Your CV and Cover Letter

The aim of your CV is to get you to the interview. To achieve that it needs to:

  • display your achievements strengths and skills using positive language
  • convey your passion
  • be instantly appealing to the reader
  • easy to read and tailored to the job advertised
  • sound like you
  • be authentic – so many CV’s are too generic

A recruiter might scan your CV for just 30 seconds before deciding whether to read further or dismiss it – so make it enticing! Have a neat layout, no spelling errors, clear headings and your contact details at the top!

The interviewer wants to find out who the person is behind the CV, what your job history and experience is, see any opportunities you have taken and get a feel for whether you’ll be a good ‘fit’ for the company.

Be specific. Note the skills the employer is looking for, work out how your experience matches those requirements and give examples of this on your CV.  It’s fine to use wording from the job description and advert. Like ‘organisational skills’ – just add your example of how you demonstrate these.

Start creating your CV with our free template:

Do I Need a Cover Letter?

Yes! A cover letter is an essential part of any job application and should always accompany your CV. Your cover letter should be tailored to each job you apply for. It should be no more than one A4 page. Start with the job ad/job description and respond to the key requirements.

Elevator Pitch

What is an elevator pitch? 

A brief summary of you, your background and goals. It’s what you say about yourself when introduced for the first time. Versions of your pitch can be used at the start of a job interview or in a networking situation – you can prepare for these situations in advance.

Your pitch should include a brief outline of a recent, relevant project, include what makes you different to others and your goals and ambitions. Be clear about what you want and match it to what the listener is looking for, e.g. “I’d be keen to see if there is an opportunity for me to help you expand your membership/ sell more products.”

Top Tips

  • Be relevant to the listener
  • Use plain language
  • Say how you can benefit the listener
  • Practice – sound genuine and natural

Preparing for Interviews

Click on the step to learn more.

Step 1: Know the basics

•             Interview date and time, location, plan your journey.

•             Name of your interviewer/s.

•             Format of interview (panel or presentation).

•             Plan what you’re going to wear.

Step 2: Review your application

•             Know your CV, application form and cover letter inside out.

•             Think about your relevant experience and skills and be able to talk about them.

•             Predict 10 questions they are likely to ask and prepare your answers. Be able to say what excites you about the role, and why you’re a good fit.

Step 3: Research the employer

•             Read the role profile – what are the expectations and key responsibilities?

•             Look at all areas of the organisation’s website  research their culture and the sector they operate in.

•             Research the interviewer/s on LinkedIn.

•             Know the questions you’re going to ask – perhaps around the culture of the organisation or professional development opportunities.

Step 4: Practise, practise, practise

•             Do a mock interview with us or with a friend.

•             Rehearse your presentation.

Need further help? Take a look at these resources: