Smart tips for a better CV and personal letter
Let's start from scratch!
CV is an acronym of the Latin name curriculum vitae which means life cycle - a compilation of your knowledge, skills and experiences.
Your CV should describe your experiences and knowledge. Your personal letter contains information about yourself and why you are suitable for the service you are looking for.
How do I write a professional CV?
➢ Easily understandable
Imagine that you are instructed by the school to have read a book of 400 pages until next week. Most of us can unfortunately enter 400 page literature in a couple of days. It's limited with time. What do we do then? We start to skim through the text, read headings and summaries. We simply read what is easy to understand and memorable.
Similarly does the employers who get, let's say, 100 applications. Likewise, she has limited time, which makes the CVs worth reading are the ones that are easy to understand with clear headlines, the information is set in chronological order and the information is relevant to the employer and the service.
We recommend that you spend time on the graphical appearance of your CV and personal letter. Suppose you get a gift - a perfume. Would you like to get it straight in your hand or would you rather have it wrapped in a beautiful package? Which is most exciting, memorable and satisfying? Now imagine the employer who is sitting and browsing through the 100 applications. Limited access on time means that she will only have time to skim through all CVs and then pick out the 10 she will read again. What impression and message do you want to give?
➢ Contact details
Without your contact information, the employer cannot contact you - how professional your CV may be. Add your contact information at the top of your CV. As a suggestion your name, phone number, email address and your home address.
➢ Work experience
If you do not have a lot of work experience, then mention the jobs you had. If you have a lot of work experience, you only need to include the jobs you consider relevant to the service you are applying for. Have your company name, period of work, title of service, and a description of the job. Then you can write a short paragraph about the results you achieved, what you were responsible for and what you got out of working there.
Begin by presenting what you studied last. Include what you consider to be most relevant to the service you are looking for. Enter the school's name, city, program / course and period. If you are a student, you can write that your education is ongoing and mention the degree you plan to take.
➢ Other qualifications
Under other qualifications you can mention the engagements or assignments you participated in. For example, board member of the housing association or been vice chairman of the student board.
Enter the languages you master and rate them. Start with your native language.
➢ Other skills
Under this heading you can specify the programs, techniques or systems you master. For example, the Office package, JAVA, Visma. If the service requests a driver’s license, you can also mention that.
Most commonly is to write "references is welcome on request". Be sure to settle with your previous employers, colleagues or supervisors whom you submit as references so that they will be prepared to be contacted.
How do I write a professional personal letter?
Write an introduction that is as powerful as possible. Motivate why you are looking for the service, why you are the right person for the service, what attracts you with the company and the service as well as what caught your interest.
Be positive and show self-confidence! It may be difficult to market yourself, but keep in mind that your CV and personal letter is what will lead you to an interview.
Always customize your personal letter to the service you are looking for. A recommendation is to use keywords specified in the ad when describing your skills. You can also raise specific merits relevant to the service you are looking for. It may also be beneficial to tell how you developed in a particular area. Do not forget to link what you mention in your CV with what you describe in your personal letter. Avoid clever descriptions such as spider in the net, ambitious, stress-resistant. What could you have written instead? Raise your properties through descriptions instead of listing them. For example, tell a situation that indicates that you are a stress-resistant person.
Exit your personal letter with a short paragraph where you express your desire to have an interview where you will be able to present yourself further and hear more about the service.
➢ General tips
- Good length of your CV: 1-2 A4-pages.
- Good length of personal letter: 1 A4-page.
- Find out as much as possible about the service and the employer.
- Avoid an overly formal and impersonal text.
- Send CV along with your personal letter in a pdf file (if you send by e-mail).
- If you want a photo, choose one with professional appearance.