Covering letter

  • A covering letter is attached to your CV when submitting a job application. It provides details about your skills and experience that can make you stand out. It is also a place where you are able to elaborate a little on things mentioned in your CV.
  • Since an employer is likely to read your covering letter first, it is important to grab their attention as quickly as possible.
  • If possible, address the covering letter to a specific person, often a hiring manager in the company you are applying to.
  • Mention who you are, which position you are applying for, and how you would be ideal for the role.
  • In the last paragraph, ask your employer to read your CV and provide contact information.

CV

  • A CV should be typed, and take up a maximum of two sides of A4.
  • It is important to stand out, so avoid using vague terms like ‘I think’ or ‘I feel’, or generic words such as ‘good’ and ‘average’. You want employers to notice you; instead use dynamic words such as ‘achieved’, ‘proficient’, ‘confident’, ‘self-motivated’, etc.
  • If there are any gaps in your employment history, you should try to present this in a positive light, highlighting any skills that you might have used in this period that may be appropriate for the job to which you are applying.
  • An impressive CV will contain this essential information:
    • Personal information and contact information: Name, telephone number, email address.
    • A Personal Profile: Here you can give a short summary of yourself, and how you are well-suited to the job at hand.
    • Skills and Achievements: Brief details on your most important skills/achievements.
    • Work history: Details of past employment, beginning with the most recent. Include the company’s name, dates of employment, the title of your position, and some details of your duties.
    • Qualifications: Any qualifications achieved at school or at university, as well as any other training you may have received, starting with the most recent.
    • References: You can write ‘references available on request’; you are not required to put their names on your CV.