Putting yourself on paper…

There are seven ways of putting yourself on paper so as to impress interviewers who read about you and then want to speak/meet you for a general interview and/or a competency-based interview through a telephone interview, Skype interview or a face-to-face interview. These seven ways are:

  1. General Curriculum Vitae
  2. Tailored Curriculum Vitae
  3. Tailored Cover Letter
  4. Executive Summary
  5. LinkedIn Profile
  6. Application Form
  7. Target Letter

Let’s discuss each one in turn briefly and how they are all different, to help you use them according to your needs and preferences and ultimately to secure a general interview or a competency-based interview in a role and organisation of your choice.

General Curriculum Vitae

A General Curriculum Vitae is primarily used when working with recruitment agencies, where the document covers all of your experience relevant to the various types of jobs you want

Tailored Curriculum Vitae

A Tailored Curriculum Vitae is where you tailor your Curriculum Vitae against a live, open job that you wish to apply for, where you use specific words and statements from the job description and the organisation’s website.

Tailored Cover Letter

A Tailored Cover Letter is where you tailor a Cover Letter against a live, open job that you wish to apply for, where you use specific words and statements from the job description and the organisation’s website.

Executive Summary

This a one full page document summarising your Curriculum Vitae, normally used for people applying for high level managerial / directorship roles.

LinkedIn Profile

www.linkedin.com is like having your Curriculum Vitae On-Line, where you set up a profile and transfer relevant general information from your Curriculum Vitae. You would also include your LinkedIn Profile link on your Curriculum Vitae.

Application Form

Many public sector organisations are requiring the completion of Competency-based Application Forms, rather than Curriculum Vitae’s when they advertise new opportunities. They require you to give examples to certain and specific on-the-job competencies.

Target Letter

This letter is used when you want to find the unadvertised jobs and it is where you target organisations that you want to work in and write a personal / posted letter to decision-makers, not HR.

competency-based application form

Are Competency-based Application Forms making the CV Redundant?

Competency-based Application Forms

For many people who work in the public sector and want to ‘career or job’ progress through its various departments / sections or people who want to work in the public sector, the now new norm is to apply by completing a competency-based application form. Rarely nowadays is a CV requested. A Covering Letter i.e. an expression of interest may be requested, but the CV is simply not required, as the application form covers everything that the hiring managers need.

For many people who work in the private sector and want to ‘career or job’ progress in the organisation or people who want to work in the private sector, the norm is still to apply by developing a Cover Letter and a CV. The private sector has not yet embraced competency-based application forms, though there is a huge focus on competencies at interview stage, similar to the private sector.

One would have thought that by now the private sector would have embraced and designed competency-based application forms for their specific industry / departments. However, as the use of competencies in recruiting and selecting are over 20 years in existence now, it is unlikely that the private sector will use them now, like the public sector do.

Competency-based application forms have the following advantages over CV’s:

• Allows the applicant give actual examples of where they have used a key skill in the past that is relevant to the role on offer
• There is consistency in the application forms for the interviewers
• It allows the interview to be more structured

CV’s have the following advantages over competency-based application forms:

• Are never more that 2-3 pages in length, whereas competency-based application forms can be over 20 pages
• They can give the interviewer a quicker overview of the applicant
• It is easier for the applicant to apply for the role, as competency-based application forms can take days / weeks to complete.