Learnit Training

2. The letter

  • STAR in a letter
  • The straitjacket of the letter
  • Customised CV

2.1 STAR in a letter

The cover letter is your first contact with an employer. It is the art that you know to present yourself within the strict frameworks of the cover letter. The emphasis is on ' yourself ': A cover letter is successful if you know a glimmer of your personality (something of the unique atmosphere of your P-CV) to put down in the letter. Remember: The purpose of the cover letter is not primarily to be invited to a conversation, but to introduce yourself as yourself. If the employer reads the letter, he has an image of you and he knows that you do not fit the organization, your letter is therefore successful.

You do this by applying the STAR technique: Situation task action result. STAR examples have the advantage that they always show something of your experience, personality and skills. They are strictly personal and the way to show something of yourself. At the same time, they make you active and personally formulated. After all, properties can have a different interpretation/atmosphere for everyone (just like the profession professional footballer). For example: An employer seeks a management secretary who is flexible. Now an applicant could write in his letter: ' I am flexible '. Met the condition, but no one has become anything wiser! An example if the applicant writes according to STAR: ' My boss was stranded at an airport during a business trip in the evening. I immediately booked a replacement flight for him, so that he was on time the next day again. With this story the applicant shows what he understands in a flexible manner, he shows his involvement in his work and gives a glimpse into the kitchen of his work now.

The STAR theory explained step by step:

Situation: First give the situation: what is it about. (was a boss)

Task: What was your job? (Boss on time to get his appointment.)

Actions: What have you done to fulfill your task? (search online from home, book tickets with your own credit card)

Result: What was the result? (Boss on time by appointment)

Exercises: Star in a letter

  1. View the top 5 features from your P-CV which are the 5 most requested properties. (e.g.: commercial, results-oriented, both in team and independently operating, stress resistant, communicative etc.)
  2. Make a STAR with one of these features. First start with an extensive write down of the situation, the task, the actions and the result. Redaction these then to come out to an active, positive and clear STAR.
    Formulating positive means saying what you can use without double denials. For example: not: ' I'm not sloppy ', but: ' I'm accurate '. Active formulation means writing in the present tense with an active verb. Not: ' I cared for coordination ', but ' I coordinate '.
  3. Create at least one STAR with each property and create ten in total. Before you start, take the time to get into the mind. If you have no inspiration, put it next to you and start again later. Make ten anyway: it may take time to write down the STARs, but it also gives you a lot of attention. Think: per aspera ad astra!
  4. Check your STARs again after three days. If necessary, make an adjustment there and choose the best three. Let them read to someone and ask how your STAR is happening to the reader, and ask for all the comments that the reader has in reading your STAR. Has your goal been achieved? Work out any improvements.
  5. Add all your written STARs to your folder with your P-cv.

2.2 The straitjacket of the letter

A cover letter has a strict straitjacket where you need to adhere. Check carefully if you're using the usual layout, double-check game and style errors. In short a list of the main points in terms of content/format and style:

  • Format:
    • Sender
    • Place and date
    • Addressee (employer)
    • Salutation
    • Opening paragraph
    • Motivation
    • Qualities, Fitness
    • Closing and greeting
    • Signature
    • Reference to annex (n)
  • Make sure you know who you write the letter to. (Not ' dear sir/Madam ', but ' dear Mrs de Jong ')
  • Opening paragraph: indicate the source (newspaper, Internet) that placed the vacancy, indicate the date and indicate which job you are applying for.
  • Use up to one paragraph of five sentences for your justification. This is the most important passage from your letter! Make use of your knowledge from your P-cv.
  • Also use up to one paragraph with your qualities and reasons for suitability
  • Sign the letter with a blue pen
  • Send your CV as an attachment
  • Make use of short phrases
  • No longer than 1 A4, on white paper
  • Wide margins
  • Per paragraph only 1 subject
  • Do not use enter within a paragraph
  • Align the text to the left
  • Make a logical structure
  • Write business, positive and active
  • No listing of your CV in the letter
  • Separating the main business from a subbusiness

Exercises: The straitjacket of the letter:

  1. Do not rely solely on Word spell checker. Make sure you have access to a ' game pointer '; Either in the form of the book ' Game Pointer ', either in the form of a knowledge that knows everything from games and is willing to check you out.
  2. Make sure you have examples of standard letters of application. Also ask if you can see the application letters from your family and friends.

Two Sample letters

2.3 CV made to measure

A CV (curriculum vitae, literally life course) is a concise overview of your personal data, your training and your work experience. A CV is your business card and will determine with your letter whether you are invited to a conversation. The CV is a reflection of what you can and who you are. It is important to create a separate CV for each application in order to make your experience and training specific to that function very good. A CV must radiate unambiguousness. So it's not just a list of everything you've done!

It is most convenient if you create a basic CV, with all the training, jobs, jobs, achievements, qualifications you have. For each application you make a CV to measure from this basic CV. Use an inverted chronology, so put what you did last at the top and work from there back. For example, your current work is most noticeable. This CV is preferably no longer than 1 A4!

In Short, the main points In terms of content and form:
  • The CV consists of at least the following components: Personal data, training, work experience. It is also possible to mention interests and/or references.
  • The CV shows who you are and what you have to offer at a glance.
  • It clearly shows your knowledge and skills, regarding the function.
  • It mentions your best points first. In one case, that will be your training, in the other case your work experience.
  • It only contains information that is of interest to the employer.
  • Reverse chronology
  • Express measurable performance in concrete results: 30% sales increase, 100 attacks per minute, 200% overscore.
  • In a CV Use your telegram style in an active way without personal shapes. Not: I was responsible for ensuring coordination. Well: responsible for coordination.
  • Do not use abbreviations or jargon that are incomprehensible to laymen.
  • Don't lie!
  • Form:
    • Use a word processing service on your PC.
    • Use a neutral font in readable size
    • Use between cups
    • Consistent build-up
    • Wide margins, much white
    • Use bullet marks
    • Flawless spelling and correct writing style

Exercises: CV to size

  1. Make sure you know what the rules of a CV are. View CV examples online and from friends and acquaintances. Example
  2. Create a basic CV, save it with a clearly identifiable name on your computer. e.g. ' BASISCV September 2007 ') Create 1 PCB and add it to your P-CV folder.

Final exercises:

  1. Choose one ad from the exercise at 1.4 ' Where do I start? '. Write a cover letter for this advertisement, with a custom CV for that function. Show this complete letter to at least three people and ask for comments. Do any comment and submit the application.
  2. Apply as much as possible without losing your goal. You want a job that suits you, but you don't want to bet on one horse. Sometimes that one company is against and is that job that didn't seem so nice just super. Don't be too critical, then your odds are wrong. Stay active, positive and apply-apply-apply!
  3. Stop a copy of all your cover letters in your P-cv.