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- 10 week duration
Lesson Two: CVs and Cover letters
Lesson Two: CVs, and Cover letters
- The CV
Traditionally, CVs have a certain format:
Personal Information: This is where you put your name, contact address and profession. NEVER PUT IN YOUR ETHNICITY, RELIGION, GENDER OR NATIONALITY 1
Personal Summary: A short section that explains who you are, what you’re about and where you’re heading.
Experience: A list of achievement chronologically listed to highlight your skills gained
Education: A list of academic achievements
Interests: Bulleted items where you showcase areas of interest
References: A list of contacts who can vouch for you
These are the basic contents of a CV. However, there are a few things you can do to save your CV from entering the CV void.
- Personal Summary
Your personal summary should showcase who you are so don’t reserve yourself. Give the person scanning your CV a reason to read it. This section should also be tailored to the job you’re applying for. There should not be one formula that you repeat for every job you apply for. You should constantly tweak and update it until it truly describes you in any situation.
Here your experience doesn’t matter. You should focus on highlighting your abilities. Employers understand that you might not have experience. They are looking for someone that has the basic skills and can start from the beginning. So make sure to highlight projects you’ve lead, papers you’ve wrote and how you accomplished those tasks. For instance, if you want to show that you successfully lead a project in an architecture assignment:
- Created 3D CAD drawings for a home renovation project.
- Designed a stage for a local theater group.
- Second place, Annual Lost and Found architecture competition.
- Attended the Monterey Design Conference, 2017.
Remember that every part of your CV should build your story and show exactly why you’re the best fit amongst the sea of application they will probably get. So avoid just stating your education background. Focus on highlighting skills that will be beneficial to any jobs.
Architecture Degree, Addis Ababa University,
September 2014- June 2018
Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Building engineering,
Primary course work:
Design Architecture, urban Planning and landscape design,
Construction design, structure and installation
In addition, should you have gained extra certificates that are relevant, this is a plus mention it as well.
This is the most fun section to write even though it’s brief. In a few bullet point show what your passions are outside of work.
Short reminder: If interests happen to align with the job, great! However, don’t bend your back to make them align. That will sound false. Make sure your interests are actually your interests.
- References and Recommendation letters
Here you will put in a few names and contacts your potential employer can reach out to for information about you. Usually, students put in Advisors and Instructors. However, if you have people that know you and can be a character reference that’s also a plus. Did you attend a short internship? Did you work as an usher? Any supervisor on small jobs you’ve done here and there can be a great character reference.
The Cover Letter
Usually attached with the CV, your cover letter is a discourse aimed at introducing you to the person reading your CV. As such, your cover letter should include:
- Your name, email address and phone number at the top of the page
- Your employer company
- A reference line (i.e why you’re writing the letter) : RE: Application for Sales Assistant Job at Juniper Consult
- An introduction that directly addresses the person you’re righting to: Dear Mrs. Ayelech ( if you don’t have a name use Dear Sir/Madam, it’s best to avoid the “to whom it may concern line”)
- An opening statement that introduces you and the purpose of the letter:
My name is BLANK, I am writing this letter in response to the job advertisement posted on the Reporter for the BLANK position.
- Your main body should highlight your qualities and characteristics relevant to the position and why your applying to the job
- Finally, end it with a note of action.
The point of this kind of cover letter is to show that your personal qualities and characteristics are a good fit with the requirements of the job. You also need to show that you know how to make a positive contribution to the employer.
Important notes to remember:
- This letter shouldn’t tell your entire story, leave something for the CV and yourself if you get a chance at an interview
- Make sure that you actually respond to some of the requirement of the job description
- Don’t include too many statements referring to you. Instead focus on making it about what you can do for the employer.
Mobile: 251 XXX XX XX XX
September 20, 2019
Mr Kebede Moyee
Phone: XXXX XXX XXX
RE: Application for Casual Retail Sales Assistant position
Dear Mr. Kebede,
As a highly motivated and dedicated student with strong communication and interpersonal skills, I would like to apply for the position of Casual Retail Sales Assistant.
As a student I have been extensively involved in my school community, which has allowed me to develop strong interpersonal skills. My involvement in various events, including drama eisteddfods and sports carnivals, has allowed me to work closely with my peers while supporting the school community as a whole.
Personal attributes that I believe make me suitable for this position include:
Motivation: Volunteer participation and school results demonstrate high motivation.
Customer Service: Assisting with the sale of products at community events has allowed the development of customer service skills.
Communication: Acting in drama performances and working as an MC for school events has allowed the development of communication skills.
My teachers and educators have commended me for my willingness to participate and my dedication to helping out where possible. I enjoy working with others and believe that my strong communication skills will ensure that I can meet the expectations of this role.
I am aware that you will receive a large number of applications for this job, but I would very much appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate my capabilities to you in person.
I believe that I have a lot to offer your organization. I am keen to develop my professional skills and look forward to discussing my application with you at an interview. I have enclosed a copy of my resume for your consideration. I can be contacted at all times on the details provided above.
Thanking you in advance for your time,