My Best CV and Cover Letter

Antti Lavanti is a senior consultant with Personnel. Here in Finland, he works with companies to recruit and further train employees and help job seekers assess and improve their professional skills. He decided to share some tips on applying for a job in Finland and how to create the best CV and cover letter.

1. CV and cover letter are always up to date

The best CVs and cover letters are the most up to date ones. It is important to put some time and thought into them for each job application. If possible, have another person take a critical look at both. Do they get a sense of your motivation, personality and skills? A second pair of eyes offers a valuable second perspective.

2. Content in your best CV

In Finland, you should always have your contact information and a photo at the top of your CV. I have seen many CVs missing this information. Your CV is where you tell your professional story. Be sure to use a professional photo, not one from a hobby or social media.

First, include a statement about you as a professional and how that applies to the position, then list the main points of your work history and competencies. List your work history in chronological order. Along with your duties, tell a little about the company so the reader can know their business area (the company’s name might not tell anything to a Finnish reader). Try to focus on the key responsibilities listed in the job posting.

3. Use numbers

It is important that you also list your achievements and skills for each position. You can use numbers like: “I increased sales by 40 %…” After your work history, list your education and certifications.

4. Why Finland?

Tell a little about your connection to Finland. It is good to have a local (Finnish) reference. Also, it is nice to tell a little bit about your life, hobbies and interests. Why did you come to Finland? Why have you decided to stay?

5. Content in best cover letter

A CV can be from one to three pages depending on your work experience. The cover letter is only one page long and has three main parts: your motivation to apply, your main skills and work history and of course, something about you. If the company wants to know your salary request, you also put it in the cover letter. As an aside, we use the metric system in Finland so make sure you use the proper page, which is size A4.

Extra tip: some links

Here is a CV Check list you can use:

CV Checklist from Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland (TEK)

Here are other links where you can find more information about the Finnish recruitment market:

University of Helsinki Job Seeker Help Site


Aarresaari Job Seeking Guide

Good luck job hunting!

Antti Lavanti
Senior consultant at Personnel