A CV helps you present your skills and qualifications effectively and clearly. There are many different templates for CVs and cover letters but when you are looking for a job in the European Union, the Europass CV is the most standard option to follow.
In this website you will find all the instructions to create a Europass CV. In any case, remember that depending on your branch in the Creative and Cultural Sector, sometimes extra material such as video presentations or project portfolio is much recommended.
Besides, during the last years, many students are trying to be disruptive with image CVs such as the ones you can find here or with info graphics describing their labour profile.
Writing a smart cover letter can get your foot in the door, even if you have a weak resume. A cover letter is a one page document that you send with your resume when applying for a job. It is meant to:
- Introduce yourself to the hiring manager
- Argue why you’d be a good fit for the job
- Fill in places your resume cannot describe
- Further explain other aspects of your resume
By hitting those 4 aspects, a cover letter can be a convincing and powerful companion to a well-written resume. Here you have a step-by-step guide.
TIP #1: No spelling or grammar errors! This one really goes without saying. Spelling mistakes make an awful first impression!!!
1. Contact information
To begin your cover letter, include both the employer’s and your contact information. There are many manners to have this done. Check out templates to find the one which suits you best.
Find out to whom you are writing and put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes for a second. Would you like to be addressed as “Dear Sir or Madame?” or “To whom it may concern?”
“Dear Sir or Madame” makes you sound like you’re from the year 1865, and “to whom it may concern” is very irritating to hiring managers.
You can easily avoid this problem by doing your research. Look through the company’s website, LinkedIn, or even give the company a call to ask for the hiring manager’s name. Even if you get it wrong, it still looks like you have made an effort.
In the first paragraph of your cover letter, begin by telling the employer the position you are applying for and how you learned about the opportunity.
The rest of this paragraph should briefly present basic info about yourself, including: degree, area of study/expertise, and your career goals in terms of how they align with the goals of the company.
3. Sell Yourself!
The second paragraph should respond directly to the job description written by the hiring manager. Describe how your previous job experiences, skills, and abilities will allow you to meet the company’s needs. To make that easier, you can (and should) literally include words and phrases from the job description in your cover letter.
TIP #2: No bombast! The rule of thumb is that you’re allowed to be as boastful as you want – so long as you have the evidence to back it up!
To go the extra mile, do some research about the company, and try to find out what they are doing — and why — given the current state of their industry. In a third paragraph, explain how you can fit into that schema, and help push the company forward and achieve any goals you suspect they may have.
The final paragraph is called the “call to action” portion of your cover letter. Inform them that you’d love to get interviewed. Tell them that you’ll be in contact with them in a week if you don’t hear back. Thank them for spending the time to read your letter.
In any case, bear in mind that you will need to adapt your CVs and cover letters to the exact job you are applying for. For instance, here you can find an example cover letter for a musician.