

It’s also recommended that you should change your passwords every 1 – 3 months, although it depends what that password is for. The more important passwords are recommended to be changed monthly, but the less important ones are recommended to be changed around 3 months.

You should also never give out your password to anyone, at any time. Unless the person is trusted, you shouldn’t give out any passwords to anyone who asked for it, especially if you don’t know them.

Website Backups

Creating backups of your website to store offline can be a great step in security, and is something useful in general. Having a backup means that if something happens to your site, whether a cyberattack or a huge mistake, you can restore the site back to how it was previously. Which is useful to recover from a cyberattack as well, but they should be stored offline, it is also recommended that these backups should be stored offsite, like on a home computer. Backups could also be stored in cloud storage and be accessed from anywhere as well, allowing you to make website repairs on the fly too.

HTTPS and SSL Certificates

You may notice that some websites’ URLs will start with either http:// or https://, and this shows you which is the more secure site and which isn’t. HTTPS is the safer one to use, the S stands for Secure. A secure site will stop interceptions from malicious sources whilst the content is being sent from the website to the user, although to secure your website, you’ll need a SSL certificate.

SSL is another way of securing the content whilst it is being sent from the user to the website and its database, and prevents hackers from reading it in transit, and prevents anyone without authority from accessing the information.

Keep Track of Who Does What

You might not like the idea of keeping track of what your colleagues or family do on your website or computer, but it’s more about whether they know how to keep safe doing what they are doing, rather than what they’re up to. Colleagues working on a website for example, should be told about ways to keep the website secure like keeping plugins up to date, about recommended password change times, inform them about the precautions they should take and to remind them to keep an eye out for potential mistakes.

Whilst the previous points included some instances of where this could be applied generally, most of it was applying to website security, for more personal web security, there are many ways as well.

Always check for https://

Like stated previously, you should always check if the website you are using is a secure one, which will be shown either by a padlock in the URL bar, or in the actual URL itself will have a https:// at the start of it.

Having a Secure Connection

Just like checking for a https://, in general having a safe and secure internet connection is something everyone should do. Unsecure connections could be something like public Wi-Fi, what everyone can access. In fact, public Wi-Fi can be a target for these hackers to gain access and information that they please. One thing that you should never do, is to log in to anything like online banking or the like, this information will be vulnerable on an unsecured connection.

Be cautious of Phishing

Phishing is a way for hackers to gain access to your data and information, it’s when a hacker will pretend to be a trustworthy source like a bank for example, they will send you an email or message, asking for your information, maybe a password needed updating or a card number needed checking, either way these are fakes, as a bank would not ask for your information. These emails would usually be accompanied by a link, which when clicked would take the user to either a copy of the intended page, or to the actual page, but being intercepted by a script that would give the hacker access.

Updating Antivirus

Keeping your antivirus updated, just like you would with a website and its plugins, helps keep your computer and information safe. If you were unlucky enough to get a virus on your computer, your antivirus usually would take care of it, but sometimes hackers will find a exploit for their virus software to be undetected, and that is why you should keep it updated, most of these exploits will be found and then repaired in updates, so staying behind a version would most definitely leave you vulnerable.


Whilst these are only a few points that can be made for web security, hopefully you have seen something that you haven’t thought of or forgotten about, and implemented that into your personal web safety.

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Apprenticeship FAQ – Part 2

Apprenticeship FAQ – Part 2

Here are 6 of your frequently asked questions answered by one of our digital marketing apprentices! 

1. What are the benefits of choosing an apprenticeship?

-Earning a salary while still learning

-Excellent progression opportunities

-Experience of a real working environment

-Learn valuable life long skills

-Learning at a pace suited to you with the support of a mentor

-Gain official certification of skills equivalent to qualifications ranging from level 2 to degree level

Visit the gov.uk website for the benefits of hiring an apprentice –                https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/employers/benefits-of-hiring-apprentice

2. How much money will I get paid?

All apprentices receive at least the national apprenticeship minimum wage in the first year, however some employers may choose to pay you more.

3. How long do apprenticeships last for?

Depending on the apprenticeship you choose, apprenticeships typically range from one year to four years.

Visit our apprenticeship page to see what apprenticeships we can offer you and their duration – http://www.oracletrainingsolutions.co.uk/apprenticeships/

4. Will I be guaranteed a job at the end of my apprenticeship?

No, unfortunately no one is guaranteed a job at the end, however government data has shown that 90% of apprentices stay in employment after their apprenticeship ends which is a huge amount!

5. How many hours will I work?

This all depends on the employer and the apprenticeship that you choose to do.

