When applying for your dream job, it can be easy to get carried away with the style and typography of your cover letter and CV. While it’s vital that it is eye-catching, being easy to read is more important. The content should speak to the recruiter about who you are and what you can bring to the role. It is essential that you tailor each CV and cover letter to the job you’re applying for, for example, the skills between waitressing, office work and middle management will all be different. In your mind picture the role, and the recruiter then tailor your cover letter and CV to that.
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1. Try to always include a brief but reasonably detailed profile section. By doing so, the reader will see what kind of person you are and if you can be positioned comfortably in their already established team. Try also to write one or two sentences that talk about your experiences, some of your skills and anything that stands out achievement wise. This gives a quick insight into who you are without the fluff.
2. Ask a close friend or perhaps a relative to look at your CV. Here you are asking for feedback. What’s missing? Is there too much detail? Is the flow good? Potentially you could at this point look into a job coach just to give you real qualified feedback.
3. If you don’t happen to have any work experience, look at things you’ve done in your academic life that may contribute to some of the skills that you would possibly need.
4. If you are sending your CV in the post make sure to buy something like printable sheet labels and print out the address. Sometimes the rain or some lousy handwriting can cause some CV and cover letters not to arrive. If you are emailing your CV and cover letter directly to the recruiter or recruitment agency, and then put your cover letter in the body of the email. This does two things; it streamlines the email opening process because your cover letter is right there. And, it is better than “dear sir or madam please find attached my CV and cover letter”.
5. If you happen to be having problems finding paid work in the sector that you would like to work in, then perhaps you should look for work experience in the voluntary section of that sector. This is the time to talk to friends, family, and acquaintances about who they might know that can help you get into your chosen field. Sometimes it’s not about what you know; it is about who you know. So use that to your advantage.
6. Use things like LinkedIn to begin to network online. Once you start to widen your search, you will find it much easier to find a position within the company or sector that you wish to work. It shows initiative too.
A word on how the cover letter and CV should be presented: the font should be clear and easy to read, usually 10/12 size font is preferred unless you are applying for creative jobs. Try not to go overboard with color this is the time to show your professionalism. If you have set up a LinkedIn profile, and personal website be sure to add it to your CV -it makes for excellent profile bolstering.