Quick tips for your free CV template
So you’ve chosen the perfect CV template and you’re ready to fill everything in. How can you ensure your CV maximises your chances of success?
Here are a few quick tips to get the most out of your free CV template…
Download the correct font
Most CV templates use a special font, adding a little flair to their appearance. Our Grey Box CV template uses ‘Leelawadee’ which is free. All you need to do is download the font file, double click on it and click ‘Install’. Do this before opening your template in MS Word to ensure it looks as it should.
Use quality paper and a good printer
The smartest template in the world simply won’t look as good as it should unless you print on good quality paper and using a good printer. If you don’t have one, visit the local library or print shop. It’s worth paying more to get a good result.
A well-presented CV tells prospective employers that you care about the job application enough to make an effort. Although you may be applying online, it’s still a good idea to print off a few high quality copies. You can take extra copies with you to the interview, so you can hand them out. The manager may not always bring a copy of your CV into the interview, so you can take the initiative and make sure they have one. You can also have your own copy to refer to during the interview.
Rather than applying online you may decide to visit the business and hand a copy in to the manager. Again, make sure you print on high quality paper to make a great impression. Don’t also underestimate the impact you can have by applying in person. It is a friendlier approach, and you may even get an interview on the spot.
Click here for more information on what type of paper your CV or résumé should be printed on.
Write a winning covering letter
Although the CV offers a huge amount of information about a candidate, it doesn’t always tell the employer everything they need to know. The hiring manager wants to know why you applied, what your future goals are and generally more about what you’d bring to the role.
A cover letter is the first thing a prospective employer will read. Keep it focused and on point – they won’t have time to scan through pages of information for the details they need. Your covering letter explains how you meet the job application requirements – here’s a great guide to making it count.
Why you should write a covering letter
A cover letter should always be custom written with consideration to the employer’s requirements. The CV is all about marketing your skills, qualifications and experience, which leaves the covering letter to engage with the reader and provide a more personal touch to your application.
Writing a cover letter shows that you are willing to go to extra lengths to gain an interview. It clearly demonstrates that you care about the role, and like to think outside the box. Not every candidate will write a cover letter, so this puts you in a better position already.
What to include in your covering letter – all the important points
- Target the job and the employer
- Don’t repeat what your CV already says
- What attracted you to the role?
- Why you want to work for the employer?
- What unique skills, qualifications and experience would you bring to the role?
- Do your research on the company and the role before you write a covering letter (and CV)
Jen Wiss-Carline has been a Senior Manager and Consultant for several sizeable companies which included dealing with all aspects of staff management and recruitment. She is also a Solicitor and Chartered Legal Executive, having been admitted as a Fellow in February 2006.