Tuesday, 8 September 2015

CV - 7 Steps to Writing Effective Cover Letters

Also, a cover letter may just be the reason your Resume (CV)  is even read. Employers are likely to ignore Resumes that are unaccompanied. A cover letter makes it stand out.

 However, for a cover letter to work, it must follow certain rules and meet certain standards.
 Below, you will find tips to help you meet those standards. By following these suggestions, you can perfect the necessary art of writing a cover letter.

 1. Take Your Time
 A cover letter is essential to your job seeking process; however, many overlook it or, worse, devote all of the energy to their resume and then throw together the cover letter as an
 afterthought. This is not wise: Employers read the cover letter first. Do you want their first impression of you to be a messy and obviously strewn-together letter? Of course, not! You want it to be professional; so, take your time. Allow equal proportions of time to be spent on both the
 resume and cover letter; they are both important and deserve equal attention.

 2. Be Concise
 Potential employers want to read your cover letter; they do not, however, want to read a novel. You must keep your letter simple and to the point—within a one-page limit, you have little room
 to maneuver. Use your space wisely. Offer important and necessary details, things that cannot
 be found in the resume. You have to make an impression in a short amount of time so make it count. Brevity is best.

 3. Find Your Style
 Cover letters allow you to reveal your personality in a way that resumes cannot. While a resume is impersonal and factual, a cover letter can be laced with humor and style. When you write your letter, find a friendly, yet still-professional tone. Make the reader want to meet you. A cover letter is a first impression; make it an enticing one.

 4. The Name Game
 When possible, address your letter to the person who will be interviewing you. This will
 accomplish two things: 1. Give a sense of familiarity between you and the reader. 2. Show that you did your research on the company. Still, remember to keep it professional. Do not address the reader as “Sarah”; call her “Ms. Smith”. If it is not possible to determine who will be interviewing you, keep your titles more generic.

 5. Turn The Focus On Them
 Do not start all of your sentences with “I” or “My”. This creates a self-focused letter. Instead, try to begin your sentences with “You” or “Your”; this allows the employer to see that you are wanting to work for them, not yourself. With a little research to discover what the company is
 seeking for that position, you can focus on the needs of your employer. Explain what you can do for them; don’t ask what they can offer you.

 6. Originality Counts
 Show employers that you can step out of typical boundaries and create your own ideas. Try to keep away from standard formatting and see what best suits you. Include details that, while
 perhaps not always included in the usual letter, can showcase your strengths.
 7. Proofread
 The final step in writing a cover letter is to read and reread. Check for spelling errors and
 grammatical mistakes. While writing a cover letter gives you an advantage over those who do not, a poorly written one will make you seem worse by comparison.
 These 7 steps may seem obvious, but many people ignore them; put yourself ahead of the competition. Follow these suggestions and create the perfect cover letter.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

2 Types of CV

 2  Types of CV
The most common CVs used today and certainly strongly recommended are the Reverse Chronological CV sometimes referred to as the Full CV and the Functional CV.

1. The Reverse Chronological CV

This CV might have a grand title, but it is a straight forward document and as the name suggests it captures an individual’s employment history starting with the current role and then working back in time. Depending on how long a person has been employed will impact on how far back to go in time, as caution needs to be exercised in not going back too many years and as a rule of thumb, the last 10 to 12 years should be covered. Major achievements going back longer can easily be captured under a specific heading e.g. Earlier Career History.

For those starting out on the career ladder, full time employment history will not exist, so consideration should be given in highlighting any work experience or part time employment gained during the time of studying. Failing that, achievements need to be sought from any out of school/college /university activities.

Another area to pay particular attention to, is not to overload the CV with just a mass of dates, so again if a number of roles have been undertaken in succession, we will cover that aspect too.

2. Functional CV

This  type  of  CV  is  becoming  more  popular,  especially  where  an  individual  has  carried  out  numerous  roles  which  are similar over a short period or is looking to change industrial sectors. It also presents the reader with career achievements over a period of time which are not date sensitive as is the case with the Reverse Chronological CV. It will retain other key aspects of an individuals skills and abilities. It is important that it remains a selling document in the true sense of the word.

Due to the layout of this CV, you should aim to capture the information of 2 pages only.

Advantages and Disadvantages of using both versions of this CV Reverse Chronological CV


•      Will show career progression and highlight additional responsibilities over a period of time .
•    It is easy to read and organise
•    Potential employers often ask for this version, so it’s really a must have document


•      The current or last position held, may not be the most important role you have undertaken, so achievements may appear later on within the document
•      Breaks in employment history are quickly identified, but are perhaps becoming an accepted fact in today’s climate
•      If there have been numerous similar roles within a relative short period of time, the CV will contain a great number of dates and achievements which may make the document rather tedious to read

Functional CV


•      Can, unlike the Reverse Chronological CV, show earlier career achievements if they are considered more important

•      Reduces the length of the document, by grouping achievements all together making these readily available for the reader to pick up on
 •      Breaks in employment for whatever reason are not brought to the readers attention


•      If a prospective employer is looking for a full CV, this may not be considered the desired document .
•    Career paths & positions are not readily recognized
•    Gaps in employment are more evident, but as already said are becoming more acceptance

How To Prepare Curriculum Vitae - CV

How To Prepare Curriculum Vitae

The Curriculum Vitae is a Latin expression and translates to a person’s course of life, more commonly known as a CV in the modern world.

In some countries e.g. The United States  it is generally called a Resume, but the contents remain the same and need to capture a number of key areas, including:

  • A Personal Profile Statement.  
  • Roles undertaken, clearly showing responsibilities, but more importantly achievements, quantifiable wherever possible.
  • Skills and Abilities.  
  • Educational qualifications and ongoing personal development  .
  • Hobbies and Interest
First Things to consider:-

Essentials of a CV
It  cannot  be  stressed  enough  that  a  CV  takes  time  to  prepare  and  this  will  not  and  should  not  take  place  overnight. Unfortunately there are too many advertisements throughout the internet which suggest that it can be completed in less than an hour. These kinds of statements in the author’s personal opinion are both foolish and impossible.

 It is worth pointing out that your finished document when read by a potential employer will have in most instances no more than 2/3 minutes of their reading time, so getting it right is key.

1. Always create a good 1st Impression and tell the truth!

Your document needs to be presented in a clear and concise manner with the initial objective of creating impact and a professional impression to the reader.

Always be truthful about what you are saying about yourself, as you should be 100% confident to back up any statements made on your CV with a real life example of what you have experienced.

2. Be fully aware to format your document correctly

As far as fonts are concerned it is suggested that either Arial or Times New Roman be used, with font sizes in the region of 10 to 12. All the pages of the CV have to be presented in a consistent way and there is nothing more important than the 1st page, as this sets the scene for the whole document.

The use of justifying (Microsoft Word Tool) your CV is important too, so that the reader is able to make notes on both margins.

3. Choose carefully the grammar and use of words and the correct punctuation

Always write your CV in the 3rd party as this enables you to avoid the word “I” which would otherwise be used continually. Punctuation, spelling and avoiding using jargon is absolutely crucial. Your CV needs to be checked by an independent person who you can trust to give you feedback. Never rely solely on spellchecking which software packages provide, as mistakes are often not picked up.

 1. Two types of the CV

 2. 7 Steps to Writing Effective Cover Letters