Few suggestions for the first step in a job application.

  • Though it depends on the role, for most two pages are enough: one for the cover letter, one for the CV.
  • Cover letter and CV are NOT supposed to say the same things. They are two sides of a coin.
  • This is a weird coin, as it as other sides too. So make sure that what you say in your application is consistent with what you say in public online (profiles descriptions, public posts, LinkedIn profile duh!, and so on).
  • The CV needs to feature the more relevant work experiences (if you have many, make a selection and add one or two sentences to summarise the rest); your education; your contacts; your relevant skills (list them, no elaboration needed). All the rest can be added IF you still have space in the page, but be considerate.
  • It is not necessary to customise the CV for every application, though it is possible.
  • It is absolutely necessary to customise the cover letter for every application.
  • Customisation for the cover letter means: the name of the person you are writing to (you can almost always find it); the name of the company you are applying to work for (sounds trivial, right?); a couple of sentences on why you are interested in the company; the key points in your career and life that make you a good candidate for the role AND the company.
  • These key points are the corner stone of the cover letter. Make them 2 or 3 maximum. Be sure that your narrative fits well with the position you are applying for AND (again) the company. Do not just state what you did or when, more importantly say what you/your team achieved and why it does matter.
  • In closing the cover letter, include everything that is very important to you (salary request, availability to travel, need for home office, etc.).
  • Once CV and cover letter are ready, read them once again. Delete all that is unnecessary (there is probably around a 10-15% at least).
  • Read everything again.

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