Towards the end of the academic year, some Secondary School and University students will be concluding their studies and looking for the start to a new career. Other job seekers may be looking for a change or a new career path. Although summer holidays are very appealing, it is never too early to start looking for that perfect job. While some employers will be delaying employing new staff until early in 2016; it is still a good idea to start prospecting yourself to chosen organisations that you would like to be part of.
I have put together just a few basic tips to follow when updating your C.V. and Cover Letter.
Tip # 1: Make sure your CV is no more than three pages long, maximum. Potential employers do not like to wade through a 10-page C.V as they may have a large number of applicants to sort through and very little time.
Tip # 2: The information in your CV should be accurate and truthful. Thinking that you can bluff your way through is not advisable as it almost always catches up with you, especially when you are asked to expand on a particular point in the course of an interview?
Tip # 3: If you state something on your CV try to back it up with an example. If you say that in a previous role you increased your sales by 25%, illustrate the actions you used to achieve this result.
Tip # 4: Photos on a CV are a personal choice. I prefer not to include a photo as you should be judged on your skills rather than your looks, unless of course you are applying for a modelling job when a photo may be required.
Tip # 5: When including an email address on your C.V, make sure that it is a professional address i.e. don’t use an email that you may think is funny but may not advance your application for a job, for example, ‘not-a-morning-person@…… etc.
Tip # 6: Do not make your C.V. generic… Target the position you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for an office administration job, your experience in garden maintenance may not be relevant. Do however; ensure that you are able to provide a solid work history for any potential employer.
Tip # 7: In most cases you will also supply a cover letter to accompany your C.V. A cover letter should be written to the person in a conversational tone and should not be a repetition of your C.V. i.e. do not copy and paste information from your C.V. into your cover letter. If an advertised job requires certain qualities for the position e.g. ‘must pay attention to detail’, include how your skills and attributes would contribute to this requirement.
Tip # 8: Research the company you are applying to work for by using the Internet to find out some facts about the organisation. It can be good to provide some added information during the course of an interview. This shows that you have done your homework.
Tip # 9: If you submit your application to an email address, do not send your cover letter as an attachment. Send your C.V. as an attachment but put your cover letter into the body of the email. It is easy for a manager to dismiss emails with attachments but if your cover letter is the email, more often than not they will at least read the email. Hopefully your cover letter provides a call to action for the manager to follow up on.
Tip # 10: Always wherever possible find out the name and title of the person that you need to address your application to. This will show that you have endeavored to find out who you need to address when submitting your application.