Preparing your CV
In any job search a properly constructed CV is the first thing you need to have
before you start to apply for jobs. Until you have a well structured, well presented
CV you are not seriously in the job market.
A poorly laid out CV is almost certainly going to be passed over and will not be
given due consideration in a recruitment process. Therefore to begin any job search
your CV is the foundation and building block to start with.
- Think about your skills, competencies, qualifications, and experiences.
They are what you need to include in your CV and these are the key pieces of information
you need to get across at interviews.
- What are your unique selling points and strengths? Take the time
to find out yours. (Ask family and friends if you are unsure about yours) Until
you understand your own strengths and skills you cannot expect to be able to sell
those skills to potential employers.
- All companies are results-orientated - so you must emphasise what
value you will bring to their organisation, and show them examples of how you added
value to a previous company / organisation. Detail achievements in your previous
- Remember to include sporting/community involvement and achievements.
This will give employers an idea of who you are and again may help your CV stand
out in the crowd.
- Always be honest about your achievements and skills. Make sure
the information is up to date, just one extra qualification or skill could make
all the difference between being selected for an interview.
- Keep your sentences Short, Sharp and to the point. Your CV is likely
to be skimmed as opposed to read in detail, so make sure the document is easy to
work with by using short sentences and bullet points. (Using the same font throughout
- Avoid the use of negative words (dismissed, tried, withdrew, argued);
focus on using positive words (developed, demonstrated, persuaded)
- Adjust your CV to specific job requirements. If you are applying
to a specific advertisement, review the key words and tasks that were used in the
advertisement. Which of these words applies to you? Use these words in your CV.
Pay close attention to deadlines and instructions on how to apply for the job.
- Check, check, check!! This is a very important step. You must proof
read your CV very closely and then have someone else proof read it for you also.
Make sure grammar and spelling are correct. Never send out a CV or cover letter
that is not thoroughly checked and double checked.
- Remember you want your CV to be read and responded to. Tempt the
reader; include just enough information to stimulate interest but not so much that
you bore the reader. Two or three pages maximum is preferred. Every word must contribute
to the overall message, so keep it brief and make sure that the contents are relevant
to the job you are applying for.
- Know your CV. Review your past work experience, become very familiar
with it, know dates of employment and be able to discuss past projects, etc.
- Presentation – If mailing your application use good quality paper
to print your CV and select a suitable folder to place it in. If applying through
e-mail, ensure that the file is formatted properly and is saved in a Text, PDF or
MS Word format if possible as these formats can be opened by most.
In summary: your CV should be:
- Clear – organised and clearly presented into different sections
- not too long and not too short - just get the message across
- Consistent - all
formatted in same manner using the same fonts
- Complete - tailored to the industry
in question - all information must be relevant and complete
- Current - CV must
be fully up to date
SAMPLE CURRICULUM VITAE TEMPLATE
Name Joe Bloggs
Address 111 Main Street, Roscommon, Co Roscommon.
Email Address email@example.com
Telephone 001 515 1111 (Work) or 087 – 111 1111
1994 – 1996 Fitting & Engineering Maintenance
FAS, Training Centre,
Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim
Safe Pass (valid until August 2011) 2009
to Lean Sigma Training 2008
Hydraulics & Pneumatics
Forklift Drivers Course
Sept ‘10 – Present
ABC Products, Athlone,
Senior Maintenance Technician
Duties & Achievements:
June 1996 – August 2010
- Repairing electrical/pneumatic faults on the Pick and Place equipment
Preventative Maintenance on daily & monthly basis
- Working on designing /implementation
of specific projects and providing technical breakdown support to all production
- Working proactively to ensure performance targets are met; Yield/quality
(using SPC/SQC)/production outs/up-time /process stability.
- Hired & trained
National Cables, Boyle, Co.
Duties & Achievements:
and setting up spare parts for new equipment. Reducing stock on hand by reducing
doubling of parts stocked i.e. cross-referencing parts.
- Clarifying part descriptions.
Developed hard copy of parts listing for each machine on the line which included
part number, description and stores location, a laminated copy was hung beside each
- Identifying unlabeled/unidentified parts.
- Identifying obsolete stock.
Volunteer with Athlone Make a Wish Foundation and raised €10,000
for organizing a sponsored 10Km run. Volunteered to work with the Junior Achievement,
Concern Christmas Appeal and Niall Mellon Trust.Assistant secretary of Eastern Gaels
GAA club Completed Dublin City Marathon in 2008 & 2009
Hobbies & Interests
I enjoy GAA and currently play for my local team Eastern Gaels I also most outdoor
pursuits and travelling.
071 91 7777777
Ann Martin HR
CV Mistakes to Avoid
- A lie, even a small one can cost you a job.
and grammatical errors. There is no excuse for even one mistake.
- Referencing the
wrong vacancy and /or company in your cover letter or CV.
- Not having your CV fully
up to date, e.g. training courses, employment dates, address, old email or telephone
- Fancy fonts or colour paper can make your CV difficult to read · Gaps
on your CV. Information that is vague or evasive. (Hiding the name of your previous
- Exaggerating your qualifications and your experience. · Stating your
salary expectations on your CV.
- Jargon – don’t use too many in-house terms that
others may not understand.
Many cover letters tell the employer little
more than that a CV is attached and that the writer considers himself or herself
an ideal candidate for the job. This is a missed opportunity to interest them in
Cover Letter Tips
- Make sure your cover letter is legible. Unless
otherwise requested, you should type your letter.
- Avoid rewriting your CV in your
cover letter. Highlight specific things about your experience and how it relates
to the position you are applying for.
- Keep it simple. Avoid long, drawn out sentences
with complicated vocabulary.
- Be accurate. Address the right people. When applying
to a company always get a name – never send it to the Hiring Manager or to whom
it may concern.
- Limit your cover letter to one page with three targeted paragraphs.
- Use some of the words included in the job description when writing the cover letter
to draw attention to how your skills match the requirements.
- Again – check for
spelling or mistakes.
Compiled by Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group