Creating the Perfect CV & Cover Letter

Lead with your cover letter

Cover letters are often the root cause for the success a CV in terms of gaining the attention of the recruiter. To some, cover letters may seem like an unnecessary formality but it acts as your introduction and its purpose is to entice a recruiter to consider reading your CV.

A perfect cover letter should have some basic qualities. There is no rocket science to it. First of all it should be precise. The recruiter is unlikely to be interested in your life story so try to explain the gist of it in as minimum words as possible. Secondly, your opinion on your suitability for the job and the qualities you intend to bring to the company should be made very clear. You should mention the reason that compelled you to apply for the particular job and last but not least, try to be yourself whilst writing it.

Allow your CV to speak for you

Following a good read of your perfect cover letter, the recruiter is going to review your CV, so here is your opportunity to really close the deal. There are certain points that need to be addressed in this document so apply each element in a precise and effective manner.

Personal details

First of all, provide them with up to date personal details, along with an email address that you check regularly. Try to use an email address that refers to your full name for a professional impression, employers don’t want to know your nickname at this point. Also ensure that your contact details are clearly displayed and visible should they wish to call you right away!

Work experience

Your CV should include an enlistment of your relevant work experiences. For each position it can be helpful to outline essential details of your key responsibilities and role duties.

Education & qualifications

Education is the key element for boosting up the value of your CV so provide the necessary information about your qualifications and achievements.

Practical skills & knowledge

Your practical skills, knowledge and understanding should be highlighted, as they may reflect the requirements of the position that you are applying for.

Layout/ presentation

Lastly, your CV should be typed, spell-checked and well structured to demonstrate your professionalism. Getting this element right is like putting the icing on the cake! Any negatives in presentation can have a negative effect, as the employer will view the CV as the standard of work they can expect from you.

Always remember your CV is the only piece of paper that represents you. Between your CV and cover letter you offer a recruiter a snapshot into your professional life thus far, so before you submit it to them, ensure that each document supports the statements in the other.

Read about 10 Tips to Nail Your Job Interview.

6 thoughts on “Creating the Perfect CV & Cover Letter

  1. Joanne Brasil on Reply

    Good important article! Continuous working on and updating your CV is vital, I also think simplicity is best, we can get so inundated with what information to put on there that it can all seem and look overwhelming, employers does not have the time to read your every single life detail so I think choosing carefully what you put on your CV is of extreme importance.

  2. Zeta on Reply

    Creating your CV is stressful so thank you for these tips. One thing I’ve always wondered is that…. Is it okay to “exaggerate” a bit on a CV or is it okay to keep it as truthfully bland as it may be?

  3. Kate Thomas on Reply

    A very helpful article, Thank You.
    Creating a Cover Letter has always been something I’ve question as to weather or not is a necessity when sending a CV.

  4. Donna on Reply

    This article covers all the basics that we all need reminding of when that time comes to change jobs, thanks!

  5. Lauren on Reply

    These are good tips for any industry. A c.v. is always a work in progress and can always be improved. Your advice on the cover letter is spot-on, I think that’s where a lot of us go wrong. Response to Zeta: I think most employers can see straight through cover letter exaggeration, but you could definitely point out the most relevant parts of your experience. Or maybe give a little info about why you want to work at their company, showing you’ve done research and are motivated.

  6. Cora on Reply

    Good tips for resumes and cvs. Thank you for posting career tips and help on this blog, it’s nice to get advice from seasoned professionals. Standing out from the crowd is hard, so a good cover letter and cv is important.

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