Why a good CV and a good covering letter are important
A CV gives you the chance to present your personal details in the best possible light. You can sell your skills, abilities and qualifications to a large number of employers, as it is the most flexible and convenient way to make applications.
That being said, many large com#panies use their own application forms and will not accept CVs. They feel if they can design their own application form, it will bring out your essential qualities and weaknesses; in a CV you can avoid your weaker points. What’s more, because you have to spend quite a lot of time to fill out an application form, this, in itself, is an example of your com#mitment. Just sending the same generic CV to a variety of prospective employers doesn’t show this.
Bearing this in mind, when should you use a CV? The first reason is, of course, when the employer asks you for one! Next, when the employer doesn’t specify the format and simply states to whom the application should be made. Finally if you are sending out applications that are purely speculative; the employer hasn’t actually advertised a vacancy but you hope there may be one.
Remember the person who has to read your CV. He or she may have a hundred from which to narrow down a handful of interviewees. This is a tedious task and if your CV is unclear, badly laid out and full irrelevant information he or she will move on to the next one. Use short paragraphs, bullet points and a clear, logical layout to make it easy to read. There is no single best way to write a CV, as it is your document, you can structure as you wish. In fact, for creative jobs you could try to be innovative, but remain within a basic framework that obeys the following rules. A CV should be informative, concise and carefully laid out, accurate in grammar and spelling and, finally, targeted on the job you are applying for.
Equally important is your covering letter; it is the first page and will most likely be read before your CV. It demonstrates your writing style and makes a specific statement to the employer that your generic CV lacks. It will point out the information in your CV that matches you for the job and gives you the chance to make a statement about yourself and your suitability. The CV is a rigid structure and the cover letter should give a personal touch. You might be tempted to think that the most personal letter would be handwritten but in fact, unless asked, it is better to use a word processor. These days, increasingly, recruiters ask applicants to email their details, so handwritten cover letters are a thing of the past. However there are some com#panies that many want a sample of your handwriting; it is possible they employ graphology, which is the study and analysis of handwriting. They should tell you if they are going to analyse your letter for clues into your personality and abilities, so don’t worry.
com#mitment (noun) Sincerity, seriousness
Generic (adj) Applying to all the members of a group
Format (noun) Layout, general appearance
Speculative (adj) Showing curiosity, questioning
Narrow down (verb) Define clearly
Interviewees (noun) People who are to be interviewed
Tedious (adj) Boring
Bullet points (noun) Items printed in a list, after a centred dot
Innovative (adj) Showing new methods or ideas
Rigid (adj) Not flexible, stiff
Handwritten (adj) Written by hand, not typed or printed
Graphology (noun) Study of handwriting as a means of analyzing character
Analysis (noun) Investigation
I should appreciate the privilege of an intervies.I may be reached by letter at the address given above,or by telephone at 1234651.
◆ I feel that a personal meeting would give us the opportunity to discuss your shout-and long-term objectives and my ability to direct your organization towards successfully achieving those goals.
◆ I should be glad to have a personal interview,and can furmish references if desired.
◆ Thank you for your consideration.
◆ I will contact you in a few days to arrange a meeting for further discussion.In the interim,shold you require additional information,I may be reached at 6666666 between 11:00AM and 6:00PM.
◆ I welcom#e the opportunity to meet with you to further discuss my qualifications and your needs.Thank you for your time and consideration.
◆ I have enclosed a resume as well as a brief sample of my writing for your review.I look forward to meeting with you to discuss further how I could contribute to your organization.
◆ Thank you for your attention to this matter.I lood forward to speaking with you.
◆ The enclosed resume describles my qualifications for the position advertised.I would welcom#e the opportunity to personally discuss my qualifications with you at your convenience.
◆ I would welcom#e the opportunity for a personal intervies with you at your convenience.
◆ I feel confident that given the opportunity,I can make an immediate contribution to Any Corporation.I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss your requirements.I will call your office on Friday,to schedule an appointment.Thank you for your consideration.
◆ I look forward to speaking with you.
◆ I can be reached at the telephone number listed above.I would appreciate any leads you could give me.
Again,I very much enjoyed our conversation.