Your CV: the entry to a new career

In the process of making your next career step, the first engagement is when a new employer is looking at you (yes you!) by reading your CV and your motivation letter.

We will now focus on the CV part. Earlier we paid attention on the motivation letter, see our article The importance of being earnest: How to write a motivation letter.

So, your CV, sometimes also called resume, is the first step  in future relations between you, as a candidate, and a potential employer. As you usually go with CV and motivation letter, at least in the jobs that HollandHires is providing, your CV is the key, and often the only one, to enter the door of a new career.

When a job position is published, the company usually is looking to have a good number of candidates in order to increase their (!) chances to have a successful new employee. And companies do not always select the best candidate. They may also look at the costs of such candidate or even decide not to select a candidate for offering a labour contract at all, if their minimum requirements are not met.

The Human Resources (HR) department, engaged with recruitment process for a position, is acting in a way also as a filter to select a list of candidates that would fit the requirements, which are usually laid down by their colleagues in technical departments. If the organization has a lot of vacancies, the process of selecting the most suitable ones is even more complex. Therefore, companies work on having usually a very efficient and quick process. This may lead to the result that your CV may only get the attention of one or two people, who decide, sometime within a minute, where its’s worth discussing you to invite for a first interview.

As potentially more positions and many candidates are presenting themselves for these open positions (especially with international companies), the candidates may come from many different backgrounds and are increasingly coming from other countries.

So, in short, in these conditions, the chance to go through this first ‘filter’ depends highly on HOW you present yourself in your CV and motivation letter.

Do we have the ultimate, easy solution for you? No. It’s hard work to prepare a good looking and therefore effective CV and motivation letter, leading you to your dream job.

However, we can share a number of tips (there are many more) to which you can pay attention while preparing your resume:

  1. Be aware of the requirements of the vacancy and how many of them are covered by your experience and skills. Often, companies are advertising for the ‘ideal candidate’. Don’t worry too much if you don’t cover exactly all the stated requirements. But do think how you cover this in your letter (‘I am ready to develop myself on skills that are not fully developed’).
  2. Emphasize important moments, which are key for a certain position – experience, trainings, skills.
  3. Once you have prepared a CV, always adapt this ‘base CV’ (which contains a complete list of your work experience, education and personal details), for specific use for a job . You should never lie or exaggerate in you CV, but you can ‘tweak’ your CV, extend a bit more relevant the experience you have when it’s very relevant for the new job position. In other words, do not sent your CV ‘just like that’. This counts even more for your motivation letter (ohh boy, we have seen so many standard motivation letter, as if candidates were saying: I really do not want to waste time on getting a job, they should just give it to me…..’)
  4. If your listing your professional experience, we would recommend to use an anti-chronological order, i.e. your list of past experiences starts with the last or current job or assignment and tracks your professional path back in time.
  5. Limit your CV up to two pages. Use the motivation letter to say more about your (relevant!) experiences for the new job.
  6. Do not forget to share personal information – age, contact details. Your mobile phone and e-mail are really handy if you want to be contacted for a job interview J. You may want to deal strategically mentioning your day of birth and marital status, or not. Usually, your birthday is in line with your work experience. By law, companies do not need to know what your marital status is. And does that say something about your professional qualities?
  7. Adding a picture is not only to show your good looks, but also helps the companies (and HollandHires) to refer back to interviews, later on in the process. A nice, representative picture on which you’re smiling a bit is definitely helpful. You may want to consult a professional photo studio, but we also have seen good results from mobile phones and even webcams. Just take it seriously. After all, it’s about getting a job and to impress for success.
  8. Language: if there is a requirement for a CV in English, do not try to be a ‘smart person’ by sending your Bulgarian CV. And if there is a requirement for a motivation letter, do take the effort to prepare and send on. It all shows your commitment to getting job, and not just liking ‘betting for the job with the least efforts’, as these ‘applications’ are usually quickly rejected.
  9. And once you feel your set of CV and motivation letter is complete, do not hesitate to ask a friend or relative, ideally with some idea of preparing a (personal) presentation, to have a good, ‘fresh’ look at your produce and discuss the comments that he or she will probably have.

We are looking forward to see your CV and motivation letters, especially if you have found your dream job on our website on in our recent newslett