On this page, you will find useful links and information that will help you make your job application as successful as possible.
Your resume, also called CV (Curriculum Vitae), is a marketing tool that you need, so your valuable qualities, knowledge and skills to be noticed by employers. You have to present selected facts, professional experience and qualities that fit into the position you are applying for, that means – for each different position, you need to process and sift only the information you need for the case, and you should do this not too exhaustively, so you have something to present in your cover letter and in the interview.
First impression of your potential employer is created from your resume and you certainly do not want it to remain the only one. Most CVs that arrive in companies daily are fairly standard and contain similar information (especially when applying the same job). So make sure your strongest features stand out at first glance.
The format of your resume is very important. It gives the employer a first idea of your general presentation skills and reflects in a very categorical way your motivation and approach to applying for a job. In that case, it is unacceptable that the resume is chaotic last-minute information, or written by hand.
Even more important is content. It has to be adequate, to present facts, dates and achievements. It is quite difficult for a person to be original and professional at the same time; sufficiently detailed in its presentation, without being verbose; remembered despite the fact that his work experience so far is quite common. However, it is possible to create the impression that you have devoted time and wrote a resume that addresses the specific sphere and company you are interested in.
Besides well-designed and detailed, the resume should be credible and realistic so as to encourage companies to spend a few minutes talking to you to explore your professional experience and development potential. If you are in the beginning of your career or have just graduated, you should not try to impress potential employers with a bulky resume resembling an academic reference. On the other hand, a serious career path backed up by a strong education and training, cannot be summarized within one page. The volume of the resume should be a restriction only in terms of need to be reasonable in the circumstance of presenting what you have done so far.
The most important facts should be presented at the beginning of your resume, so you can start with a brief description of your previous career or areas of expertise. The summary information can be displayed in chronological order (from the most recent to the previous one), or if your experience is richer, it can be summarized by topic. It is good for each sheet to have a page number, your name, and feedback information. If you want to include your honors, prizes or copies of various papers in your resume, you can add them as appendixes.
If you want your CV to be read and noticed, it should be brief, very well structured and should include at least the following four categories of information:
- Professional experience;
- Education and further training;
- Additional skills;
- Personal data and contact information;
- Professional experience
Describe your professional experience as full-time or part-time jobs, a freelance practitioner, or a trainee, indicating from when you occupied the relevant positions and in which companies. To give an idea of the occupied position, you need to briefly describe the nature of your duties and responsibilities.
- Education and further training
In relation to your education, the highest qualification level you have acquired is most important. Specify the university you have graduated, your specialty and the obtained education degree, as well as the training period. If you are a student, give information about the expected duration of the study, and the form of training (full-time / part-time). If your secondary education is specialized (language, mathematics, science, high school, technical school, etc.), highlight this in your resume. Do not try to list all the courses and seminars you have visited just to give your CV a volume. Choose those that testify to the knowledge you have gained and the skills you have developed in the area you apply for. Join them on topics and mark the more significant ones – held in prestigious institutions, with international participation, with a diploma / certificate and etc. Avoid abbreviations.
- Additional skills
Because of the demanding and challenging business environment, candidates are expected to be fluent in foreign languages, able to use specialized computer software, demonstrate good communication skills, possess organizational abilities, ability to manage people, analytical approach to problem solving, and taking of decisions. The experience and knowledge that testifies to the availability of such skills (also called social competencies or soft skills) are highly valued and should therefore be presented in the curriculum vitae.
- Personal data and contact information
You should mandatory give your name and contact details, incl. a mobile phone that you canbe reached during business hours. Make an e-mail that is sufficiently representative for this type of correspondence, and in such cases it is not desirable to contain aliases. Your age and your family status should not influence your employer’s choice, but if you are not obliged to give them, you may not fill them in. Sometimes, however, the nature of the work imposes specific requirements, so it is appropriate to refer to this data. Some positions require intensive physical efforts that are not feasible for older candidates; the image of other jobs implies that they must be occupied by young people; certain positions require an active journey in order of absence from home for four days a week, and it is therefore unlikely that women with young children will accept such a job.
In addition, you can incorporate your achievements (if any) into your resume, and apply a recommendation from your former supervisor or associate from a professional point of view.
