Tracey Thomas

Importance of writing a cover letter

The Importance of a Strong Professional CV and Covering Letter

In today’s job market, jobseekers at all levels and especially senior level executives must not underestimate the importance of having a strong, professional Curriculum Vitae.

As the Partner of a successful executive level recruitment and professional CV writing firm for 15 years, I have found that this is the key to beating the competition and securing the job that you want.
The most important things to remember when writing a CV are threefold;

Firstly your CV must be visually professional and high-impact to appeal to the reader and ensure that you are selected for interview from a potentially large sea of other job applicants.

Secondly, your CV must contain pertinent key words so that your details can be found by searching either on the internet (if you have applied online) or from within a database system if you have registered your details with an executive search firm, employer or employment agency.

Finally your CV must act as a marketing tool and shop window, displaying your education, training, skills, personal attributes and key achievements in a succinct way which is easy to read at first glance. This will catch the attention of the reader quickly and open the door to further questioning.

The covering letter which accompanies your CV is just as important. In our experience an employer wants to feel that you have researched the role and the organisation, and that you understand the challenges that the company faces in the current climate and in the future.

Some useful tips for impressing in the covering letter include:

Show an understanding of the organisation by looking at corporate brochures and the company website; read the latest new articles and annual reports (if available) and be prepared to comment on anything you found interesting; research the competition and the marketplace and finally, be prepared to offer a summary of what specific skills and experience you possess that will add value to the business.

Never be complacent when applying for a new job opportunity, if you do, then you are in serious danger of losing the role you are hoping to secure to someone who has a better CV and covering letter than you.

If you would like us to write a CV for you please look at the options here

Does an MBA equal a larger salary?

Does an MBA equal a larger salary?

I have over 17 years experience of working as a senior level ‘head-hunter’ and running an executive CV writing business, dealing with MBA graduates, and in my opinion, the short answer is ‘yes’.

If one read down the lists of business school MBA programmes under various headings, many institutions are promising salary increases around 100 %.  But is this really the case?

Reports released from Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, outline that the average salary increase recorded by the 105-strong full time MBA course graduate who finished last September was an impressive 66 per cent. However, according to Cathy Butles, MBA careers director at Judge, this masked some real extremes which should be kept in perspective.

Does an MBA equal a larger salary?

In her interview with the Independent in February 2011, she explains; “If we look closely at the salary increase split by pre-MBA region, the results from other parts of the world outside the US and Europe feature figures as high as 200 and 300 per cent.  However, the averages of those from pre-MBA locations such as UK, Europe and North America, while not hitting former heady percentages, also reach beyond 50 per cent.”

Several factors that affect the statistics reported on salary increases are linked to the underlying reasons for embarking on an MBA. These include a desire to change career direction or geographical location, a desire to change industry, or a desire to change job function within a sector. To expect to achieve one or more of these by doing an MBA, and land a vastly increased salary at the same time, in my opinion would be ambitious.

Statistics from Cranfield School of Management show that the most recent group of MBA students, who graduated in September 2010 have seen their basic salaries rise by 33 per cent on average, which might appear modest. However, 82 per cent of the group in question achieved a complete change of career and job function and 64 per cent changed sector altogether. This puts weighting to my point above.

Diane Morgan, director of career services at London Business School (LBS) reports that salary increases are not immediate and graduate MBAs tend to see the largest growth in remuneration package around two or three years after an MBA.

She also reports, and I concur from my recruitment dealings, that there has been an observed a change in the mix of head –hunting firms and employers showing keen interest in hiring MBA graduates. As well as the usual interest from finance, accountancy and consultancy firms, there is now an increased demand from pharmaceutical energy and technology employers, seeking to fill board level gaps due to retirement.

In my experience, it appears that when students are considering firm job offers, the salary factor slips behind the exact nature of job and possibilities for the future. This matches the overall analysis of Simon Tankard, head of careers services at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.

“It’s not just the salary component that’s important,” he concludes. “Candidates are equally concerned to look at their career prospects, job content and the relevant sector experience that the opportunity will give them. And recruiters know that these factors play a key role in securing the best candidates. The weight of evidence is that a student or applicant, and an MBA equal a larger salary.

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