Job application advice every successful graduate is familiar with

If you’ve graduated and starting your job hunt, here are a few CV and cover letter tips you shouldn’t ignore.

Even if you’re a fresher in the jobmarket, creating a stellar CV and cover letter shouldn’t give you nightmares. Use the CV and cover letter tips we’ve carefully selected for you, and in no time you’ll be on your way to winning over recruiters’ hearts.

1. Have recruiters at hello
Yes, you may have little to no skills, but don’t jump to just listing the subjects you took at school to cover this up. Instead, tell the recruiter and employer what you did with those subjects, in other words, what you achieved. If you were entered into a competition because of an outstanding essay, or if you’ve achieved top marks in your class, tell them that.

2. Explain why you will add value to the company in your cover letter
Rather than being fixated on what you’ve done in the past, focus on what value you’ll add to the company. Here you can use your covering letter to make the hiring manager understand why you should be chosen above the other candidates.

3. Keep it professional, not stiff and boring 
A stiff, boring cover letter won’t get you anything besides a long yawn. For instance, writing ‘this cover letter is to state that I am indeed interested in the position that your company has advertised on the website’ is unacceptable. A professional cover letter doesn’t mean a dull one. Keep it concise and simple, and by simple we don’t mean using slang and abbreviated words like LOL.

4. Shorter is better 
When writing your cover letter, keep it short. The aim is to get the recruiter’s attention, not lose it. Try not to exceed 200 words and make sure you break your paragraphs up. You may not have plenty of experience, but eagerness and ambition will count in your favour. Also try to briefly show your knowledge of the company. For example, did they recently receive an award or make waves in the industry? Mention it.

5. Prioritse your cover letter 
Your cover letter is the hook. Make sure you win the hiring manager from the get-go. You don’t need to mention your education first if there is something great that you’ve achieved. Did you win an award while studying? Have you interned at one or two great companies? Mention that first and then get into the rest. Companies love seeing achievements.

6. Proofread!
After you’ve writing the your cover letter and CV, check for spelling and grammar errors. Then ask someone else who is strict about language to read it too. Hiring managers and recruiters hate bad grammar and typos – don’t let a slip of the finger cost you your first entry level job.

Now, fully equipped with tips on how to write a cover letter and CV, join Careers24 and find your dream job today.

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