Monday, December 17, 2012

Curriculum Vitae & Cover Letter in the E.U.

The Basic Steps for Writing a Cover Letter

As a rule of thumb, cover letters should be laid out in 3 basic paragraphs. The main idea of the first paragraph is to state what you want. As a cover letter is used to express interest in a job, the first paragraph should clearly state what specific job position you are looking for and highlight one or two relevant qualifications that you have for that said position. Don’t be vague on the job position you are seeking. If you are, in the hopes of keeping all possibilities open, you could lose out if it’s a big company with many different job openings as they may not know where to direct your CV and cover letter. The second paragraph should mention what you are currently doing now and/or why you would be a good fit for the company or the desired job position. If you just completed training mention that and how you have benefited. If you are about to leave a current job position mention that and say how it has enhanced your professional career as well as how you are seeking new challenges that the target company could potentially offer. Also mention what you could do for them. The third paragraph which is also the closing paragraph must be clear as to when you would be available for an interview, when you would be available to start working and how to contact you. If you are not currently in the country at the time of applying for positions, it is imperative to state the three items above. If you leave this vague, you most likely won’t get a response back because it may seem too involved for the interviewer to access you when it’s possibly easy enough just to select from those already living in the country. For those already living or located in the country of choice, make it clear that you are there now and are at the interviewer’s disposition.

The Curriculum Vitae(CV) or Resume

As the EU now has 27 member countries, in their attempts to streamline many procedures, they have created a standard EU CV. While it applies to those who wish to work in the EU, I think it’s a good template to follow as a standard international CV so I am suggesting you use the template as a start even if you do not plan to work in the EU territory. A link to this CV can be found on the website Europass.

Things to consider when sending your CV and Cover Letter

So your cover letter and CV are ready to go out. How should you deliver these important documents? Yes, most likely you will send them by email. But first convert both documents into PDF files. This is the only universal format available where you can be sure that no matter where in the world you are sending to, when they open the document it will look exactly like what you intended it to look like. Next attach both documents to the email. Do not copy/ paste the body of the cover letter in the email space. You want the person who opens the email to be able to print out the documents so that both can be filed in their appropriate place together. In the actual email space, write a brief summary of your cover letter. Basically, state what you want; a specific job position, and when you would be available. Then mention that all of your qualifications can be found in the attachments provided. Once sending out the cover letter and CV, its fine to do a follow-up call approximately one or two weeks after to first, insure that it was received and second to see if they are indeed looking for new hires and/or find out more about the job market in the immediate region. G.G.

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