Your CV/resume is Marketing YOU!
It is necessary to include a cover letter with your CV or Resume. It is important the letter generates interest in your CV/Resume by highlighting your suitability for and interest in the work for which you are applying.
A letter highlights your best assets and needs to be written clearly and succinctly because the letter is used to assess your written communication skills. Keep your letter to one page in length.
A curriculum vitae (CV) or resume is a dynamic document that should be altered to emphasise achievements and relevant experience. Include all your responsibilities, achievements and accomplishments that build a picture of your strengths and competencies across a range of skill areas.
There are many schools of thought regarding the structure, form and content of a CV but in general it should provide a summary of your skills and abilities as observed through your:
- educational qualifications (tertiary and senior secondary)
- work history ( paid & unpaid)
- professional development
- extra-curricula activities
- community, sport and leisure activities
It is vital to make a clear connection between your background and the work you are applying for. By emphasising and quantifying your achievements, accomplishments and outcomes, the reader will be able to get a clear picture of what you have actually done to develop the skills they are looking for and the scope and scale of your involvement.
Wherever possible back up statements with concrete examples of what you did to attain the skills you are articulating. The CV/resume should be approximately 2 pages long with your name and page number on each page.
At the end it is usual to have a section entitled ‘Referees’. List their name, title, organisation and contact details for at least 2 to 3 people who can comment favourable on your achievements in relation to your work, academic studies.
Ask permission of these people to cite them and inform them of the type of work that you are seeking; their comments either verbal or written made to a potential employer can be the difference between success and disappointment.
Online applications contain a cover letter and CV/resume. Attaching the various documents in pdf format rather than copying text into the body of an email tends to appear more professional when corresponding electronically.