How much can you realistically tell a hiring company about yourself with just a CV. Human resources are usually inundated with CVs, spending mere seconds scanning them before deciding whether to discard or keep it.
Instead of reaching out to the HR team, try to find the direct manager that you would like to report to, putting together a package including your CV and a few supporting documents that help to shine a better light on you as a professional. It’s one way of making a first impression on the company of your dreams. Getting this package right will help you to minimise the reasons why a manager wouldn’t hire you.
Put together these items to stand out from the crowd and truly impress the person who will be hiring you:
Without a doubt, this is the single most important item in your package - yes, even more important than your CV. This is the one chance you have to show that you truly understand the business and job that you are applying for. Your background and motivations for finding a new job are important, but what is really crucial is to dig deep into what the manager is facing on a day to day basis.
Do your research and find out some of the work-related issues the manager might be facing and showcase how you would help them in these situations. For example, if you are a marketer writing to a CMO, and have noticed that their website has poor lead generation capabilities, bring this up in the letter and highlight the skills you have to fix it. Now you’re no longer just another person sending a CV, you’re the person who will fix their problems.
Before sending it, take a look at the common cover letter faux pas you should avoid.
Now that you have caught the attention of the manager, it’s likely that they will want to see examples of your work - this is where the portfolio comes in. Curate your samples well to highlight the skills mentioned in the cover letter. This will give the manager some further details on how you have helped other companies in similar situations, adding credibility to your application.
You don’t need to wait till the end of the interviewing process to send your references. Before you start adding in numbers of previous bosses, make sure you have asked for permission beforehand. Avoid getting references from just the very senior people in the company. While their titles may look good as references, they may be less acquainted with your work. Instead look for people you worked closely with, who will be able to truly highlight your strengths and achievements.