How to prepare a CV and apply to jobs

Published on LinkedIn by Irena Lovrenčič Držanič Technical Associate (Institute of Media Communications - UM).

How to prepare a CV and apply to jobs

When you decide to apply for an open position, the process can be quite overwhelming. To present yourself to employers in both academia and the private sector, prepare your CV and/resume, as well as a cover letter.

The most important rules you need to follow is to use factual information and prepare an easy to read the document. Your application should be tailored to each position you are applying to.

Among the things applicants often forget to do is research the company that they are applying to. Research the industry the company is working in, the company and the position you are applying to. Is the company engaged in the community via charity work or did it receive any awards? Also research any recent major business changes that were publicized, such as new business partners, changes of the company name etc. All this information can be used during the job interview.

What is the difference between resume and CV (curriculum vitae)?

Both terms mean the same; in Europe and New Zealand preferred term is CV and in USA resume.

What are the most common mistakes when preparing a CV?

  • Your CV has grammar errors: invest in proofreading or check it with proofreading tools
  • You add every work experience: only add relevant work experience unless you are just starting your career; update it regularly with information on current job
  • Your CV is more than two pages long: make it easy to read by limiting to two pages and choosing an easy to read design
  • You did not pay attention to design: use creative design to create your CV with free online tools such as, CV maker, zety or Europass
  • You do not research the company and job ad before applying: use the same vocabulary and keywords to show understanding of the industry and tailor your CV to requirements
  • You used false information: use only factual information, also be sure to double check contact information
  • You do not ask colleagues and/or career counsellor to review your CV: reviewers can detect typos, grammar mistakes, design mistakes and much more.

Letter of application or cover letter is an additional document you send with CV. It provides specific information on why you should be selected for the open position. Highlight relevant qualification and information that is not included in the CV.

If you would like to learn more about CVs and applying to jobs, we highly suggest you read the following resources:

Corfield, R. (2009). Preparing the perfect CV: How to make a great impression and get the job you want. Kogan Page Publishers.
Corfield, R. (2009). Preparing the perfect job application: Application forms and letters made easy. Kogan Page Publishers.
Wallwork, A. (2014). CVs, Resumes, and LinkedIn: A Guide to Professional English. Springer.

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