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How to Write a Great Cover Letter and CV

19.03.2024

Your cover letter and CV are often the first impressions a potential employer will have of you, so it's important to make them stand out. A well-written cover letter and CV can help you secure an interview and ultimately land your dream job

In this blog post, we will discuss some tips and tricks for writing a great cover letter and CV that will impress hiring managers and show how you work well in any environment, much like a seasoned professional.

How to Craft a Compelling Cover Letter

A cover letter should be more than just a reiteration of your CV. It's an opportunity to articulate why you’re the ideal candidate for the job, how your experience aligns with the company's needs, and how you can add value to their team, much like a key piece of a puzzle. The key point is to make it specific to the job you’re applying to! Here's what you can include:

  • Introduction: Open with a strong introduction that captures the hiring manager’s attention. Indicate the role you are applying for, show your enthusiasm and do your best to stand out.

  • Body: Use one to two paragraphs to narrate relevant experiences or achievements. Discuss specific skills and how they'll be beneficial to the role you’re applying for. Make sure to tailor the content to the job description and the required skills, highlighting why your background makes you a perfect fit. 

  • Closing: In your closing paragraph, emphasize your enthusiasm for the role again and convey your anticipation for an in-person interview. Remember to extend your gratitude to the reader for giving their time and considering your application. Here, do express how you want to bring your skills to their team.

  • Signature: Sign off professionally with "Sincerely" or "Best regards," followed by your full name.

Showcasing Unique Qualities or Experiences

When a hiring manager reviews your cover letter and CV, they're looking for what sets you apart from the crowd:

  • Think about any unique projects or leadership roles you've taken on that could catch an employer's eye.

  • Reflect on challenges you've overcome or unique experiences that have shaped your perspective and abilities.

  • Share insights on contributions you've made in past roles that had a significant impact.

Highlight these points both on your CV (as succinct bullet points) and within your cover letter. Give them context and show them the outcome or impact that makes these experiences valuable.

Here’s a sample cover letter:

CV Essentials

Your CV should be easy to read and neatly structured. Here are the key sections you should include:

  • Personal Details: Full name, address (optional), phone number, and professional email address.

  • Personal Statement: A summary of your skills and career goals; tailor this to each job application.

  • Work Experience: List your previous work experience, starting with the most recent first. Include the job title, company name, and dates of employment, along with a brief description of responsibilities and achievements. This is where you show how you work and what you get done.

  • Education: Start with the highest level of education attained, including the degree, institution, and year of graduation.

  • Skills: A non-exhaustive list of relevant skills, both soft and technical, that apply to the job.

  • Achievements or Awards: Any notable recognitions that demonstrate excellence or leadership.

  • References: Typically "available upon request," unless specifically asked to provide them.

Getting Feedback

Before sending out your application materials, seek feedback. This can be from mentors, career services at your university, or anyone you trust to give constructive criticism. Redraft your cover letter and CV as needed, ensuring they're error-free and the best representation of who you are professionally.

Making a Lasting Positive Impression

The job application process is as much about making connections as it is about showcasing your qualifications. Always follow up with a thank you note after interviews or networking opportunities, and maintain a positive online presence that aligns with your professional image.

Here’s a sample CV:

Author: MyEdSpace
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