In my career I’ve had the joy of going through more than a few recruitment drives as an employer, some experiences have been better than others but I ALWAYS learn something.
As a small, growing and young company BeaconHouse Events want to employ people that fit our ethos, our personalities and our way of thinking. We want quality recruits that understand what we’re looking for.
We never write ambiguous job adverts, we always ask for exactly what we’re looking for. We try to inject some of our own company personality into our job adverts, in doing this we expect the responses to reflect the tone.
My advice for putting together a CV and covering letter would be as follows…
No more than two sides
Don’t waste space listing all your BTEC, NCQ, baccalaureate, GCSE, AS and A-level grades. It’s great that you have them, but that’s all we need to know, just mention them, condense as much as you can and move on. If you have further education qualifications, list your degree and grade but again don’t elaborate – we can ask detail in the interview.
Call a spade a spade. Look at the difference:
A large or small metal tool with a wooden or plastic handle that I have used on occasion to turn over the dirt in my garden.
I know what you’re talking about. Keep it high level, I know what a spade is.
Keep it relevant
Only list the employment/responsibilities/experience that is relevant to the position you’re applying for – everything else is noise and can be talked about in the interview. Take heed of the intricacies of the job description/advert – if it’s written as light hearted and creative don’t write a super formal covering letter.
We know what we do
Don’t just reiterate everything you read on the website – I already know what events we organise. As an applicant to the position I would already expect that you would have looked at the website, so copying and pasting the words that I probably wrote for the website doesn’t tell me anything about you other than that you can use the copy and paste function.
Your interests – are they interesting?
I like reading about applicants’ interests. I tells me more about the person they are but try to make your interests stand out. A lot of people enjoy reading, going to the gym and traveling. I appreciate a CV that stands out, a keen interest in bungee jumping or extreme cake making would give me something to talk to you about. I’m not suggesting you rack up loads of debt trying new hobbies just think of your more alternate interests or creatively describe why you enjoy reading!
I care more about the covering letter than the CV
The covering letter shows me much more about your writing style (very important for gauging your copy writing skills as an employee). It also gives a snapshot into your personality and shows me whether or not you understand the job you’re applying for and if you’re applying for the right reasons.
List your references on your CV
I don’t know why but when people say ‘references available on request’ it makes me think they have something to hide. It also means I have to contact you to you to request the information and THEN call the person. I’m not lazy, you just haven’t made it easy for me to contact someone that’s going to tell me wonderful things about you and if it were me I’d make this VERY easy. Why do you think we put testimonials on our website?
Nice font – Nice layout
Don’t worry about a border or cramming the pages with information. Less really is more, after reading the tenth CV I scan read…I know it’s not fair but it’s true – I’m ruthless with a highlighter and if I get bored you get a red line.
Let it be noted; this advice lists my personal preferences as an employer. I have no formal training as a recruiter, but have recruited many excellent staff over the past ten years. Should you choose to follow the advice in this blog I hope it gives you food for thought, it does NOT guarantee recruitment at BeaconHouse Events.