Tuesday, 6 June 2017

CV & Cover Letter Writing Tips

A professional CV and cover letter will help employers understand the skills, experience and personality that you could bring to their business. Follow these top tips to make yours stand out from the crowd.

1. Put your full contact details at the top of the CV, including your name, address, home phone number, mobile number and email address.
2. Choose a professional looking font such as Calibri, Arial or Times New Roman and use font size 11 or 12.
3. Use a professional sounding email address. If you currently use an address that includes a nickname or slang words, set up a new one with your full name e.g. josh.jones@gmail.com
4. Keep things tidy and lined up and check your punctuation and spelling. Ask a friend or family member to look at it for you; attention to detail shows that you care about your future.
5. Try to keep your CV concise and easy to read - one or two sides of A4 is enough.
6. Include a cover letter with your CV as this allows you to expand on your skills and why you want the job.
7. Print your CV and cover letter on good quality paper and send in an A4 envelope, keeping them neat and presentable.

After your contact details you should include the following headings:

This is a great place to introduce yourself and say a little bit about you. This section should be at least a paragraph long. When writing focus on the job you are applying for, highlighting your interest in this area. You could also mention any relevant work experience you have.

You can use bullet-points in this section to list your skills and strengths but please tell the truth. For example:
• Keen and eager to learn
• Punctual
• Friendly and helpful
• Excellent computer skills.
Start with your most recent job or work experience and work backwards. You should name the employer and the dates you worked for the company e.g. January 2015. You could also note your job role and a description of your duties and responsibilities.

Start with your most recent qualifications and work backwards. Write the name of your school or college, the qualification and the subject. Some employers like to see what grades you achieved but if you prefer you can write a summary i.e. “I achieved seven GCSEs at grades A-D including maths and English.”

This section gives potential employers an idea of what you are like as a person, especially if you have not had much work experience. You can write about hobbies, clubs or activities that you are involved in. Participation in sports or other group activities show that you are a team player and have good self-discipline.

You will need one or two people who can talk to an employer about you. This could be someone from a job or work experience, college tutor, or sports leader; but not friends or family. You should write their full name, job title, contact
details and their relationship to you.

Example covering letter:
Your Address
Mrs. M Foster
Graduate Recruitment Manager
Elsewhere Bank plc
39 High Street
Manchester. M2 1RS
Dear Mrs Foster
I was very interested to read your advertisement for a Graduate Trainee on the University of Kent vacancy database as it precisely fits my career plans.
I first became interested in retail banking during an "Insight" course which I attended during my second year at University. Since then, discussion with my careers adviser and my own research have confirmed my belief that this is a career which will enable me to use not only my interest in business and finance but also my skills in working with people, both in an advisory and a managerial capacity.
During my time as a student I have had a variety of part-time and vacation jobs, all of which have required me to work as part of a team and to deal directly with the public. I found my work at the Tourist Information Office particularly valuable in teaching me the importance of ascertaining customers' needs and providing clear and accurate information in response to those needs.
As part of my degree course, I chose to carry out a final-year project which involved a statistical analysis of 150 questionnaires sent to local employers. To process this information, I taught myself to set up and use a database and felt great satisfaction in completing this project well ahead of the end-of-term deadline. Although my overall degree result was a 2.2., this particular piece of work was awarded a high 2.1.
I will be available for interview at any time apart from the 12 - 24 August when I have arranged a holiday in Italy. I look forward to hearing from you shortly and enclose my CV for your consideration.
Yours sincerely

John Andrews

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