The CV & Application Letter

The CV & Application Letter

The most tedious chore for a candidate and the worst nightmare of any employer looking for a new staff member, is the search and selection process that could make or break your chances of getting a new job. So how do you deal with it?

The first thing any job searcher should learn, is how to do it properly. Let’s start with the CV. Whilst the terms Curriculum Vitae and Resume, have quite distinctive meanings, they are normally used interchangeably, and no further weight will be given to this matter.

The first concern applicants usually have, when preparing a CV, is the length and details contained within. Candidates looking for their first job are usually preoccupied about the fact that they don’t have much content to prepare a CV with. Well, our recommendation, stop worrying for starters.

If the job advert specifically said No Experience Required, or something to that effect, than the employer is aware that the CVs received will belong to candidates with little or no experience. Maybe s/he is looking for someone to teach afresh – this is becoming quite a common trend with local enterprises.

On the other hand, career chasers with amplitude of experience and qualifications, tend to use CVs as a preaching stand. CVs tend to be detailed, too long and sometimes vague. The employer doesn’t care about details such as your passport number or how many times you were married. All the employer wants is a list of reasons of why s/he should hire you instead of the next guy on the pile!

Instead, you should worry about the presentation of your CV.

In general the following guidelines should be followed with any CV or job application. The CV should :

  • Be clearly and neatly laid out;
  • Have content which is clear and easy on the eye, preferably written using a word processor and printed with a laser printer;
  • Contain personal data and contact details, including hours when you are available for a confidential conversation;
  • List your educational and academic history, especially qualifications and training which are most relevant to the job being applied for;
  • List your working experience (if any), in detail, which is mostly directly relevant to the job being applied for. Make sure to include data such as goals achieved, sales targets, improvements in turnover, projects in which you participated, etc.. Any other job-related information should be short and with little detail, just to give the person reading the CV an idea of your overall experience.
  • Also contain your personal interests. These are usually a reflection of your attitude and personality and also show that you are able to relax and wind down from business-related matters.

The above points are general, but usually apply to all types of CVs. CVs which are too long are boring to read. Whilst the employer is not looking for entertainment when reading CVs, it’s important to keep him/her interested in your material and hopefully interested enough to pick up the phone for an appointment.

The next essential part of any job application is the Cover Letter. Unfortunately, this is usually taken for granted by both sides – it is underestimated by the applicant and ignored by the employer. The cover letter should carry as much weight as the CV itself. This is the first thing seen by the employer and is also referred to later when browsing past applications on file.

Be Honest

You have to be honest writing both your strengths and weaknesses, as both recruiters and prospective employers will really appreciate that! You do not have to be endowed with all experience and skills written in the job description, or you do not have to own those requirements at the highest levels. Employers may prefer junior candidates who would then grow within their organisations, and would not hesitate to train them through the working methods as potentially they can become part of the “family”.

The Curriculum Vitae is really your business card. It has to bring out your professional skills set and personal profile that will make the first impact with recruiters and employers. A good resume has more possibilities to impress them and to secure an interview!

Golden Rules

The golden rules are:

  1. Put a spotlight on your strengths
  2. Elaborate as much as you can on your skills set and experience

You do not need to go through great lengths to describe your skills set and experience in your CV. You are likely to make a better impact if you can outline your exposure briefly, rather than repeating the same experience for every job you had over the years.

Take note: Recruiters will consider your CV as a whole, so, you do not have to worry if you do not have much work experience as recruiters will identify your soft skills and your potential from your studies and work paths.

Be Brief and Clear

Write your resume briefly and clearly. You have to be able to create a tailor-made CV for that specific job you are applying for, and in which you underline what relevant skills set and competencies you have. Ask yourself:

–             Why should they choose me?

–             What can do I do for the company?

–             Even if I do not tick all the boxes, how can I learn or improve

The Cover Letter

The Job Application Letter should be hand written, and to the point, to an even greater degree than the CV itself. Use this as an opportunity to summarise the contents of your CV. Get the employer interested enough to turn over the leaf and read your CV. Give him/her a reason for doing this and for calling you in for a face-to-face interview. Don’t go over one single sheet in length and include all contact details in the header to make immediate contact easier.

Need assistance how to write your cover letter for CV? Upload your example here: Letter of application

One common mistake usually done by applicants is to prepare a CV template and send it around in piles to a whole list of companies. Whilst sending your CV to companies, even though they don’t have vacancies at the moment, is a good idea – your mailings should be direct and relevant to the recipient. Make sure to use the employer’s contact details, such as company name, address and if possible name and rank. Also personalise the application letter, stating how you can be of use to the company’s objectives considering their line of business. A little research can do a lot to help in you getting a shot at the position you’re aiming to achieve.

In conclusion, keep it updated. Everyday you perform something, whether it’s an education course, a workshop or even a new responsibility on the job. These things can be sufficient reason for an employer, seeking fresh staff, to call you in. Sometimes it helps if you keep some sort of diary of your professional life and then refer to it when updating your CV. It might also help to send updates to companies that already have received a previous version of your CV.

When thinking about the process of applying for a job, there is usually the tendency of concentrating on the face-to-face interview part of the process. Whilst this is an extremely crucial aspect in getting a job, there are various other factors which have a lot of weight.

If you want a job and to make a good impression, neglect nothing!

The CV Format (CV Letter Formats)

You can find online a lot of different CV format, like Europass, Chronological or Info-graphic or if you are looking for a professional review you also seek assistance from your preferred recruiter. Please, click here to know more. You will have more possibilities with us to land the job of your dream; we have assisted many candidates and you may read their feedback at the bottom of our homepage.

You should consider your Curriculum Vitae as a map in which you specify the most important information that Recruiters have to read immediately. How can you do it? Highlight in bold or underline the keywords and they will stand out from the rest of the document.

Ensure that the content of your Curriculum Vitae in Malta is grammatically correct and clear without mistakes! Choose a featured photo against a neutral background and try to have more positive and reassuring expression as possible. When you send your CV to recruiters, we recommend that you save the document of your Curriculum Vitae in your name and surname, like this: “Joe Smith CV”.

The second step that you should prepare before your start searching for a new job is to write a good Cover Letter. If you are capable of writing a very detailed and interesting cover letter, this will be a plus when applying for a new job! And remember that the Cover Letter is not the summary of your CV, but you should include additional information, again relating to your skills set, experience and track record, etc, that would have made your CV too long and risking losing interest from the reader (recruiter or employer). Also, state the real motivation for looking for new opportunities and applying for that role, which you would not include in your Curriculum Vitae.

Third and last step: update your public profiles on social media! Nowadays recruiters and employers look at these public platforms for additional information. Therefore it is important to update such profiles and this may also attract recruiters to get in touch with you and share with you some exciting opportunities that might be of interest to you. Do not underestimate social media as your profiles are out there representing your skills set and experience!

Is your CV in Malta up to date? Well, upload it here!

For more information, kindly direct your request to [email protected]

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