How to Screen Applicants by Letters and Curriculum Vitae

Many companies ask applicants to send a letter of application, with or without a curriculum vitae. Such an approach appears to have several advantages. On its own a typed or handwritten letter may be useful if you wish to assess an applicant’s typing or writing ability, assuming he was not assisted in its completion. These may be important criteria for the job. Also, nearly everyone is familiar with writing letters and should find it easy to compile one. It could further save you the time involved with drawing up and sending out appli­cation forms or being ready for ‘phone conversations at all hours.

Unfortunately, letters of application have significant disadvantages. The main and largely insurmountable problem is that the applicant is free to include and exclude whatever he wants. Although a precisely worded advertisement stating exact requirements can help, he is still unlikely to put in all the facts you wish to check. Those that are referred to will be in no particular order. It will take time to read, find and extract what information there is. Also, some applicants will be better at letter writing than others. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be better at the job.

Asking applicants to attach a curriculum vitae to their letter should ensure that key facts are placed within a more structured and logical format, such as Personal Details, Education, Work Experience and Leisure Interests. You’ll now find it easier to spot the details you seek. A CV can also be used as the basis of an interview plan.

However, it is still up to each individual applicant to decide what he mentions and, more importantly, prefers to overlook. If a fact is omitted, you do not know if this is a simple oversight or a deliberate act. A further difficulty may arise because some applicants, perhaps racial groups, might not be fully familiar with curricula vitae and how they should be drawn up. Potentially suitable applicants could thus appear wholly unsuitable.

Filed Under: General How To's


About the Author: Bruno Silva is an entrepreneur from Portugal with over 15 years of experience in Online Marketing. He is also a blogger and writes on variety of topics from online marketing to designs, cars to loans, etc.

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