As you get closer to graduating, you may start wondering how to write an amazing graduate CV and cover letter. The necessity of a CV and cover letter cannot be overstated and the effort you put into creating one will make your application process all the simpler and more efficient.
Your cover letter and CV, in addition to your resume, are the three determining factors in your job application. A potential employer will likely look at these three documents and make a determination as to whether or not you are qualified for an interview.
What’s equally as important as these documents are the content within them. Typically, a hiring manager or recruiter will spend, on-average, just 6-seconds looking over your documents. With such a short amount of time to grab a potential employer’s attention, you will need to ensure that your resume and supporting documents are up-to-par and eye-catching.
How to Write a Graduate Cover Letter
Your cover letter, also known as your personal statement, is one of the most important supporting documents you can provide with any job application. It is one of the first documents that an employer will read and it is important that you make a great first impression.
In order to make a great first impression, you will need to follow some of the outlines given below. These guidelines will help you to create a cover letter that not only stands out but also catches the eye and attention of your future employer.
Don’t Be Too Formal
While a bit of formality and professionalism is necessary, you don’t want to be too formal and cut-and-dry. Rather, try to exude some personality and optimism in your cover letter. Your cover letter is meant to be a personal reflection of who you are and why you want the role.
In writing your cover letter, look to have your natural voice come across. Be genuine, honest, and respectful in your writing. Forgo using language which may appear robotic or unnatural.
Write in Your Own Voice
As a supplemental point to not being too formal is to always use your natural voice and tone. While you will want to write in a professional manner, you shouldn’t get caught up in the nuances and utilize an unnatural sounding tone. This will be seen by the hiring manager and will come across as irregular.
Keep It Short and Sweet
Per the above, on average, a hiring manager or recruiter will only spend 6-seconds on any document or application. While you may have a ton of things to say, you will want to condense it down to under one-page in length.
Your cover letter should be direct, concise, and to the point. You should avoid speaking on tangents or points that don’t directly relate to your previous, relevant work experience. Similarly, within your cover letter, always focus on what is important and your qualifications which would make you a good fit for the role being applied to.
Focus on What You Have to Offer
Many graduate students, and career professionals, make the mistake of speaking on how the job will help them. Rather, you should look to focus on how you will be an asset to the company. Don’t focus on what you will gain from the role but instead speak to how your skills, experience, and qualifications will help you to accomplish the goals of the role.
Make Sure You Sell Yourself
A job application is just as much about selling yourself and your qualifications as it is about your previous experience. Your future employer wants to ensure that you are not only up for the job, but also capable of fitting in with the current team and structure in place.
As-such, it is important to “sell yourself” within your cover letter. Speak openly about your experience, your qualifications, and what makes you the perfect candidate for the role. Obviously, you don’t want to sound arrogant, but a bit of bragging never hurts.
Do Your Research
Perhaps the most important part of learning how to write an amazing graduate CV and cover letter is understanding how to conduct proper research. You should understand the basics of what the company has to offer, what the role entails, and how your presence would impact the organization.
Understanding and conducting proper research will help you to format your cover letter to be more appealing to a hiring manager. It will show that you understand the role and what it entails and that you are prepared to undertake those responsibilities successfully.
How to Write a Stellar Graduate CV
Your CV is a supplemental document to your cover letter. While both are expected, they serve two different purposes. When it comes to writing a stellar graduate CV, utilize the tips and tricks below to help you differentiate yourself from other applicants.
Use Proper Formatting
One of the biggest mistakes we see are candidates who place personal information in widely differing sections of their CV’s. This is not only frustrating for the employer but can also lead to your exclusion from the role. If you’re unsure of where to place your personal information, and on formatting in general, you may want to check-out our list of the best UK CV writing services.
Customize Your Application
Another mistake we see occur time and time again is that graduate candidates simply utilize the same CV for different roles and companies. Most employers can see that you’ve used the same CV and may disqualify you from the position.
The reason? Employers like to see an aspect of genuineness and realness from their applicants. They want to know why you’re interested in the role and what you have to offer. Rather than utilize the same CV over and over again, you should customize it for each job application.
When it comes to learning how to write an amazing graduate CV and cover letter, there is no better learning experience than through practice. Although it may seem tedious and difficult in the beginning, you will learn the ins-and-outs of what is expected in an application.
In addition, your practice now will help you in the future as you advance in your career. You will be much better positioned to create compelling supporting documents and will find it far easier to land job interview because of it.