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Getting Started with CVs and Cover Letters Every graduate student needs a curriculum vitae, or CV Your CV represents your accomplishments and experience as an academic and helps to establish your professional image. Well before you apply for faculty positions, you will use your CV to apply for fellowships and grants, to accompany submissions for publications or conference papers, when being considered for leadership roles or consulting projects, and more. CV’s are also used when applying for some positions outside academia, such as in think tanks or research institutes, or for research positions in industry. As you progress through graduate school, you will, of course, add to your CV, but the basic areas to include are your contact information, education, research experience, teaching experience, publications, presentations, honors and awards, and contact information for your references, or those people willing to speak or write on your behalf. Some formatting pointers: There is no single best format. Refer to samples for ideas, but craft your CV to best reflect you and your unique accomplishments. Unlike a resume, there is no page limit, but most graduate students’ CVs are two to five pages in length. Your CV may get no more than thirty seconds of the reader’s attention, so ensure the most important information stands out. Keep it concise and relevant! Be strategic in how you order and entitle your categories. The most important information should be on the first page. Within each category, list items in reverse chronological order.
CV Samples The Basics The curriculum vitae, also known as a “CV” or “vita,” is a comprehensive statement of your educational background and your teaching and research experience. It is the standard representation of credentials within academia. The CV is only used when applying for academic positions in four-year institutions. Do NOT use a CV when applying to community colleges; use a resume instead. Tailor your CV to the specific positions to which you are applying. A CV submitted for a position at a teaching-focused liberal arts college will strongly emphasize teaching, whereas a CV for a position at researchintensive university will accentuate research. Position more relevant sections earlier in the CV. CV format can vary by field, so also seek disciplinary-specific advice from advisers, professors and others within your field. There are no length restrictions for CVs. Formatting Your CV must be well organized and easy to read. Choose an effective format and be consistent. Use bolds, italics, underlines, and capitalization to draw attention. List all relevant items in reverse chronological order in each section Strategically locate the most important information near the top and/or left side of the page. In general, place the name of the position, title, award, or institution on the left side of the page and associated dates on the right. Use a footer to include page numbers & your last name, to help the reader in case pages get separated.
What Makes a Curriculum Vitae Stand Out? You'll generate a better response with your curriculum vitae if it is well organized and is packed with relevant information to match and support your professional, academic or research objective. As a Job Placement Specialist for the University of Washington, Bothell I worked with students submitting curriculum vitaes for graduate programs. In this capacity, I applied several unique strategies when writing each curriculum vitae. The first was to prioritize and list the most relevant academic, research, volunteer or work history experience first within the curriculum vitae. The second was to include an Objective and Summary of Qualifications section at the top of each C.V. The third was to incorporate many of the strategies and resume writing techniques you'll learn by perusing the resume tips in this site as well as in my sister site which offers 40 Free Resume and Job Search Workshops. These strategies proved to be extremely effective and boosted the acceptance rate of students applying for highly competitive graduate programs - many of which accepted only one to twelve students out of 300 to 600 applicants. My endeavors and success in this arena were recognized and commented on by the Director of Student Activities as a result of students reporting their acceptance into graduate programs. Preparing effective C.V.'s presents a unique challenge due to length, which can make them boring and result in important data being buried or lost in such a long document. As a result, prioritizing your top skills and experience to be presented in the first or uppermost section of your C.V. makes sense. Then detail additional educational, employment or academic experience. In this way you will maximize important criteria which you do not want to be overlooked by academic or hiring committees. Who Needs A Curriculum Vitae?
The curriculum vitae (CV) is the most significant document in your academic application packet. The CV is a running record of your academic and professional achievements and experiences. Unlike the resume, which is used for jobs outside academia, the CV can be more than one page. Typically, CVs for doctoral candidates, post-docs, and recent grads are 2-6 pages. The CV should grow in length as you progress in your career. If you are having a difficult time getting started with your CV, check out the examples at the end of this handout and ask your advisor or mentor if you can see a copy of his/her CV. BASIC TIPS • Remember there is not one right way to compose your CV. • As you are writing your CV, check with a faculty member or other colleague within your discipline because some fields have different expectations regarding CV format and/or content. • Consider tailoring your CV for each job description. This takes time and energy but targeting your materials in the beginning should save you time in the end (in other words, you submit fewer applications and get a job in a shorter amount of time). • Keep in mind that the purpose of every document in your application packet is to show how you are passionate, forward-thinking, valuable, and a great match with the job description. • Always have somebody proofread your materials before you send them out. Having a misspelled word on the first page of your vitae is a good way to get your materials discarded.
The road to becoming a fully certified registered nurse is by no means simple. You pass several years of undergraduate studies as well as practical training courses before becoming qualified, but even then you must apply for a job which is not guaranteed.
