Your CV and Cover Letter Writing Guide in the UK
12 May, 2022
4 mins read
Tips and Advice
Seeking a job in the UK? Whether you’ve graduated or are still a student, perhaps now is the time for you to think about rewriting your CV and cover letters. Yes, several cover letters. Before rushing into the rewriting process, you have to give the field or the job title you will be pursuing some serious thought. Read on to learn more about CV and cover letter writing in the UK.
CV, short for Curriculum Vitae, is a document that’s used when applying for jobs. Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach for the perfect CV, it should always be well-formatted, concise enough for a recruiter to skim quickly, and, most importantly, tailored to the position you're going for.
After deciding on your desired Job Title, it is time for some research. Research is the most important yet the most underestimated step in CV writing. Look up all the job titles related to your field of interest and list the job description of each; this procedure will give you an insight into what employers are currently looking for. Also, you will need to make sure that you have the needed skills to achieve the requirements of this job.
Now you are ready to start designing the layout of your CV. Remember to use size 12 and Times New Roman font as well as bold headings. Also, keep in mind that employers see numerous CVs and your CV should be distinctive and noticeable, so let your creativity flow. Initially, any employer will want to know your name, address, email, and phone number, so state these at the top central section of your CV paper. Several other things should be included in the CV, such as:
Profile/Objective: One of the most significant components of your CV is your personal profile, often known as a personal statement, career purpose, or professional profile. It's a brief paragraph that sits right beneath your name and contact information, offering potential employers an outline of who you are and what you do.
Employment History: This section should come next in reverse chronological order. Make sure to state the correct dates and write the exact responsibilities bound to your previous jobs. Remember to write powerful role descriptions.
Education: The education section comes next, and to an extent, it is not difficult to be organized. Write the University you attended, your major, your overall grade, and the expected year of graduation. After that, you can write the school that you used to attend before going to University in the same section but in a different bulleted point. You might want to state any certified courses that you have attended in this section as well.
Volunteer Work: This is the section employers love the most. They appreciate social applicants with leadership skills and adaptability traits. If you are a Student Union member, scribble that and make sure to refer to your responsibilities and roles, as well as the names of the projects you participated in. Real hyperlinked projects or attached work samples are a great bonus.
Skills: In addition to the basic skills required for any job applicant to be desirable, there are other field-related skills. Make sure to write these skills in this section and relate them to any certified or uncertified courses that you have taken, even if they are online courses. Self-study means that you are determined and passionate about what you want to do. Computer, technical, and language skills and their levels are listed in this section as well.
Interests: This section should not include irrelevant interests or hobbies, but rather those that are relevant to your field or that distinguish you from other candidates. If you don't have any relevant hobbies or interests, it’s better to leave this section out.
References: Getting referrals from your University professors or previous employers and supervisors and attaching their contact details will give the information in your CV more credibility.
Your final step is to write a creative and distinctive cover letter. You’re probably wondering: why are cover letters important? Well, when applying for jobs, you should include a cover letter with your CV. A cover letter and a resume are not the same. The cover letter serves as a personal introduction and aids in the marketing of your application. A cover letter is required since it allows you to tell an employer why you are the ideal applicant for the position. This is accomplished by emphasising appropriate talents and expertise; as a result, keep the aforementioned information in mind when creating your cover letter.
Your cover letter should open with an introductory sentence explaining what this letter is about, such as “I found an accounting job advert on reed.co.uk.” Then, you will have to introduce yourself and personalize the letter as much as possible. Write about how your skills will benefit the company and the things that you can offer. In other words, answer the hypothetical question “Why should they hire me?” Write a nice closure asserting that you would like to receive feedback and remember to read as much information as you can to address the company more effectively. You will have to write a new cover letter every time you are applying for a new company, so keep practising. The more you write, the better you will be. Remember to include any personal details that you did not mention in the CV, such as your gender if it is not obvious from your name, birth date, and nationality.
Be creative and think outside the box. Personalizing your CV yet leaving it professional could be tricky. Balance the two wisely.
Follow-up even if you did not hear back from the companies that you have applied for. Employers appreciate following up with them and take the applicants who do more seriously.
And that’s about it! You’re all set now to start applying for jobs in the UK. Just follow our guide on CV and cover letter writing in the UK and you’ll definitely stand out among candidates!