When emailing your CV as per the instructions on an advert, please ensure you do a cover email with it. With an average of 40+ applications for most jobs we publish, you need to give yourself the best chance of being considered for the post the employer has advertised. This starts with your cover email.
So, as an employer and viewer of many cover emails over the years, here are my top tips for you to ‘CUT-OUT-&-KEEP’ (as they used to say in Smash Hits…):
* If the name of the person is obvious from the email address you will be sending your email to, start with their name. If not, use ‘Dear Sir/Madam’.
* Keep your cover short and to the point.
* Do NOT just send a CV with a blank email – it will more than likely end up in the trash folder.
* Introduce yourself and your job title then reference where you saw the advert or the mutual contact who told you about the job.
* Using the advert itself as your reference, write a short paragraph or list bullet points mentioning your direct relevant experience.
– example; job requires previous experience with music cue sheets. Your paragraph will include something like,
“working at [x company] I completed the music cue sheets for the series and was responsible for all the delivery paperwork to the broadcaster via Silvermouse”.
* If you consider you have the direct experience required but have not actually been credited in the role you are applying for – list the skills/experience you know the job will entail and ask the employer to consider you. Make it obvious you are looking to step up because you have the correct experience but perhaps not the actual broadcast credit.
* Do NOT tell the employer about your recent ‘Gap Yah’, your kittens or how you won the 5-a-side at the weekend – keep it work focussed.
* Avoid using phrases that will be assumed. I’ve listed some here
– passion for film/tv
– I make a great cup of tea!
– happy to do long hours
– cutting edge of tv
* Do NOT try to be funny, address the employer as mate or swear.
* Do NOT paste your CV into the body of the email cover.
* If you are coming to the end of your current contract somewhere, list your availability date and mention any flexibility you may have. Perhaps your current employer has agreed to letting you leave a week early if another job comes along. You never know – the new employer may wait for you to be free as you are the best person for their project!
* Spell check everything you have written, making sure your spell checker is set to British English (programme NOT program, organised NOT organized, licence NOT license, etc).
* Check it all makes sense and you have not spelled anyone’s name incorrectly. I have heard of a cover that mentioned working on a ‘Ripley Scott’ film…
* Check your attached CV is in either a Word or Adobe format. The extension should end with a .doc, .docx or .pdf. Employers prefer Word as they can do phrase searches within your CV.
* Sign off appropriately and formally. Just because it is an email, it is not appropriate to use ‘cheers’, ‘laters’ or a ‘x’ as you close.
supertip #001: Don’t lie on your cover email or your CV. The TV and Film industries are smaller than you imagine and you will eventually be found out. If an employer finds you have lied on your CV, they will wonder what else you are prepared to lie about…