A cover letter introduces you to an employer. It includes your qualifications for the job, your resume for applying, and a request for an interview. E-mail is acceptable, and the letter itself is in the body of the e-mail message. U.S. mail hard copies are acceptable as well – Hard copy should match the look of your resume (same heading, font, margins, and paper). SHOULD I EMAIL OR SEND HARD COPIES VIA THE MAIL? E-mail is acceptable, and the letter itself is in the body of the e-mail message. U.S. mail hard copies are acceptable as well – Hard copy should match the look of your resume (same heading, font, margins, and paper). WHAT’S IN A COVER LETTER ? Cover letters should do the following: – Be customized to the job opportunity and / or the employer – Be personalized when possible – Explain how you heard about the job opportunity – Highlight and summarize your related qualifications – Explain why you are interested in the job opportunity or the employer – Ask for an interview.Lets say, you’ve found a job that you really want, and you have a dynamite resume to send. A cover letter is a very effective way to let the employer know WHY you are writing and WHY you’re qualified for the position. This one step may give you a “leg up” on the competition.
Dear Contact Name, Re: [Job position applying for] Enclosed please find a copy of my resume in response to the [name of job] position as advertised in [where you saw the advertisement] on [date of ad] 2007. I have [name 3 HARD skills you have]. While working at [name of past employer/experience], I [give specific example of one of the hard skills and how you gained/used the skill]. I am also [name 3 SOFT skills]. When working at [name of past employer/experience], I [give specific example of one of the soft skills and how you used that skill]. I would appreciate the opportunity of an interview. Please contact me at [your phone number]. Thank you for your kind consideration of my application. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, Signature Your Name Encl.
Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. Last Name: (2 spaces) This is the "why I am writing to you" paragraph . . . immediately tell the employer the position for which you want to be considered and what makes you the best candidate for that position. If you are responding to a job ad, be sure to reference the name of the publication and the date the ad appeared. Also, if you have been referred, include that person’s name and their relationship to you. Short paragraph (2-3 sentences). (2 spaces) This is the "why I am qualified" paragraph which briefly highlights and details some of your most relevant experience and qualities as they relate to the job for which you are applying. Detail how you could contribute to the company and relate your experience and skills to the specific job qualifications. TIP: Pick 2-3 points you want to make and provide specific examples to support those points. This is the longest paragraph of the letter (you may break it into 2 paragraphs if it looks too lengthy. (2 spaces) This is the "back to business" paragraph which gets back to your reason for writing. Refer to your enclosed resume, request an interview, let the reader know what will happen next (you will contact them, etc.) and thank the reader for his/her time and consideration. You should give your phone number in this paragraph (how to reach you). (2 spaces)
27 April 2012 Dear Mr Lennon I am writing to express my interest in the ............... position that is currently available with your company. I appear to be a perfect match for this role which was recently advertised on the www.dayjob.com website. My passion for the ......... sector is equally matched by my experience in it, and I am confident that I can help your company meet any challenges it faces in the future. I am presently employed as a ............... with................., where I have gained a reputation not only for my impressive work rate and integrity but also for my ................. skills. The attached resume will provide a more complete overview of my accomplishments. However what it may not show is that I am a self motivated individual, who is able to perform well under pressure & who can bring to the table solid capabilities in areas such as ............, & ................. Currently I am looking to join an exciting and ambitious organisation such as yours, therefore I would like to arrange an interview with you so I can explain in more detail the contribution I can make to your company. I appreciate you taking the time to review my credentials and I would like to thank you for your time and consideration. Yours sincerely Winston Wilson 123 Made Up Street Birmingham, B11AA 8RJ T: 0044 121 638 0026 E: email@example.com
16th February 2012 Dear Mr Gordon I am writing to express my interest in the Solicitors position listed on www.dayjob.com. Since 2008, I have served as a solicitor for Acton Lawyers, where I have been repeatedly recognized for my legal services, competency in looking after a client’s interests and my professional conduct. I am responsible for private client work including; conveyancing, probates and wills, and also regularly assist with promotion and marketing activities. All of this experience has provided me with the opportunity to witness and understand the critical role that solicitors play in ensuring justice for all parties in need of representation. I possess excellent verbal and written communication skills and a pleasant, assertive manner. Good at problem solving skills, I am able to handle a high workload, am results orientated with a good commercial acumen. My skills along with a strong sense of professional integrity have contributed significantly to my past achievements. Over time I have learned to be both efficient and diplomatic and can handle a number of different tasks at the same. As an ambitious and capable individual I firmly believe that my expertise in almost every corner of the legal profession would add significant value to a company as supportive of innovative solutions and the justice system as yours is. I would appreciate the opportunity to join an esteemed and reputable legal firm such as yours. Once you have had an opportunity to review my attached resume, please contact me if you have any questions or to arrange an interview. I look forward to speaking with you in the near future. Yours sincerely Mark Morrison LLB (Hons)