There are some tasks in life that are unbearably awful, and writing a CV is up there with cleaning the toilet and emptying the kitchen bin. Urggh.
We’ve done our best to make it a bit easier for you though with this list of seven simple tips that’ll get you that much closer to bagging your dream job. Enjoy.
And once you’ve got through the first round, why not check out our list of what not to say at a job interview as well?
1. Yours sincerely or yours faithfully?
We know lots of you get confused between the two, so we’ve decided to set the matter straight once and for all.Yours faithfully is used when the recipient’s name is unknown to you (Dear Sir / Madam… Yours faithfully)
Yours sincerely is used when you know the recipient’s name (Dear Mr / Mrs Smith… Yours sincerely)
Make sure you gear your CV and covering letter to each job you apply for. Bosses get hundreds of generic applications for every job, so there’s no point just running off the same pages over and over again, it makes you seem lazy. On the flip side, if you really engage with the job ad, it’ll make you stand out instantly.
3. Keep it simple
No longer than two sides of A4, one for the CV, one for the covering letter. Managers won’t read any longer than that, your year nine work experience at the citizens advice bureau isn’t that interesting, trust us…
4. Check, double-check, triple check…
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, well a spelling mistake a day keeps an admin assistant in a very, very bad mood… Proof read that sucker like your life depends on it.
5. How do I layout my cover letter?
Here’s another one that baffles a load of you, the letter layout. Just remember, your address goes top right, then the date below. After is the recipients address (but aligned left), then everything else. Easy.
6. Don’t forget the references
So you’ve written an electric cover letter and your CV is second only to Bill Gates’, but you forgot the references. If the job ad asks for them, they mean it. Otherwise it’s just another excuse to bin your application. Another tip is to make sure the references you do include are relevant to the job. If you’re applying to work in marketing, your line manager at Homebase isn’t going to be very useful…
7. Read it dummy
Last, but by no means least, is this. Make sure you read and understand the job description and what they’re asking for. We’ve heard from so many job advertisers about muppets who apply for a job, but don’t talk about anything remotely related to the advert… Don’t be one of them.