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Part Two

Your CV should be
your "passport
new opportunities"



  • Don't include too many leisure activities as this suggests that you don't have enough time to work.

  • Don't include majority hobbies like football, cinema and reading as this says very little about you. Try to include one sport and one intellectual activity. Amateur dramatics is a good hobby to mention -lots of team work and vaguely intellectual!

  • If you have experience in more than one field, prepare several CVs, each with a different emphasis according to the requirements of the company you are applying to.

Improving Your CV

  • Take the time to collect good personal references and find suitable people to act as referees for you.

  • Get an English native to check your CV. If this means paying, pay! Any CV with spelling or grammar mistakes in it will be automatically rejected. Your CV is your foot in the door and your calling card, if it doesn't convince the person reading it, you won't get anywhere.

  • Get several people to look at your CV and comment on it. Even if they don't speak English, they may be able to give you feedback about the presentation. If you know someone who works in a human resources department, pick his/her brains about how to improve your curriculum.

The Covering Letter

Your CV should be accompanied by a covering letter. This should tell the employer why you are specifically suitable for the job in question. Typically your covering letter should be three paragraphs on one side of a page. You should put as much effort into your covering letters as you put into your CV.

Research the company you are writing to on the Internet, in the business press or by getting hold of their annual report. Refer to their products, market share and opportunities in your letter. Again, get feedback on your covering letters from people you trust.

Creating Your Own Opportunities

In Britain, one in six people got their jobs through speculative applications. Don't just post off loads of general CVs with a standard covering letter. This is usually a waste of time and only benefits the post office! Rather, you should try and identify a specific need within an organisation and then demonstrate why you are, the person to cover it. These needs might be:

a) a vacancy for which the employer has not yet started to advertise;

b) a post for which the employer has advertised but which s/he has been unable to fill satisfactorily.

In a more general sense, you can try to convince an employer that there is a job which needs to be done which s/he has not identified. S/he may have identified the problem but not the fact that someone needs to be hired to solve it.

You can get the necessary information from specialist magazines for your profession and from trade fairs oriented to your line of work. Talk to people and accumulate as much insider information as possible. Being seen is always important. Give potential employers every opportunity to know that you exist.

Use newspaper and journal information intelligently. Adverts for managers for new teams or business units suggest that the person chosen will soon be looking for the people who are going to report to him/her. Get in there first. Indirect information can also be very useful. If an article tells you about a resignation, a retirement, a promotion or a shake-up in a company there are likely to be job opportunities somewhere in the structure. Information about companies which have won contracts, relocated or opened new offices may also tell you about job opportunities. Up to 30% of staff leave a company when the location of the workplace changes - even though the new site is only a few kilometres from the old one.

Try to identify how a company underutilises its capacity or has missed a business opportunity. Use all the information you have available to find out who is the best person in the organisation to write to and then get in touch with that person. 

Source: Think in English


leisure activities: hobbies, free time activities (actividades de tiempo libre)
you are applying to
: you are asking for work (a la que te estás postulando)
: opinions, reactions (opiniones, reacciones)
pick his
/her brains: consult them, ask them about his/her opinion (explota, saca partido de sus conocimientos)
speculative application
: asking for a job even though the company has not advertised for candidates (postulación espontánea)
loads of
: (colloquial) a lot of (montones de)
: inside, in (dentro de, en el contexto de)
to be hired
: to be employed (ser contratado)
to solve it: to find the solution to (para solucionarlo)

trade fair: trade show (US English) convention at which companies show and sell their products and try to increase their business (convenciones o ferias de negocios)
: quitting, leaving a job (renuncia)
shake-up: (colloquial) reorganisation (reestructuración, reorganización)
up to 30% of staff: at the most a 30%, a maximum of 30% of personnel (Como máximo un 30% del personal)
: location (ubicación)
underutilises: not to make use of employ (dejar de utilizar)
to find out: discover (para detectar, para averiguar)
get in touch with: contact (ponte en contacto con)


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