Tips for your CV and cover letter

Tips for your CV

Do’s and Don’ts of CVs

  • Start your CV with a catchy line or a short paragraph about yourself, where you introduce the reader to your life story or career story, your ambitions and goals. Try to make it memorable and interesting because it is likely the recruiter has read hundreds of CVs before yours

  • Use a readable font that reflects professionalism
  • Make sure your CV is personal. May it be the style of writing or the format or design, make sure your personality or image is reflected in the CV
  • Adapt the CV to the vacancy - try to use the key words from the vacancy in the CV or highlight experience you think the company you are applying for might appreciate
  • Do not mention your grades on your CV, unless you have graduated cum laude or 8 and higher
  • Make sure you double check your CV before sending it, typo’s and grammar mistakes won’t do you good in terms of your career opportunities
  • If you are applying for a very creative position, have your CV reflect that – design it in a professional way or have your more InDesign-savvy friends help you but do not overdo it, your CV must reflect professionalism

Important things to keep in mind

  • A CV should be ideally 1 to 2 pages long (unless it is an academic CV, this can be longer)
  • Tailor your CV to every vacancy – make sure that your CV reflects not only the vacancy but also the company you are applying for
  • Make a decision whether you will include your picture or not – it is never mandatory to include your photo, but for some jobs it might be more important than for others
  • Use only relevant experiences in your CV, it is better to keep it short than to include every single summer job you had done since you were twelve
  • Remember that CV and your cover letter are to complement one another

CV Check

If you wish to have your CV checked, feel free to email Renee Mast via internship@eshcc.eur.nl and schedule an appointment online.

 

Cover letter

A cover letter is the way to show your prospective employer that you are a great addition to their team. When writing a cover letter, it is important to note the following:

  • Your cover letter should ideally be half to one page long, unless stated differently on the vacancy
  • A cover letter is not a longer CV, it should give the reader an idea about who you are as a person, employee and colleague
  • When writing, let the vacancy be your guide in structuring your cover letter. Make sure to use your past experience to motivate why you are the best candidate
  • Focus on the vacancy and its keywords and motivate how and where you gained the experience, knowledge and skills your prospective employer is looking for
  • Make your cover letter easy to read, avoid unnecessary academic jargon and vaguely phrased sentences
  • The style of cover letter should be adapted to the kind of position you are applying for. If the company you are applying for is very conservative, your cover letter should reflect this
  • Remember that any experience counts when illustrating your qualities to your prospective employer, so do not worry too much if you do not have very extensive work experiences. Volunteer work or a side job also count as experiences
  • Do not forget about your soft skills. When writing, ask yourself whether your cover letter will truly help the prospective employer understand who you are as a person