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.

The Cover Letter

The Job Application Cover 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.

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

Job Seekers can download our standard CV format and use it as a reference while compiling their resume’.

  • It’s important to list accomplishments/achievements in your CV, not just your job responsibilities.
  • Use the spell-check feature on your pc & review your CV carefully & objectively before sending it.
  • Avoid flashy pictures & colours in your CV. Be simple and straightforward, but leave nothing out.
  • When printing your CV use good quality paper. First impressions are important.

Click Here to Download the CV Template

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



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