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Applications that Stand Out

Your covering note and CV have mere seconds to make a good impression. In this day of instant communication and email overload you need to take the time and get it right!


Your covering note
Covering letters are as important now as they have always been whether you're applying directly to a company or to a recruitment agency.

Here are our suggestions to help you get it right:

  • Address the reader correctly: avoid "Hi there", "Dear Sirs" "attached CV" or even "n/a", all of which we've seen recently! If you do not know the recipient use "Dear Sir or Madam". if you know who it is, use their name. 
  • Start your opening line positively something like: "Please find enclosed my CV in application for the [role] as advertised on [website/job board]"
  • State briefly the skills that you have that are a match to the role. You want your CV to be opened and read so this part needs to be short, sharp and inviting. Try "I see you're looking for x. y. z skills and I have gained that experience at a, b, c, company"
  • A note of how to contact, something like "I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my experience and potential suitability further and can be reached on [email/phone number]."
  • Finish courteously with Kind regards or Best regards or if you wish to be more formal Yours sincerely.
  • Finally, check your spelling!

Often these are not done well so you can easily shine.


CV's

We have seen thousands of CVs over the years, probably millions, and though we know that everyone has an opinion on the topic, this is what we believe makes a great CV:

  • Write it yourself. Nobody knows your career history and achievements better than you do.
  • To keep it succinct and relevant ask yourself "so what?" after each point. 
  • Keep it to 2-4 pages. 
  • Your CV must be scan-able. Use an easy to read font, bullets and use bold sparingly.
  • Do not rely on spell checker; check it yourself! 
  • A CV written in 'no' person is best but if you choose to write your CV in the first or third person, stick to it. Ensure that your past experience is written in the past tense.
  • Don't feel you have to gloss over any gaps or unemployed periods, just write a short explanation.
  • In your skills summary list only those that are current and appropriate to your application.
  • Ensure you include your achievements; this is your opportunity to showcase your skills.

Remember hiring manager's receive hundreds of applications and your CV should stand out from the crowd, for all the right reasons!

 

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