6. Do I have to be aged between 16-24 to do an apprenticeship?

No, commonly apprentices are between this age group as apprenticeships are seen as an alternative to university. However there is no upper age limited for apprenticeships. In fact it is becoming common practise now for employers to train up existing members of staff through the apprenticeship route to help further their career development.

For any other requirements you’re unsure about, visit the Institute for Apprenticeship website for more information – https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/?

If you have any further questions you can contact us here- http://www.oracletrainingsolutions.co.uk/contact-us/ or you can read our first apprenticeship FAQ blog here – http://www.oracletrainingsolutions.co.uk/2020/12/apprenticeships-faq/ 

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Apprenticeship Mythbusting – Part 2

Apprenticeship Mythbusting – Part 2

The main tagline of apprenticeships is “earn while you learn” but there are so many more benefits to them, for both the apprentice and the employer. Despite the recent surge in apprenticeships, there are still many apprenticeship myths that are discouraging people and companies from becoming or taking on an apprentice, and these need explaining.

For the apprentice:

  • Entry Requirements

Many assume that there are just as many requirements for an apprenticeship course as there are for a university or college course, particularly school leavers but depending on entry level, some companies will require minimum English and Maths qualifications. The priority of many companies is the attitude of the apprentice, such as their willingness to work and skills such as taking their own initiative; these attributes are often more useful in a position of employment and the only training required will be provided throughout the apprenticeship course.

  • Sectors Available

Although apprenticeships have become more popular in recent years, there are still misconceptions about which sectors are available, with the majority assuming Business Admin or Engineering are the main courses. In fact, apprenticeships can be found across a wide range of sectors, Oracle Training in particular offers apprenticeships in all of the following sectors; for more information on the variety of courses in each sector, visit our Apprenticeship Page here.

  • Apprentice Stereotype

Similar to the myths about which sectors are available to an apprentice seeker, there are also myths about the kind of person an apprenticeship should attract. For example, many consider apprenticeships to be for those seeking a more “manual” job, potentially due to the misunderstanding that only Engineering is available to them; however, as the range of sectors above proves, apprenticeships can suit a variety of people. Each apprenticeship listed above can offer an apprentice a completely different workplace experience to another, for example the Finance apprenticeships could mean an office job as an Assistant Accountant, it could mean visiting clients in various locations as a Mortgage Advisor.

  • Salary

Whilst the minimum pay for an apprenticeship is £3.90, this can differ based on company, entry level and role – some companies can choose to pay their apprenticeships more and as an apprenticeship progresses, this salary can increase again. This salary is also on top of the training provided unlike an apprenticeship course, in which you would accumulate debt and are not always ensured a high paying role at the end of the course.

For the employer:

  • Age Requirements

While apprenticeships are becoming a popular alternative route to college or university, they are in no way limited to school leavers and are available to anyone aged 16 or over. Of the vast amount of courses available, several are available at a higher level therefore anyone with the necessary knowledge or experience could be employed on a Level 5 apprenticeship or somebody of the same age could take on an entry level apprenticeship to develop new skills or change their career. For employers, this means that they can upskill any member of their staff, or take on new members from the age of 16 and employ them on a course that can be adapted to their company and business goals.

  • Progression Options

A common myth of apprenticeships is that they are temporary courses, beneficial to the apprentice and not the employer for that time period and don’t lead to a full-time job. In fact apprenticeships have many opportunities for progression and are a successful way to work through a sector, starting on an entry level apprenticeship and progressing to the following levels. In a recent survey, 90% of apprentices were proven to gain a full-time job or move on to further training after finishing, and 92% thought that their initial apprenticeship had a positive effect on their careers.

  • Off-The-Job Training

A key aspect of apprenticeships is that they feature 20% off-the-job training; however it is commonly misunderstood that this must be completed in a college or other establishment. In fact, as part of an apprenticeship, apprentices will have a tutor to deliver the content of their course and this tutor can provide them with the necessary theory work to complete at their place of work or from home, depending on the industry. This therefore means that there is no need for the extra expense for the company of sending an apprentice to college once a week.

  • Expenses

Apprenticeships are government funded which naturally benefits the apprentice, but this is also extremely advantageous to a business. The government now offers companies incentive payments of £3000 for new apprentices of any age who join their organisation between 1st April 2021 to 30th September 2021. This incentive is then in addition to the £1000 that companies receive for taking on an apprentice that is either 16-18 years old or under 25 with an education, health and care plan / who has been in the care of their local authority.

For further information, check out the Government website or our Apprenticeship page and find out more about how an apprenticeship can benefit you.

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