Careers

This twitter thread just showed everyone how to write a killer CV

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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Author Roxane Gay shared her tips on how to make your applications stand out from the crowd and they couldn’t be more useful.

Author, editor and cultural critic Roxane Gay is about to launch her own digital magazine with Medium called Gay: Culture, Provocatively.

That alone is cause for celebration, and we can’t wait to devour every single article and piece of criticism shared by the platform. But even though it hasn’t launched yet, the Bad Feminist and Hunger author is using the magazine to educate her followers on the subject of job applications.

Gay is currently hiring a deputy editor for the project, a job description for which she shared on Twitter. It might be one of the most comprehensive position advertisements we’ve ever read, which succinctly and clearly spells out the kind of candidate Gay is looking for. 

Unsurprisingly, Gay has received many applications for the role, some more successful than others. In a Twitter thread, the author has spelled out what it is that makes a job application stand out from the crowd, and her advice is so useful.

“As I review applications for my deputy editor position, the most successful ones are those where the person explicitly shares what they have done that is relevant to the job ad,” Gay wrote on Twitter.

That means going beyond simply listing your experience and qualifications, Gay explained, and actually engaging with the job description to show how your past work will help you with the prospective position.

The best applications, Gay added “go beyond, ‘I love writers and writing,’ which should be a given, and say things like, ‘In my time at X publication I did Y, Z and Q.’ Specificity helps me to determine you have the necessary skills.” 

Roxane Gay

What’s more, it’s obvious when a job application has been prepared hastily or without much thought. Give yourself enough time to work on your CV and cover letter so that it shines, rather than rushing the entire process.

“I will also say that there are a lot of very talented people looking for work,” Gay wrote on Twitter. “People with incredible depth and the ability to demonstrate that depth. If you’re half-assing your application, you have no shot. This is a general rather than specific observation.”

Gay’s last tip, however, is a specific one: it’s all about the details. “It is important to spell the employer’s name right,” Gay tweeted. Though, she added, “it’s not an automatic disqualification.”

These three tips – be specific, be comprehensive and be correct – are simple, but they are easily applicable tools that will help improve any job application that you might be working on now or in the future. 

And don’t forget to give it a really good proofread before you send it off. 

Images: Getty

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer, podcaster and recent Australian transplant in London. You can find her on the internet talking about pop culture, food and travel.

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