Do you know, Word and Publisher include free CV and Cover Letter Templates? Plus, you can download hundreds more from Microsoft’s website?
While the template is free, the trick is knowing how to use the template.
Many of the templates will ask for your phone, website, LinkedIn profile, and email address.
|Contact Information||When to Use|
|Phone||This can be either your LAN line or mobile number. Choose the number where you are the easiest contactable.|
|Website||Only use if your website is relevant to the job you are applying for. Otherwise do not list|
|LinkedIn Profile||Include if you feel it is necessary.|
|Email Address||Use a professional sounding email address and your email address should contain either your initials or a part of your name.|
The Profile is the section after providing your contact information but before your job experience. This is a 1 – 3 sentence summary of how your skills match the advertised role and why you are applying for the job. Avoid using over-used words like “professional,” “quick learner,” “friendly,” or any other word that is vague and can be applied to anyone. Instead, opt for specific words that summarise who you are.
Before completing this section, take a few moments to list your work experience. As you list each job focus on your achievements and your responsibilities. Think about the company and how you will fit into the role. Finally, as you fill in this section add the most detail to your most current job and jobs that are more than 5 years old, add only minimal detail.
Start with your most recent first and include any achievements, degrees, or awards. Typically, you do not need to include any education before high school. In this section do not include any training you have done (e.g. Prince2, Agile) since this will be included in your Skills section.
In this section, you will include any training you have undertaken along with your hard and soft skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for.
In my experience, employers do not want to hear about the volunteer experience. Unless it relates to the role or you feel it shows that you are active in your community. Therefore, I tend to advise you not to include this section unless you have volunteering experience or other experience that is relevant to the role.
If you have some type of notable achievement or publication then it is worth your time to include it here.
If you prefer you can rename this section to training to showcase the training you have undertaken and the certifications you have received.
Your cover letter essentially summarises your CV and tells why you should be interviewed. Oddly, you will think a recruiter will spend time looking at your CV and cover letter. In reality, very little time is spent due to the volume of applications they receive. So your cover letter needs to be concise, no more than a page.
Just like a CV, you will need to include your contact information and the same rules apply.
Read the job advertisement, if the recruiting manager is listed then include their name. If the relevant name is not known then writing “To Whom It May Concern,” is acceptable.
The next few sections in the template, relate to the advertised role. It is important to understand what the employer is requiring for the role and then modify the template to best fit it.
In my opinion, the cover letter template wording is too impersonal and I recommend softening up the wording to make it sound more inviting.
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