CV and covering letters
The main purpose of writing a covering letter is to give you the chance to demonstrate your suitability, understanding and fit for a specific role.
Here are the do's and don'ts for writing the perfect covering letter:
- Keep it short and factual, one page is sufficient.
- Always quote the job reference numbers
- Explain why you want the job along with details as to why you feel you would be suitable.
- If the job is in a different department from your current role, draw links between the two.
- It is very helpful to state your current salary and your future salary expectations.
- Tailor your covering letter to the specific job application.
- Always check your spelling and grammar!
- Send out standard covering letters for different positions.
- Underestimate the value of the covering letter. It can be used to draw attention to your strengths and achievements as well as add impact to your CV.
Guidance on writing CV's
A good CV is not only a way to highlight your skills and experience to the recruiting manager but also your ticket to gaining that all important interview.
By following some basic principles you will be able to present the information in a clear, concise and persuasive way. The recruiting manager will always expect to see the following information:
Always include your name, address, phone numbers and email address. It is wise to highlight your preferred method of contact.
Always list your most recent experience first. Describe your work experience in short sentences or bullet points highlighting your achievements, general responsibilities and skills required in the role. Always be truthful and accurate when describing your experience and avoid the temptation to embellish or exaggerate.
List details of any qualifications gained (i.e. GCSE, A Levels or Degree). You may also wish to include details of any additional qualifications or courses that you have attended which are relevant to the role that you are applying for.
Highlight any other skills that you have including IT skills.
Good presentation is essential to create the right impression. Your CV should be clearly laid out, with highlighted headings and only contain relevant information.
Here are a few more do's and don'ts to help you write your CV:
- Highlight your achievements and not just your responsibilities.
- Describe the dimensions associated with your experience for example, conversion rates; revenue figures; size of budget; size of team or volumes of customers handled etc.
- Keep your CV short and relevant. A maximum of two pages is ideal.
- Make your most relevant experience and skills prominent to assist us in understanding your suitability for the role.
- Keep to the point and concentrate on the quality of your achievements, not the quantity.
- List other skills that could raise you above the competition such as languages, driving licence and IT skills.
- Check thoroughly for correct spelling and grammatical errors.
- Get a second opinion.
- Include examples of your work, if appropriate.
Lie! If it comes to light that you have lied, on your CV or application form you may be dismissed.
- Use difficult to read fonts and colours when writing your CV. Always use a readable type face and select a sensible font size.
- Leave any gaps in your experience.