To make a job application you will need to prepare a letter indicating your interest in the position (known as the Cover Letter) and create or modify a copy of your CV for the position.
Your CV is a very important document. It is a summary of your personal details, educational qualifications and work experience. It should also include your key skills and other relevant information together with the names of 2 people who will provide a reference for you.
These two documents, your CV and cover letter, are critical to your success in catching the attention of a possible employer.
Here are 5 tips to keep you focused when making a CV that will get you noticed:
1. Keep it short and concise
If you can fit your whole relevant career experience into two pages, it not only shows focus, but a willingness to condense data into short useful bites. The majority of employers looking to fill business positions will really appreciate this. Bullet points are useful in these situations.
2. Don’t sell yourself short but keep it short
Many people take for granted the skills they have and presume employers will assume they have them too. If you know your way around Microsoft Office or you’re good at a skill which an employer needs then state that. If you don’t state something clearly, we will presume you are being vague for a reason. Tell us who you are and tell us how you can help us. Don’t leave it up to an employer to dissect your CV.
3. Tell an employer what they want to hear
So you just graduated college with that important degree for the job you always wanted. Unfortunately, so did a couple of hundred other people. How do you stand out? Don’t just tell them you have a degree, tell them how your experience and knowledge of that degree can help them. Are you good with computers or with filing or typing? Don’t just state that on a CV, tell an employer how it can help them. Make them need something they didn't think they needed before.
4. Consider adding a personal statement to your CV
Most people don’t think of including one. As a rule of thumb it can really help your chances of securing employment. Movies have trailers that make you want to go see it. A CV acts in the same way, a taster of what you’re worth. Sell yourself in 2-3 lines so that an employer will want to read more of your CV.
5. Know the job you are applying for
Try and learn as much as you can about the place you are applying to. Some of this information can go into your CV in a subtle way to show that you are aware of the needs of the position. Spot anything the business does which you think you could improve upon - Do you think you could be an asset to them? Let them know how in your CV. This why copy and paste type CVs frequently find themselves on the rejection pile. Many employers can get annoyed at the fact that you are not sufficiently interested in the position advertised to do a bit of research. As employers, we all know that the world doesn't revolve around us but sometimes we like to feel a bit special.
Source: Dr. Bill Mallon founder and director of CareerProjections, a Dublin based team of specialists in career and college advice and provision of CV and college proofreading services.
There is a whole industry built up around how these two small documents should be written, and it is wise to familiarise yourself with some of the advice and pitfalls that can be found. We provide some useful links below to get you started.