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Advice on how to write a good CV template for the British job market

CV writing tips for the 40+
Advice on how to write a good CV for the British job market
How to write a good covering letter

How to write a good covering letter
The front sheet of your CV should be a covering letter. The CV sets out the skills you have that makes you suitable for the vacant post. The covering letter should demonstrate to the employer your interest in the advertised vacancy and knowledge of their company It can be used to highlight particular parts of your CV that are you believe are your unique selling points. It can be used to highlight additional information that does not fit easily into the CV format. Keep it brief and precise. The member of staff who’s job it is to go through CV’s will only spend about 30 seconds speed reading each application before deciding to discard it or ask that person to come for an interview.

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Try to address your letter to a named person. Phone up the company and find out who deals with recruitment. A letter sent to a named person will help ensure that your letter reaches the right person.

Start by stating what vacancy you are applying for and where you saw it advertised. The company may have more than one job being advertised at the same time. It is helpful to explain why you are interested in that type of work and briefly show your understanding of what you believe it is likely to involve.

Be enthusiastic and up beat but at the same time professional. Show you have researched the company by mentioning such things as their values, achievements, product range or type of clients.

Highlight your key strengths and the reasons you think you are suitable for vacant position. If necessary explain any anomalies in your background such as any working time gaps. It is good to explain how any hurdles you've encountered have helped you develop. Indicate that you are available for interview. For a speculative letter, specify the type of work you're looking for.

Never send a CV without a covering letter. Do not staple it to the CV. Use a paper clip. Use the same paper as the CV and font and size.

Stage 1 - State your awareness
Ref number or a position ……. Was advertised and I wish to apply. (company may be advertising more than one job)

Stage 2 match needs and relevance
Add in your unique selling point. What is your added value. Not long, two paragraphs only. Similar to but not matching the profile on the CV.

Stage 3 finish politely.
Please feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss any of its contents.

If Dear Sir/Madam end with Yours faithfully
If Dear David end with Yours sincerely

Sample CV Covering letter

Full Name
County and Post Code

Tel: 020 8542 1234
Mobile 07771234567

Dear Sir / Madam,

The position of XXXXXXX was advertised in The Times Newspaper on DATE. I have enclosed my CV for your consideration. Having followed your company’s successful expansion for a number of years it is noticeable that your staff are always on the look out for new business opportunities in a continually changing trading environment. Over the past eight years I have managed a team of financial consultants that increased all our client’s income and we always exceeded our company targets.

Mention one of your skills, evidence how you have used it and then show how it can benefit their company.

Mention another one of your skills, evidence how you have used it and then show how it can benefit their company.

I hope that after considering my CV, you will be persuaded of my potential to perform well in this role and to make a real contribution as a member of your Staff. I am available for interview at any time and look forward to hearing from you.

Yours Faithfully

Sample CV Covering letter for direct approach

Full Name
County and Post Code

Tel: 020 8542 1234
Mobile 07771234567

Dear Mr Johnson

I was interested to read in the Metro Newspaper that your project has recently received National Lottery funding to restore Easthill Stately Home.

Over the past 15 years I have worked in both domestic and commercial properties as a stonemason. I specialise in historic restoration and have worked for the National Trust, English Heritage and Historic Royal Palaces. I live locally and have regularly visited Easthill on open days. I was wondering if my experience and skills may be of benefit to you. My enclosed CV gives further details of my background, qualifications and experience.

I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how I can be of assistance.

Yours Sincerely


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