Cover Letter and CV

 First impressions are critical and more often than not your CV and Cover Letter is your first introduction to a perspective employer.

Cover Letter

Your cover letter must present a brief overview of you to the employer. It must generate the reader's interest in you and convince them that your skills are valuable to them. What you convey should prove interesting enough to lead an employer to want to interview you.

The following are some tips to ensure you stay on the right track:

  • Introduce Yourself. Explain why you are writing; make sure it entices them to read on - if you're replying to an advert, say where and when you saw the advert.
  • Sell Yourself. Briefly explain your experience and qualifications, keeping it focused on those needed for the role- don't give too much away or they may not want to go on and read your CV.
  • Outline your Interest in the position / Company. Say why they should employ you and your ability to add value. Outline why you want to work for the Company, show that you have researched on what the Company is about.
  • Strong Conclusion. Lay down an 'action plan' - say you would like the opportunity to meet them for an interview and you'll await their response or that you will give a follow up call in a few days although be wary not to 'pester'.

Always stay clear of flowery, rambling language. Write your letter in the first person, yet vary your sentences with beginning phrases and clauses so that each line does not start with ‘I'. Always re-read your cover letter to ensure the spelling and grammar are correct.  

CV

Your CV is one of your most important marketing tools when you are trying to convince prospective employer of your qualification, experience and professional background. It needs to be well structured so it stands out from the crowd and attracts attention.

  • Layout should be clear and simple, enabling the reader to find the information they need quickly. Keep it to a max of 2 pages.
  • Put all information in chronological order with the most recent first.
  • Use bullet points to outline your experience - don't overload it with every specific duty. Try and avoid your experience looking like a generic job description.
  • Important to note key achievements / accomplishments- e.g. cost saving measures, increase on sales, projects implemented etc.
  • Try to capture emotional competencies and key soft skills, to indicate who you are, how you relate to others and how you affect change within an organisation.
  • Format: use white paper and black ink - average size font. (e.g. Arial 10/11). No ring binders or fancy folders.