How to write the Perfect CV, Covering Letter & Interview well.
Writing a CV
When writing your CV make notes and think about why you are valuable. You have many skills and are worth a great deal. Take time to get it right and on paper. This is your chance, don't waste it.
Make sure your CV is no longer than two sides of A4. Unless you are interviewing for a specific job (e.g., a doctor or scientist) that may require more information, no-one has time to hear your life story. CV's that are too long are cumbersome and tiring to read. Remember the recruiter is looking for specific skills and if they do not find them, they will move on.
Don't ever lie on your CV, Recruiters can surprise you during the interview and will ask questions you are not expecting. If you have lied, there is a good chance it’ll come up in the interview, or when you are in the role. If it's clear you are lying, that's a big no and can really come back to haunt you.
Only include key points, No-one wants to know what you like doing at the weekend and if it isn't key to the role in hand, it's not worth mentioning. It's nice to show personality, but this can be done in the interview with smiles and politeness, your CV is for the facts, and you need to get past the first stage of keeping it on the recruiter’s desk.
Spell Check...Spell Check...Spell Check....There is nothing worse than receiving a CV with a million mistakes. It will more than likely go straight in the bin.
Ideally your CV will only showcase what you've done in the last 5 years, making it relevant and current. Experience shown before then, if relevant, obviously is important, however, if irrelevant, just use headlines and dates and maybe a short description. This of course shows a work ethic but doesn't use space on the page for a job you did 20 years ago.
Education. This really depends on whether it is key to the role. As a university or college graduate, it is always worth noting your degree etc, but if your education is minimal and not impressive keep to a few lines at the end.
Writing a Covering Letter
When writing a covering letter, introduce yourself. Make sure your name is clearly labelled at the top. The recruiters will have piles of A4 CV's on their desk so it is important to stick out. Put your contact details below, date it, and start with “Dear .... or To Whom It May Concern” if you don't know a name.
This is your chance to do your elevator pitch. Use 2 - 3 paragraphs and a few bullet points to let the recruiter know what your skills are, how excellently you will fit in and what knowledge you have about the role. Don't seem too eager, but equally don't hold back. A recruiter will read 2 lines and if they are not captured, they will more than likely move on. A suggestion...before writing your covering letter make sure you have fully understood the job description.
In your interview, make sure you show interest and enthusiasm in the company. Do your research and do your best to know more than the recruiter if possible. Show ambition to work at the company and prove your interest with knowledge. This is very important and can be a deciding and crucial factor.
A recruiter or HR department will meet hundreds of candidates. If you do not show an interest in the business, the recruiter may lose motivation to talk to you and will soon forget about you. A candidate who is energetic, shows enthusiasm and backs it up with the assets, skills, credentials and the knowledge desirable is very rare. Be that rare candidate!
Be nice, happy and show you really want to work there. When asked a question, ensure you have a clear and precise answer. The recruiter is not trying to catch you out, they just want to make sure you are right for their business. It is an expensive decision for them and they must be sure. Don't talk forever but be heard and give the recruiter a clear sign that you are the one for them.
Make sure you talk in bullet points. Don't rabbit on, highlight in your speech relevant and important skills. Don't let your valuable experience get lost in a long selling speech. If you are nervous, just stick to short answers but make sure you say the important stuff
DO NOT BE LATE! Get to your interview an hour early, but DO NOT go in. Be in the area, go to a coffee shop and do more last-minute research. Dress very smart, make an effort, it shows who you are. Arrive at the interview 10 minutes before your time.
Finally – be confident! The recruiter is lucky to have you and the business will do better with you. Introduce yourself and enjoy meeting new people. This is the beginning of your new career. Good Luck!
Make sure you include...
If required (photograph).
Contact Details (Email Address & Phone)
Notice / Resignation Period / Work Availability
(Normally Education should be put after your work history, but if you have a degree and it’s relevant put it here)
Skills - Bullet point your skills. Some examples listed below...
Golf Management and Event Planning
Team Management & Operations Management
Operational & Event Planning
Business & Team Development
A Short Description of you and your skills (Professional Overview).
...A fun, personable and easy going, yet determined and goal orientated individual with a wealth of knowledge.....etc...
Job History - Put your most recent job at the top. The job descriptions get shorter the old the experience.
Dates....(January 2016 - Present)...
Short Description of the role and your skills.
Education - Keep Brief
Further Education - Private Courses
Hobbies - Keep Brief
References. (Show a willingness to provide them 'Reference on Request', be ready to prove you are hireable. If you are applying for jobs make sure you know where your references are coming from).