Faced with a blank page and a need to ‘apply by CV and cover letter’, where do you start? With so much you could tell your employer, how do you decide the priorities in your CV, the main themes in your cover letter, the narrative of your life which will appeal to the reader. Below I’ll outline some key principles to help remove Writer’s Block and get you off the starting block (to mix a few ‘block’ metaphors ), then point you in the direction of some excellent supporting materials.
Research the job/occupation and the employer – know what skills and experience you’ll need to succeed
- Self-analysis – reflect on your life to date – where is your evidence for the skills/interest/experience needed in this job?
- Link – make the connections between yourself – your interests, skills and experience – and the job
- Prioritise – different jobs and employers will be interested in different areas of your experience – different narrative themes through your life – find the right theme to entice an employer to interview you.
- Present well: make it look good. No long blocks (!) of dense text – you’ve about 30 seconds to make an impact according to some employers – use bullet points and white space to make it easy for the reader.
- Cover letter – always send one with your CV, unless asked not to. One side of A4 for the cover letter, setting out in enthusiastic prose why you are interested in and suitable for the job and the organisation – with evidence!
Still stuck? Need more ‘remedies’ to help shift the Block? Consult the CV section of our website – information and advice on effective CVs and cover letters, plus examples, downloads and videos – specially formulated to help you get started on ‘shifting the Block’!