Applying for a job
Looking to get into the startup world? Get your first grown up job or maybe just looking to move onto bigger and better things in a new job? No matter the goal, writing a great CV and cover letter is key to securing that next job
Those aren’t hard rules, but following these guidelines is a good start.
Read the advertisement
I know this sounds obvious, but a surprising amount of people don’t read the job ads they are applying for. That results in not providing enough information to the employer or applying for something you are wildly underqualified for.
Aside from understanding the job you are applying for, reading the ad properly makes tailoring your CV/cover letter so much easier. Startups for example might need their front-end developer to do something more than just programming. If you only want to do programming that job might not be for you.
Create an easy to read CV
Keep it clean, keep it simple. Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager that might have to go through 100+ CV’s that day, make finding the key information easy. This is especially important if you are applying at a startup that might have limited manpower to go through your application.
Try to focus on your strengths that are relevant to the job, if you are applying for a back-end developer role, your summer job at a grocery store is unlikely to help. It might however help if you are looking for a customer facing job.
Quality > Quantity, a hiring manager would rather receive one-page CV filled with quality than a three page one with irrelevant information. Keep that in mind and focus on information that supports your application.
The easiest way to start is by creating a generic cover letter with some background information and the hard/soft skills that apply to any job outlined. You can then use that base to create a tailored cover letter for each job you apply for.
Use the cover letter to explain how and why you are the right person, the job ad will be asking for certain skills and attributes. You need to show that you have what they are looking for and provide support for your claims.
Avoid using generic keywords like hard worker, multitasker and great team player if you can’t provide any examples to support it.
And never lie.
Sending a short follow up message one or two weeks after sending in the application reinforces your interest in the job.