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Language graduates - creating the right first impression with a job application.

Language graduates - creating the right first impression with a job application

It is fast approaching that time of year again where soon-to-be language graduates will be sitting their final exams and preparing their CV to send out to potential employers and recruiters. 


As we all know it is a busy time of the academic year with exam revision and preparation, so perhaps sending your CV and focusing on job applications is not top of your priority list just yet. However, creating an eye catching CV which is then posted online or sent out to agencies whilst you prepare for and sit exams means that recruiters can be actively seeking opportunities for you and promoting you to companies looking to hire post exam time.

Getting your CV out there and being proactive should ensure you can go into your exams safe in the knowledge that you ideally have a job secured, or at the very least have interviews in the pipeline. What a great feeling you’ll have going into the exam period knowing that you don’t have to work so hard once your studies are over.

Key points for compiling an application for a language orientated position

  • A compelling cover letter: Why are you applying for the role and which core skills do you possess which will be beneficial to the employer.
  • Contact details: Are they easy to find on your CV? It’s amazing the amount of people who hide away their contact details and therefore weaken their chances of being successful straight away.
  • Availability: Be realistic on when you’ll be able to start work. If you have to relocate, think of how long this will take you. Do you have the funds available to travel to interviews and relocate if a company doesn’t offer any assistance?
  • Include a short personal profile to make you stand out: Consider what are you looking to achieve at the start of your career and align your profile to the culture of the business you are looking to make an application to. If you are moving to a new country, demonstrate your experience of working / living in that location; adaptability is critical for many non-native applicants. Approximately 4-5 lines of text should be enough.
  • Skills analysis: Giving an employer a clear overview of the skills you possess allows them to quickly assess your core competencies against the criteria of the vacancy they are looking to fill. Make sure you include your language skills!
  • Achievements: If you’ve achieved things in your life (work, education or personal) let the employer know about it. An employer will always want to hire someone who will make a genuine difference to their business; people who highlight their achievements will be recognised as someone who’ll push themselves to the top of their chosen career.
  • Career history: List your jobs in reverse date order - so start with your present employment. Do not disregard part time/temporary jobs you may have had as a student. An employer will value someone who has had to manage their studies alongside paid employment. All experience is valuable alongside your academic qualifications.
  • Tailor your CV: If you are sending out your CV on a speculative basis, make sure the CV is tailored for a generic application. Too often candidates send applications to companies and by having a CV which is too specific, you limit the chances of a company considering you for different departments.

Most importantly, make sure you proofread your CV and cover letter thoroughly before sending. Spelling and grammatical errors really are unacceptable with all the online checking tools available today. Remember first impressions count and attention to detail is vital when competing against the many other applicants that will be applying for the same jobs as you are.