The purpose of your cover letter and CV should be to secure an interview. The following advice regarding CV preparation should assist you in achieving this aim. Your CV is the main tool you will use to sell yourself and your experience.
Cover Letter Guidelines:
- If possible attention your cover letter to the relevant person listed in the advertisement
- Include the position title, reference number and where and when you saw the advertisement
- Outline briefly why you are interested in the position / company
- Do not go over details already listed in your CV
- Tailor your cover letter for the particular role you are applying for
- The cover letter should be no more than 3 paragraphs in length
- Spell check and proof read your letter
CV Preparation and Guidelines:
- Customize your CV for the position you are applying for and focus on your skills and experience relevant to the job
- First list your basic information including your name, address, contact number and email address
- Ensure your personal email address is of a professional nature
- Your employment history should start with your most recent position and ensure you list your position title, company name and main responsibilities and achievements
- Emphasize your most recent work experience – potential employers will be most interested in this
- Always list your educational qualifications, referring to the highest level of achievement, dates including current studies
- Keep the layout / design simple and easy to read
- Provide 3 to 4 pages of information at most
- Always number your pages
- Don’t include references on your CV. These can be offered at interview stage.
- Ensure that you spell check and proof read your CV
- Never leave gaps in your CV. Explain any gaps in employment – for example, travel or study
- You do not need to attach qualifications, certificates, work visa etc – unless requested – these can be brought to interview
- Remember to dress suitable to the culture you are interviewing with and the image your wish to project
- Ensure you know the exact address of the company and the interviewer’s name
- Ensure you arrive 5 minutes early for your interview
- Assemble relevant information including documentation and qualifications
- Research the company, using published materials and contacts, so that you are able to ask appropriate questions
- Ensure you make a good first impression – smile, firm handshake and maintain eye contact
- Interviewers often seek practical examples of past behaviour, which help demonstrate your competencies. These are known as behavioural interview questions. You should be prepared to share examples of achievements or past behaviours. Ensure you describe the situation, the action you took and the results or outcomes of your action
- Ensure you know your own CV
No two styles of interview are the same. Go with the flow but remember your interviewer will want to see certain qualities:
- Good verbal communication
Prepare relevant questions to ask at the end of the interview. Some examples include:
- Is this a newly created role or existing position?
- What are the responsibilities and priorities?
- What are the reporting relationships?
- What resources are accessible to the position?
- What are the KPI’s?
- What long term career opportunities are available?
If you have not been informed already, ask of what the process will be after the interview has been completed.