This category is optional. It can present facts supporting claims of professional competence, such as realized sales volume, expanded market share, value of saved financial resources, successfully launched / completed projects, new products and services created, proposals for optimization of processes adopted in practice, realized production and technical methods, etc. If you recently graduated or are still studying, the achievements can be expressed in successful projects, achieved ball of state exams, other awards that are significant enough for the job you are applying for.
It is considered that giving references to your CV is a good sign. Recommendations from former employers or well-known public figures – partners, clients, etc. are best viewed. Recommendations from lecturers are appropriate for newly graduates or people at the beginning of their professional development. Try to get a recommendation after each successful job assignment – internship, study project, etc., especially if you worked with foreigners. Typically, the recommendations have the following structure:
- Recipient – may be addressed to a particular recipient, “To Whom It May Concern” or left without a specific addressee;
- Presentation of the referent – name, position, company;
- Introduction – how long the referent knows the candidate and in what capacity;
- Content – objective and in-depth analysis of the personality and performance characteristics of the applicant; the recommendation should not only list the positive features but also areas where recommendations are developed so that the references sound credible;
- Conclusion – includes the referral’s recommendation for recruiting the candidate, assessing appropriate posts or areas of work, as well as advice on what to emphasize in further work;
Recommendations should be about one page long. You should also be able to provide a contact phone with each name. However, before quoting contact details, you need to make sure you get the best references possible. Also keep in mind that oral recommendations are the best – personal contact has a greater impact. Without being aware of it, in many cases you have the opportunity to write recommendations by yourself and the way to do this is through the motivation letter.
The motivation letter, also known as an application letter or Cover Letter, aims to convince employers that you are suitable for the job you are applying for. It should add value to your CV in terms of content – without repeating what you wrote in the resume, to reasonably link your achievements, experiences, skills, personal qualities and goals to your job requirements.
To create an adequate candidacy, you need to be well informed. Explore the company carefully – its history, focus and business strategy, general needs related to staff, products and services, and their characteristics, which are considered the key to success, and so on. Do not forget why the letter is called “motivational” – you need to demonstrate your development goals, your willingness to work in exactly this company. Be moderate in praise and flattery – you must express your interest and respect for the achievements of the company, but the letter should not sound like a praise. First of all, you have to convince the employer that your ideas, contributions and efforts will be a valuable investment for the company.
Unlike a resume that is more or less predictable in form and content and can be perceived as your business card, the motivation letter expresses your own style of thinking and expression and is closer to a 2-minute ad clip. It allows you to “sell yourself” in a more creative, aggressive and convincing way.
The cover letter usually contains the following elements:
- Recipient – the cover letter is untitled. Address it to a specific recipient. If there is no designated contact in the ad, it may be the head of the Human Resources Department, the manager of the company or you can simply enter the name of the company.
- Name and contact details of the applicant – write down your names and contact details as well as the date.
- Introduction – the introductory paragraph should clarify which position you are applying for (if required, provide a reference number). You should mention how did you find out about the vacancy – cite the source, title and date of the advertisement if it is from the media or specify which other source you learned. Here is the place to clarify and why you apply for this position by demonstrating a willingness to work, an understanding of the job requirements, and an interest in the company, endorsement of its values and achievements.
- Motivation part – In the motivation part of the letter, combine your qualities and abilities with the requirements for the particular position. Describe your competitive advantages – a combination of different skills, knowledge and interests, contacts in the relevant business sector, specific projects you have participated in, knowledge of the competition or the company itself. Do not just list your strengths, but try to present them as a necessary element for your successful business. Do not miss your contribution to the development of the projects you have previously participated in if you have not done so in your CV, especially if you can also present favorable recommendations, awards, diplomas and certificates. Tell us about your experience so far in terms of what it might be valuable to the company you are applying for. Bind your personal and professional ambitions to the goals and development of the company. Consider suggestions on how you can contribute to the company’s future success and mention them so that you can present them in more detail if you have an interview.
- Conclusion – In conclusion, express your readiness to meet and indicate the coordinates you could be found at, and which are the proper hours. If you have any absence or change of address / phone, be sure to provide this and leave a backup location – your acquaintances or your current job, if appropriate.