This page provides information on how to:
- Write a Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- How to write a Cover Letter
- How to apply for a bursary or internship
Below, each of these topics is discussed in detail. CV first:
How to write a Curriculum Vitae
To me, to get you an interview, a CV should be:
- A well-presented, selling document
- A source of interesting, relevant information
- A script for talking about yourself
And now, here are some of the rules I follow when I write a CV:
- Every job must have its own CV written from the ground up (no copy and paste that is)
- Write the things that are relevant to the bursary/internship/job in question (don't add small things from five years ago)
- At most it must be two to three pages
- Don't include subjects/course completed since I'll attach my academic record
- Make sure that my contact details are easy to find (top of the first page)
- I save all documents as PDF (keep your originals somewhere safe). If your copy of Microsoft Word does not support Save As PDF, please download this piece of software. I can give you a thousand reasons why this is important.
But, on its own, a CV can be limited on it says about you. So, I always write a cover letter as an extra document to clearly explain to the employer what it is that I can do for them.
How to write a Cover Letter
Here are some of the rules I follow when I write a Cover Letter (don't forget the rules you were taught in primary school):
- Make sure that you know the name of the person to whom the application must be forwarded. As such, the salutation on the Cover Letter must highlight this.
- Emphasize the reasons I think I am the right person for the job in question
- These afore-mentioned reasons, highlight should the skills from my CV as wells as level of expertise on each skill. So, any kind of work experience that is most relevant is highlighted.
- Mention that you’ll will send a follow-up e-mail or fax or make a call to confirm that that application has been received.
- Indicate how you should be contacted. It could be by phone or e-mail should there be a need to do so.
- After everything else (Yours Truly, faithfully, sincerely...), I add the line 'CV Attached'.
Word of Advice: After finishing writing your cover letter, take it to your university's writing centre - most universities have this - or the English department to have it proofread or checked for grammatical errors. Or ask a friend to check it for you. If you're in high school, ask your English teacher to help you.
How to apply for an internship
- Write a cover letter - as professional as you can.
- Write a CV
- Attach your academic record including your ID.
- Follow the guidelines given for bursary/internship on how to submit your application and PLEASE make sure the post has not expired as you do not want to apply for something that closed two weeks before. You must always make a good impression!
- Apply as early as you possible can. Waiting until the last day of submission is not a good thing as you're likely to make mistakes - again, you want to make a good impression
- After submission, contact the employer/company and ask them if they've received your application.
- Be professional. ALL THE TIME.
- Lastly, check your email and have your phone on all the time in case they try to contact you.
Now, here are documents for easy access...
- Fancy One Page CV - Blue Sky
- Fancy One Page CV - Expert
- Fancy One Page CV
- Traditional CV Template or
- Cover Letter Template
Disclaimer: the above documents may not be what you think a CV should look like or consist of. So, if you differ, let me know via the Send Feedback.