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How to write a good CV and cover letter

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How to write a good CV and cover letter

  1. 1. Summer Job DayOtaniemi January 19, 2012Heini Hult-MiekkavaaraCareer CounsellorAcademic Architects and Engineers in Finland - TEK
  2. 2. You want a job • What can you do? • What do you want to do?3 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  3. 3. The employer wants a person who • Can do the job • Fits in the organisation4 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  4. 4. Job application in Finland = CV + cover/application letter • Compliment each other • Can work on their own5 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  5. 5. 6 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  6. 6. 7 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara/TEK
  7. 7. A good CV is • Your personal, professional description • Concrete, concise and informative • Understood by an outsider • Easy to read with a glance • Written with a specific job and/or employer in mind8 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  8. 8. A good CV has… • A date • Your picture • Your personal information • Name • Contact information – address, telephone, e-mail • Date and place of birth • Links to your professional social media profiles (LinkedIn)9 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  9. 9. A good CV has your… • Education • Degrees • Current/latest first • M.Sc (Technology) student • School • Year of graduation/number of study points or credits • Major and minor subjects • Matriculation examination (high school)10 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  10. 10. A good CV has your… • Work experience • Your title/position • Name of employer • Employment period • A short description of your company and department • Your tasks and responsibilities concretely - what you did - what you achieved - in proportion to the company11 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  11. 11. A good CV has… • Verbs! • Accelerate, accumulate, acquire, act, adapt, add, administrate, advise, alter, amend, analyse, anticipate, arrange, assign, assist, audit, automate, begin, budget, build, buy, calculate, capture, change, clarify, code, combine, communicate, compete, conduct, connect, construct, consult, control, construct, convince, coordinate, counsel, customise, cut, edit, decide, decrease, define, deliver, design, determine, develop, direct, discover, distribute, draft, edit, educate, eliminate, employ, ensure, establish, estimate, examine, experiment, facilitate, finance, finish, form, found, generate…12 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  12. 12. For example… • I worked on a software project • What was the product? • Who is the product for? • In which part of the project did you participate? • How much responsibility did you have? • Which tools did you use? • Who else participated in the project? • How important was it for the company?13 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  13. 13. A good CV has your… • Language skills • IT skills • Proficiency (excellent, good, basic)14 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  14. 14. A good CV has your… • Positions of trust • Active participation in e.g. student organisations • Excellent when you don’t yet have much work experience • Show that you have networks15 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  15. 15. A good CV has your… • Hobbies • Active hobbies Nature photography… Off-road cycling… German detective stories…16 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  16. 16. A good CV can even have… • A summary of your • Key skills OR • Career objective OR • Professional profile • In the beginning of your CV • Must be short, concise and have focus • Avoid bullshit bingo17 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  17. 17. A good CV does the thinking for the reader • Don’t assume that the reader understands what you mean • Different positions have different meanings in different companies • Something that is ordinary for you can be very special somewhere else • Remember – you are not there to answer any questions or explain things • Don’t take unnecessary risks18 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  18. 18. 19 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  19. 19. Cover letter • Always addressed to the applied position and/or employer • Answers the criteria the employer is looking for •  What you have to offer for the employer20 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  20. 20. Cover letter First paragraph – Introduce yourself • Be brief • Professional perspective • Why the position and company interest you – show your motivation!21 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  21. 21. Cover letter Second paragraph – Your competence • Study the job advert • Match the position’s requirements with your relevant competence • Be concrete; give examples22 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  22. 22. Cover letter Third paragraph – You as an employee • Your personality • The way you work23 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  23. 23. Cover letter Last paragraph – Final details • When you can start • Salary request only if it has been asked for • End salutation24 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  24. 24. Always call, if given the chance! You’ll get ideas on what to emphasise on your cover letter25 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  25. 25. Five easy tips • Keep it short • Be clear about what job you are applying for • Show that you have researched the company • Address it to the right person • Use standard business fonts www.careerealism.com January 19,26 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  26. 26. Applying via employers’ web pages • Applications go to a database  searches with keywords • Carefully fill in the whole form • Use complete words, avoid abbreviations • “Here you can tell more about yourself”  attach your cover letter27 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  27. 27. Here’s the beef28 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  28. 28. The employer is interested in… • Your role and responsibilities on a concrete level • The results and meaning of your work; significance for the employer • Who you’ve worked with • What tools you’ve worked with • The scale and proportion of your work; comparison to other tasks29 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  29. 29. …so that she can evaluate whether your competence can be applied to the job she is offering.30 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  30. 30. More tips and information: Aalto University Career Services http://www.teekkarintyokirja.fi http://www.facebook.com/teekkarintyokirja31 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara
  31. 31. Thank you! Slideshare: heinihm32 January 19, 2012 Heini Hult-Miekkavaara

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