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Tailoring your CV is key - and a covering letter

Column by Jaz Abeysekera, marketing manager at Grantham College

Searching for your first or a new job can be stressful and nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be.

At some point, we all go through it.

Jaz Abeysekera (3317099)
Jaz Abeysekera (3317099)

You might be searching for your first part-time role to earn some pocket money alongside your studies, you may have just graduated and on the hunt for your first ‘real’ job or maybe you’re just looking for a change of scenery and in need of learning some new skills.

Whatever it is, tailoring your CV to suit the job and the employer is key.

Use the skills you have learnt at school, college, university or in previous roles to highlight the key skills you possess that are necessary for the role and the employer you are applying to.

Read through the job description with a fine tooth comb so that you know as much about the job as possible – pick out key features of the role and use these to guide your application.

Employers will be looking for certain skills and knowledge so by showing you have those just by reading your CV gives you a higher chance of getting to interview stage.

Something that you wouldn’t ordinarily think of when applying for a job is what you’ve posted online. When looking through candidates’ application forms, employers may often have a look on social media and/or LinkedIn to see what your online presence looks like and whether what you’re talking about in your application matches.

Sharing a selfie from Saturday night might seem like a good idea at the time but if your prospective employer or interviewer sees this whilst having a gander, it might do more harm than good!

Think about what you’re posting and who might see it if you do decide to share it.

Similarly, your career history listed on LinkedIn should match your application form.

Finally, don’t forget to write that cover letter! You might not think it’s that important, but it gives you another opportunity to sell yourself. Remember to research the business before you write it; this will show that you want the job and that you know your stuff.

Using a blanket cover letter is usually quite obvious and can sometimes look lazy.

If you’re unsure on any part of a job application process or even on what job(s) to apply for, consult a careers advisor.

Think about things you enjoy and that you’re good at. Doing something you enjoy makes it easier to put your everything into it and you’re less likely to lose motivation.

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