While schools and colleges prepare a person for being self-reliant and sustain in the outer world, they often forget to teach them how to prepare their key for the door to self-sustenance i.e. a CV and a Cover Letter.
A job or any source of income is the means to self-sustenance and CV’s and Cover Letters are the things needed to secure one.
Unfortunately, the education system in India revolves around memorizing theories and vomiting them on the answer sheets. Little to no focus is provided in teaching them practical skills. Knowing how to draft a CV and Cover Letter are two such skills.
What Are CV and Cover Letter?
A Curriculum Vitae or CV is a summary of a person’s academic and professional qualifications, achievements and skills. It is generally page-long and is produced when a person applies for a job or internships.
The hiring manager looks at the CV of a person to decide whether their skills and qualifications match the job requirements and if they do, the person is approached for further processes.
Meanwhile, a Cover Letter is a document that briefly introduces you and summarizes your achievements, thus acting as a persuasion letter for HR. It is submitted along with your CV or Resume and highlights your passion for the job role.
A good cover letter can catch the eyes of HR and can increase your chances of getting hired. Hence, it is extremely important to know how to draft both and use them actively in your job search. Some good sites to get started are Novoresume and Resumake.io. These come with preset formats making it easier for you to create one.
How To Draft A CV?
A simple and comprehensive CV can be drafted by following the below-mentioned points-
Add your basic details-
Name, email address, contact number and the link to your LinkedIn profile (will be helpful to make one if you do not already have one).
Mention your work experience/internship experiences-
You could mention your work experiences if you are a professional but if you are a high-school or college student and have internship experiences, add them in this section. It would contain the company name, the duration of work and a few pointers summarizing the nature of work you did there.
If you are a high-school student and do not have internship experiences, you could add the projects you did in your course or any type of training you underwent in your school or personally. For example- Created a podcast on Spotify to talk about the sports culture in my town.
You do not need to mention more than your last two recent educational qualifications. If you are a graduate, add your college and high school name, the course/subjects undertaken and dissertation/projects done if any.
Your Technical and Soft Skills-
In here you add the software and computer applications you know to use or any non-technical skill you possess like researching, Team-management, etc. They highlight your practical skills as well as your innate qualities to adjust in the workplace.
It is advisable to add a summary of the languages you know along with the proficiency levels in each.
Some pointers to keep in mind-
Keep it simple-
A simple, evenly flowing CV goes far from endorsing it with numerous colour and stylish fonts. But, if your job is in the creative industries, you can customise it according to your industrial needs.
Limit it to a page-
Do not make the mistake of adding every single thing about your life into the CV. Keep it to the basic and the most important elements. Reserve the in-depth explanations for your resume.
Customise it according to the job needs-
Remember to go through the job requirements and add or remove things from your CV to make it a more suitable fit for the job you are applying to. Link your experiences to the needs to show as to why you are the correct fit for the role.
How To Draft A Cover Letter?
A cover letter could be drafted by incorporating the following in it-
- A header-
Include your name and designation on one side and your contact details. Then proceed with the name and address of the person it is meant for (if sending physically) or the name and designation if sending virtually. You can also consider adding a link to your profile that has demonstrated your experience in your work.
Ditch the old Dear Sir/Madam and rather spend some time finding out what the name of the person is. In today’s time, a quick lookup on LinkedIn is sufficient. Then proceed with the greetings. In case the name isn’t available at all, using the word ‘Hiring Manager’ might be safe most of the time.
Highlight your top 2-3 achievements and try to relate them with the job requirements as much as possible. When competing with many people, this can be a good attention-grabber.
Highlight your skills-
Before jumping on to this section, read the job description well. Then mention the skills(technical or non-technical) you are adept with which match the required criteria.
Explain why you are a good fit-
Here you explain how you will fit in the company culture and not be a mere employee. Match your soft skills with the nature of the company and the type of work it does and you will be good to go.
Call to Action-
Here you highlight any extra information and close with a courteous yet positive message and then greet them and bid a formal goodbye. It might be a good idea to use a ‘Thank You’ message.
Some points to keep in mind-
- Do not repeat your CV in the letter, try to demonstrate why you are fitting for the job. This can be a good answer for the ‘Why should we hire you?’ question.
- Be true to yourself, provide correct information, do not exaggerate and use a professional email address, not the one you made in sixth grade.
Made a checklist of all these points and checked it? You are good to go. Ace that interview and grab the opportunity, and yeah, DO NOT DITCH CLASSES JUST BECAUSE YOU WEREN’T TAUGHT THOSE!
Image Credits – Novo Resume, Google Images
Sources- Novo Resume, Writer’s own experiences
Find The Blogger- @Akanksh65505461
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