Can a well written CV and cover letter get you to the interview, independently of experience?

Thursday, August 21st, 2008 - bristol cv, cardiff cv, curriculum vitae, Job Application, resume

Kevin asks: Can a well written CV and cover letter get you to the interview, independently of your experience? Of course, this depends on the position your applying for, and the experience required for it. I am not suggesting writting anything that is not true, just want to know how important these two elements can be, and how to catch the attention of recruiters. Can you help me out on some tips on structuring a very good CV and cover letter? Should these vary from sector to sector (e.g. financial vs. marketing)? Thank you!

In answer:
In summary: if you don’t have the minimum skills required for the post, then NO; if you do have the basic skills to do the job, then YES your chances of being interviewed are substantially increased.

You have to think about the job filling process as a horse show jumping event – even before you apply there are a number of decisions made which effect who can apply, because that’s where the business and the manager involved define the required skill set mix and location.

Once you enter the process, if you can’t jump the first hurdle – that of the basic skill set to do the job – then no matter how great you are, you won’t get the job. A CV/Resume can’t take a hospital janitor and make them a heart surgeon!

However, let’s assume you have the basic skill set, then getting a third party to position your application against the required ideal person to fulfil the job will create better results. That’s partly because its a sales and marketing task, and most find it difficult to sell themselves; and secondly because having jumped through a few such processes before, a CV/Resume writer can better understand what the employer is looking for and meet that hurdle with ease – and add a few “unwritten” requirements as well, with added polish. According to the PARW (Professional Association of Resume Writers), a good professionally written CV/Resume results in 750% more interviews and 79% higher salary offers than those people write themselves.

The key to the initial stages of successful application process – getting the interview – is always firstly defined by meeting the minimum job skills requirement. Once you meet that, focusing your skills and personality/approach against those required by the employer are where the sales and marketing task comes in. When 7/10 applications will end up in the waste bin, most often the focused Cover Letter and the first half page of your CV/Resume will determine of you get a phone call for an initial chat.

There are many internet based resources to do this for you, but the difference a professional CV/Resume writer will bring are shown statistically in getting to interview – after that, its up to you! If in doubt, and you really want a job – employ a professional; that’s always what the employer is trying to do.

Good Luck!

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