5 handy CV tips to turn every novice jobseeker into a pro

Don't try to cover your lack of experience by listing the subjects you took at school (Pexels.com)

These CV and cover letter tips should not be ignored, especially if you’re a graduate on the job hunt.

With a shopping list of things to consider, being a newcomer in the job market is hard work. Which is why we've collated a few CV and cover letter tips to ease the job hunting process.

1. Have recruiters at hello

Don't try to cover your lack of experience by listing the subjects you took at school. Instead, tell the recruiter or employer what you did with those subjects; in other words, what you achieved. If you were entered into a competition because of an outstanding essay, or you did a short stint with a company, let recruiters know.

Also read: What makes a great cover letter?

2. Explain why you will add value to the company

Rather than being fixated on what you've done in the past, focus on what value you'll add to the company. Here you can use your covering letter to make the hiring manager understand why you should be chosen above the other candidates.

3. Keep it professional, not stiff and boring 

A stiff, boring cover letter won’t get you anything besides a long yawn. For instance, writing this cover letter is to state that I am indeed interested in the position that your company has advertised on the website isn't going to catch the recruiter's attention. Keep it light and simple; that doesn't mean using slang words such as gist, to get your point across. 

Also read: Phrases you should ban from your CV

4. Shorter is better

When writing your cover letter, keep it short. The aim is to get the recruiter's attention, not lose it. Try not to exceed 200 words and make sure you break your paragraphs up. You may not have plenty of experience, but eagerness and ambition will count in your favour. Also try to briefly show your knowledge of the company. For example, did they recently receive an award or make waves in the industry? Mention it.

5. Proofread!

After you’ve written your cover letter and CV, check for spelling and grammar errors. Ask someone who is strict about language to read it too. Hiring managers and recruiters hate bad grammar and typos, so don’t let a slip of the finger cost you your first entry level job.

Stay with Careers24 for more essential tips on how to write a cover letter and CV.