By tailoring your CV to every new job application, you let the company know just how motivated you are.
The elevator pitch
Imagine that you get to ride an elevator with someone that you would very much like to get in contact with, and that that leaves you with very little time to introduce yourself. Compose your elevator pitch and practice delivering it with conviction. Repeat for as many times as it takes for you to memorize it. Consider the kind of message you want to convey:
- Who are you and how can you help?
- What kind of value can you add to the company?
- What have you been working on during your studies?
- Which results have you achieved?
You are more than ready to start applying for jobs, but the advertisement states that you need both experience and knowledge about all the new methods. Some advertisements look like long wish lists, but do not let that put you off. The applicants who meet all the demands of an advertisement are few and far between, so do not give up. Rather you should call the contact to find out which three to five qualifications they would most like to see fulfilled. If your conversation goes well, you might even venture to ask how they feel about newly qualified candidates. By preparing well, you will be able to write a focused cover letter and CV that match the demands of the company.
Do not treat your CV as a passive appendix to your application. Companies have various methods of screening applications, which is why it is so important that you consider this while writing your CV and cover letter. Some companies look at the cover letter first, while others attach more importance to the CV and will be looking at that first. Therefore, it might be useful if you, on the top of the first page of your CV, summarize your qualifications that are particularly important to this company.
Focus on the visual presentation
Other than the contents of your CV and cover letter, you need to consider the presentation. Your aim is to catch and maintain the reader’s interest as opposed to disturbing or confusing them with spelling errors and an inadequate design. Have someone else read through the text and give you feedback on phrasing and spelling. You may decide to use a template. Then you are equipped with a graphic design that is not altered later on in the process.
Regardless of which design you choose, you must divide your CV in to relevant sections. This could be facts, skills and results, but remember, that there is no decisive recipe for the ultimate CV. Always check the company website to see if they have specific demands regarding file size and attachments, and always expect to encounter an extensive contact form before you can press send. Make sure you have the time to this properly and watch out for slip-ups.
As someone who has recently graduated, you need to emphasize on your education and work related courses. Many students have worked as volunteers which, in itself, shows commitment and dedication, yet some people tend to overexpose this on their CV when lacking regular experience. Only stress your voluntary work if it has given you apparent qualifications that are relevant for the job in question. The same applies to past-time activities and language skills – mention them if they are relevant, for instance, if the company uses a procedural language other than Danish.
Your most important task is to tailor your CV to every job you apply for.