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How to submit a professional application and CV for a vacancy

In my position, I see a lot of applications and CV from potential employees.  Unfortunately most of the time some applications are knocked off in the first round itself due to the unprofessional way in which people apply.

Here’s my viewpoint as an Employer.


Take time to read the advertisement or job description fully.  Don’t just read the top part and send off your application as fast as you can.  Being the first to apply does not get you the job.  Example, I recently advertised for Management Trainee, and there were a few that applied for Management Trainer positions.  I also advertised for a Secretary post asking for ladies to apply, but several men applied as well.


Prepare your CV with proper formatting and make it attractive.  Avoid using flowery borders and other distractions.  Inserting a picture of yourself is also recommended.


Include a covering letter explaining why you are suitable for the position, and why you believe I should hire you.  If they have not asked for a covering letter, adding one will show you to be professional and understanding.  If one is asked for but you do not include one, that shows you have no attention to detail, and / or do not care


When sending submissions / applications via email, include the vacancy title / position in the subject of your email.  If a company advertises for several positions, and your email arrives without a proper subject, chances of it being ignored or mis-categorized are higher.


When attaching your CV, don’t use file-names such as “cv.doc”, “bio.doc”, “my cv.doc”, “curriculum-vitae”, etc.  When all of the applications are received and grouped together, your CV may get lost or overwritten by someone else’s.  “curriculum-vitae-NAME-POSITION.doc” is a much nicer file-name.


When sending an email, don’t apply to several organisations at once by putting multiple addresses in the TO or CC. eg: careers@esoft.lk, careers@dialog.lk, etc. This shows that you are unsure of yourself, uncommitted, unprofessional

Don’t forward the same application to many people by sending one, forwarding again, forwarding yet again, etc. so that your application looks like a chain letter.


Don’t apply for the position if you are not suitable for it. You’re just sending something that will get thrown out at first glance.  I recently advertised for a position of a VB programmer and people straight out of ‘A’ Levels without any computing knowledge applied.  Same happened for a recent advert I put asking for Web Application Developers with PHP knowledge.   Don’t think people will pity you and give a job just because you apply. You’re wasting everyone’s time.

Hope this helps.  More Tips will be added later.