When applying for jobs it is vital you make your application tailored. It will take some time researching at the beginning, but will pay off in the long run.
A CV is a selling tool - used to sell you. It's your first chance to 'stand out' to an employer and make sure you get shortlisted.
One size does not fit all when it comes to your CV - it should be an ever-changing document that is modified for each job you apply for, to ensure it is relevant. Although there are really important elements that must be included, this does mean you can highlight your best assets and achievements in the way you want to. Although CVs are still used for a lot of recruitment, many employers now have moved onto use application forms to assess candidates.
A covering letter is traditionally a letter sent alongside your CV to an employer. It's your first point of contact with a potential employer, and what you say should make an impact and enable you to stand out from others.
A covering letter is there to sell you to the employer - it needs to show clearly and succinctly why you want the job, what you have to offer and why the employer should read on.
Application forms and CVs are two totally different documents as application forms require you to enter certain information and failure to do so may mean you are not considered for the role, however it is you who decides what information you want to present on your CV.
It is a well-known fact that application forms take time and there is no getting away from this! There are no hard and fast rules about how long you should spend completing an application form but the key is not to rush it and to make sure you are aware of the closing date as soon as you see the vacancy.