Make sure your job application hits all the right notes!

Applying for your dream job can be a nerve-wracking experience. You’ve only got one chance to impress your potential employer, so it’s crucial to ensure that your CV and cover letter will really grab their attention. Both documents also need to be concise, well-written and persuasive – that’s a lot of boxes to tick!

Fortunately, we at Hyper Recruitment Solutions are here to help. We’ve put together this comprehensive checklist for you to download, print out and keep handy while you’re putting together your job application. Address everything on this list and your CV and cover letter should be nigh-on perfect!

Part 1: CV Checklist

Personal Details
  • Full name
  • Address
  • Phone number(s)
  • Email address
Other Important Information
  • If you have a clean driving licence, mention this
  • If you have your own vehicle, mention this
  • If you are currently employed, mention this and state how much notice you’ll need to give before you leave
Skills & Expertise
  • Make a short bullet-point list of your key skills and areas of expertise (e.g. problem solving, data analysis, customer service)
Work & Education
  • List all previous roles in chronological order (starting with the most recent)
  • State when you held each role (e.g. July 2012 – March 2013)
  • Briefly describe each role, focusing on skills and experiences that are relevant to the job you’re now applying for
  • Explain any gaps in your employment history (e.g. spent a year travelling)
  • List universities, colleges and schools you attended (again, give dates for each one)
  • List relevant qualifications and grades under the university/college/school where you gained them
Hobbies & Interests
  • List a few of the hobbies and activities you enjoy outside of work
  • If possible, try to include interests that are relevant to the job you’re applying for (e.g. if it’s a science-related role, you could talk about how much you enjoy reading science and technology magazines)
  • List relevant references if the job description specifically requests them
  • Otherwise, write ‘references available on request’
Final Checks
  • Check your spelling and grammar
  • Read back through what you’ve written – is it concise and easy to digest?
  • Ask somebody else to check your CV for errors and unnecessary waffle

Part 2: Cover Letter Checklist

Laying Out Your Letter
  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Recipient’s name (if known)
  • Company name
  • Company address
  • Today’s date
  • ‘Dear Mr/Ms [name]’ or ‘Dear Sir/Madam’
Opening Paragraph
  • State the role you are applying for and where you saw the vacancy advertised
  • State some personal qualities that will appeal to the employer (e.g. ‘I am a conscientious and motivated individual, and I bring a great deal of enthusiasm to the work I do.’)
  • Sum up the content of your CV and state why it qualifies you for the role (e.g. ‘My CV is attached; as you can see, I have worked in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 5 years, and I believe that the skills and knowledge I have gained during this time make me a great candidate for this role.’)
2nd Paragraph
  • Go into more detail about your most recent roles
  • Describe relevant skills and experiences gained in these roles
  • State any notable achievements (e.g. ‘Under my leadership, the company’s revenue / the department’s productivity increased by 25%.’)
3rd Paragraph
  • Explain why you think you’d be a good fit for this organisation
  • Show off your knowledge of the organisation (e.g ‘I was very impressed when I read about the company’s dedication to providing a transparent, ethical service, and I feel that my own goals and values align perfectly with this aim.’)
  • State what you will bring to the role if hired (e.g. ‘I hope to help the company achieve even greater success while bringing a pro-active, optimistic attitude to this role.)
Finishing Up
  • Thank the employer for their time/consideration
  • Closing statement (e.g. ‘I look forward to hearing from you.’)
  • ‘Your sincerely’ (if you know their name) or ‘Yours faithfully’ (if not)
  • Your signature (optional)
  • Your name
  • Your telephone number and/or email address
Final Checks
  • Check your spelling and grammar
  • Read back through what you’ve written – is it concise and easy to digest?
  • Ask somebody else to check your CV for errors and unnecessary waffle
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