|C.Vs and Cover Letters
- You need to put keep in mind:
• The aim of a CV is to get you an interview. It should represent what you know and what you are really cable of doing. It needs to convince the recruiters that you fit to the job
• An employer usually have a quick view over your CV. It may takes a couple of minutes. You need to well –develop your CV. The more you writes concisely, the closer they may read and read.
• Try to figure out what an employer is looking for. Make sure that your CV includes skills and experiences that are required to the job you are targeting.
• Use simple, accurate and formal language. Avoid colloquial, slang or informal writing.
• Analyze the job advertisement and include the words used in the job description within your CV. Thus, your language seems familiar to the employer.
• Make your CV easier to read quickly through the use of short sentences, simple structures and business vocabulary.
• Be honest – don’t write experiences or qualifications you don't have.
• Edit your CV carefully.
Parts of a C.V
- Basic Information: your contact information
• first and last name (this should be in a large bolded font)
• phone number (preferably a landline and cellphone)
• email address
• Postal address, including area code.
If you have a LinkedIn profile, put it here as well.
- Personal statement - A personal statement gives the employer a little insight into who you are. It typically includes information such as:
• Why are you applying for the job
• Your career aspirations
This personal statement is usually an employer's first impression of who you are. Keep it concise and avoid using statements copied from other sources.
- Work experience - List your most recent position first, continuing in reverse chronological order including the name, location, website and dates of your employment for each company you have worked for.
You have to start by stating:
• When you held the position
• The job title/position
• The name of the employer
• Where the job was located.
- Education: Start with your most recent qualification, and work back, or you can start with the qualification most relevant to the job. Include:
• The name of the course or qualification you completed
• The training institute you attended and the city it is located in
• The start and finish date of your training or study, or the year you graduated.
You can also include:
• A brief description of the qualification and any projects, thesis or dissertation work involved. This is important if related to the job you are applying for or if it demonstrates important skills
• the subjects you took and the grades you achieved, if you are a recent school leaver
• Professional development courses you have undertaken, including conferences and workshops, if you feel they add to your job application.
- Achievements: Awards, honors, fellowships, scholarships, grants, training. You can include things such as:
• Successfully completed projects
• Examples of how you helped a former employer meet their targets
• Important contributions to the community
• Personal achievements such as raising a family.
- Skills - Whether you realize it or not you will have picked up many skills over the years, some tangible, some less so. Include every IT package or programmer you have used as well as any foreign language skills you have gained, and state whether you're at a basic, intermediate or advanced level. Skills such as communication and project management are harder to substantiate and should be backed up with examples.
- Hobbies and interests - Including these is optional and often used to fill up space at the end of the document. The idea is to give the interviewer a more rounded picture and, perhaps, something more personal to discuss at an interview.
- Referee contact details should include there:
• First and last names
• Relationship to you (for example, high school teacher, former employer)
• Contact details (phone number and email address are usually enough).
The goal of your cover letter is to complement your resume. Employers use cover letters to determine your interest in the position and company, and to assess your writing skills. Your cover letter should be clearly structured, and should answer the following questions:
- Who are you?
Introduce yourself. State your major and year .
- Why are you writing?
In the first few sentences, mention the title of the position you are applying for, if you know it, and how you heard about the position opening. Be concise.
- Why are you interested in the position?
Without getting too personal, relate something about the job to your own interests or experiences to show the employer that you have a genuine interest. DO NOT focus on what this job will do for you in the future unless you are directly asked to address this; instead, focus on what you can contribute to the company.
- How are you qualified?
Highlight skills and specific achievements that demonstrate why you are qualified for the position, and use key terms from the opening that are clearly relevant to your background.
What is your next step?
In closing, you should request an interview, with a strong reminder as to why the employer should meet with you. Also, consider adding a statement expressing that you will call (e.g. within two weeks) to confirm that she has received your resume and cover letter (if you have their phone number and will follow up – don’t take this step if they’ve requested that you do not contact them).
- What your cover letter should look like
Your cover letter may be the first contact you have with a prospective employer, so it is important to make a good impression. If your cover letter makes a poor impression, your CV may not be read.
How to structure your cover letter
• Cover letters are usually no more than one page long.
• Address your letter to the relevant person, rather than starting with "Dear Sir/Madam". If you are not sure who to address your letter to, contact the employer and ask.
• Your letter should start by stating where you heard about the job. This directly relates your application to a position they have advertised. If no specific opening has been advertised be sure to state what your job objective is.
• End by saying you look forward to an interview, and that you are willing to provide further information.
How to word your cover letter
• Be professional, warm and friendly.
• Make the letter interesting to read, but short and to the point. Do not repeat everything you say in your CV.
• Be enthusiastic and assertive but not pushy. Do not beg for a position.
• Use simple, natural language, avoiding clichés and expressions like "aforementioned".
• Use positive words and phrases such as "I have" or "I can".
• You can put your key points in a bulleted list, or in a comparison list-style in which you directly compare your specific experiences and accomplishments with the company's stated needs.
• Don't use words that weaken your message or give the impression that you lack confidence – for example, "fairly experienced" or "some knowledge".
• Do not start every sentence or paragraph with "I".
How to present your cover letter
• Use clean, white, A4-sized paper and keep it neat. Don't send cover letters that are photocopied or marked.
• Use an easily read font (or tidy handwriting if you are asked to supply a handwritten letter). Examples include Calibri, Georgia, Helvetica, Arial and Times New Roman.
• Leave plenty of space around the edges of the page and clear space between each paragraph or section.
How to make sure you send out the best cover letters you can
• Write a rough draft first so you can get your thoughts in order.
• Remember that whoever reads your cover letter will consider it an example of your writing skills. Make sure there are no grammatical mistakes and that the spelling is perfect.
• Always get another person to read your letter before sending it to an employer.
• Keep copies of all letters sent – when you get an interview it is very useful to know what you have written. It also makes the next letter easier to write.
Formatting Your Cover Letter
A cover letter should represent you and your experiences in an authentic way. This includes writing style and formatting. However, this outline may give you a place to start. Be sure to have someone else review your document for you. Others will often find mistakes that you miss.
- Employer’s Name
City, State Zip Code
- Dear Employer’s Name
- (First paragraph) Introduce yourself. (Second paragraph) Highlight your education or skills(Third paragraph) Highlight your professional accomplishments. (Fourth paragraph) The closing.
Cover Letter Tips
- Customize the cover letter for a specific employer and job description. Templates are easy to spot and indicate you don’t really care about this opportunity in particular.
- Address the letter to a specific individual. If no name was given in the job announcement, call the organization to learn who is on the hiring team. If all else fails, use “Dear Hiring Manager:” or “Dear Search Committee:” (please note that those are colons, not commas).
- Isolate three or four skills that you possess that are relevant to the position and mention concrete examples from your resume that demonstrate these skills.
- Be brief! An ideal cover letter will be three to four concise paragraphs and only be one page.
- Align all text on the left hand margin; you don’t need to indent your paragraphs.
- Match the font style and formatting of your resume to your cover letter.
- Proofread several times and ask friends to help!