Here’s how to produce a knockout CV and cover letter in three easy steps

It can be hard to sift through numerous CVs and applications for jobs, and the ones that stand out are well written, error free and concise.

Write Job Apps Employers Want To Read

Follow these three steps to give your job application the best chance of being read.

1. Shorten your CV and cover letter for screen-friendly reading.

Write like you’re packing for a long trip – you know, put everything you want in a big heap, and then discard half of it.

Most CVs and cover letters will be read on a screen – so use the principles of writing for the web:

  • Shorter is better – halve the amount of text you'd have on a printed page.

  • Use bullet points.

  • Use meaningful headings.

Maximum lengths of a standard CV and cover letter:

Cover letter – one page.

CV – two pages.

2. Check spelling and grammar using your computer.

Many people struggle with spelling and grammar so don’t worry. Simply use a program, such as Microsoft Word, that can point out spelling and grammar mistakes.

Consider an online tool such as Polish My Writing which can:

  • check spelling, grammar and style

  • suggest better options

  • teach you grammar.

3. Ask a friend to check and recheck your work.

After you’ve shortened and checked your cover letter and CV, ask the pickiest friend you know and trust to give you good advice, to check it.

They will probably be flattered – and they’ll most likely be impressed with your spelling and grammar if you’ve used our advice above!

If you make corrections after this, ask your friend to check again as you never know what you can miss if you’ve read something several times.