CVs and cover letters: prove that you’re a match for Alfa
Recruiters at Alfa (formerly CHP Consulting) look for ‘evidence of outstanding talent and achievement’ in their applicants. For the best chance of securing an interview, your CV and cover letter should attest to this, as well as being unique to Alfa: the following will provide you with some starting points.
Show how you’re an employable candidate: Alfa wants people interested in technology
There are no competency, motivation or extracurricular questions on the Alfa Consulting application form, so everything but your personal information, education and grades needs to be communicated by your CV and cover letter.
Alfa states that it is not necessary for candidates to have a technical background, but they do need to be enthusiastic and keen to learn about technology and finance. You need to be able to demonstrate this on your CV: if not through your course then – most importantly – through your extracurricular activities, individual pursuits, work experience (if applicable) and skills. In your cover letter, rather than simply saying you are passionate about technology and finance, draw on these examples to back it up. You might, for example, have used your summer to learn a programming language, or been a member of a student robotics society – don't leave it there, though, you need to go deeper: tell Alfa what you have specifically worked on within that society. What elements of technology do you focus on when you're there?
The Alfa graduate role involves much client interaction and work on their sites; you will therefore be expected to work away from home for four days a week, typically Monday–Thursday, when working on client projects (as opposed to internal projects). It is hence important that you are adaptable, keen to travel and confident in new environments, as well as possessing excellent client-facing and interpersonal skills. You should emphasise your understanding of this in your cover letter, and remember to show how your previous experience makes you a suitable candidate; for instance, have you developed skills from a gap year trip that involved frequent location changes or working abroad?
Alfa’s CSR: how do you fit in?
In addition to the work itself, it is worth demonstrating an appreciation of Alfa’s values. In total, Alfa employees to volunteer up to nearly 10,000 hours each year and through fundraising events they support many charities, such as Cancer Research UK. Alfa’s corporate social responsibility activities include:
- an employee volunteering scheme
- fundraising for charity partners
- the donation of equipment (such as old laptops) to local schools
- a commitment to reducing the firm's environmental impact
You might like to mention one or more of these – and if you can tie them in with any of your past ventures then do so. Have you volunteered locally or raised money for an environmental cause? You should put that in your cover letter as well as CV, making the link to Alfa explicit. Remember, however, that this should add to your cover letter, rather than being its main focus.
Uploading your CV and cover letter
Candidates complete a very simple application form, after which they upload their CV and cover letter in one document.
Before you upload, check – as always – for any spelling and grammatical mistakes: you don’t want to put in all that effort for it to get thrown out over a typo.