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Essential CV and cover letter writing tips

Posted on June 13, 2016

We’re sure you’ve heard many times before that job searching can often be a job within itself. And with hundreds of people competing for every role, especially in the creative industries, its imperative that your CV and cover letter accurately represent your skills.

So whether you’re a fresh-faced graduate or a seasoned professional looking to make a career-changing move, make sure you check out our tips on how to create an outstanding CV and cover letter.

Things to consider before you put fingers to keyboard…

  • Cover the basics first and include all of your personal details – name, address, phone number and email. It’s all well and good showcasing your excellent experience but it’ll be for nothing if an employer doesn’t have your details to contact you!
  • Make sure the length of your CV is relative to your work experience. There’s no point in having a four page CV when you’ve only just graduated. Chances are most of it will be unnecessary waffle so you’re better off cutting it down to one or two pages and focussing on any extra curricular skills or work experience that you’ve picked up during your studies.
  • Be honest. You may just think that you’re being creative, but exaggerating the truth when it comes to your skills or experience will not help you. It also won’t take long for the employer to see through that if you’re lucky enough to get through to the interview stage. Save everyone’s time by focussing your energy on applying for roles that you’re qualified for and are confident that you can excel in.
  • Make sure your cover letter reflects your personality, details relevant experience and shows why you are interested in the role. Employers receive hundreds of CVs everyday so a strong cover letter is important if you want to stand out. Make sure you tailor your cover letter to each role that you apply for. This will show that you’ve taken the time to research and haven’t just copy and pasted a generic response.
  • If you’re going for a creative role, make sure your CV includes links to your work. If you’re going for a role in social media there should be links to your social media channels. If you’re going for a content creation or film role you should include links to your show reel and any credits you may have gained.

Put yourself in the employers shoes

You wouldn’t employ just anyone to look after a loved one or do some work in your house so make sure you have a full understanding of the type of person a company is looking for. This knowledge will take you far for when you when you have to sell yourself and convince them to invite you in for an interview.

Create more than one CV

It’s OK that you’re interested in more than one career path but that doesn’t mean you need to lump all of your experience into a “one size fits all” CV.

If an employer looks at your CV and sees that you’re interested in pursing roles in film, book publishing and PR, it may give them the impression that you’re a flight risk and you’ll just jump ship the minute you find another role in a different sector.
By creating a number of CV’s and tailoring each one to specific sectors or subject areas, you’ll show your employer that you’re committed to your career goals.

Get a trusted squad to proof read your CV and cover letter before you press send

When you write something yourself and spend hours working on something, you become blind to your own work and may be unable to spot typos or phrases that don’t quite fit.
So before you send your application over, enlist a trusted group of people to proof read your CV and cover letter and actively encourage them to provide their honest feedback.

We hope these tips have given you the inspiration to write an amazing cover letter and CV. If you feel that you need some face-to-face guidance when it comes to your CV, we run regular CV clinics which can be found here on our Opportunities page.