How To Prepare Your CV

When it  comes to applying for any new position, the first thing that all candidates need to examine is their CV. Honestly, how long is it since you last looked at your CV in any great detail and what does your CV say about you today that perhaps is no longer relevant or looks dated? Your CV is a “First Impressions” template and if you’re not giving out the right vibes with your CV, then you are less likely to be called for interview. Here is where Campbell Rochford can help because lets face it, we see a lot of CV’s – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Starting with the basics. Your CV should contain your Name, your contact details- Address, Email, Phone Numbers (Note: It never ceases to amaze us how many CV’s do not contain all of these details as standard) because you ultimately want the person reviewing your CV to contact you, right?

If you’re including a Personal Statement, please keep it brief and to the point. A rambling paragraph at the beginning of your CV won’t encourage anyone to continue reading the rest of the document and you may only have a two minute window where you’re front and centre of the HR/Hiring Manager’s attention. Quite simply if your CV doesn’t grab their attention, they’ll simply discard it and move on.

Next you should include a comprehensive account of your Educational background – include the name of your school/University, dates attended and the level of qualification attained. There’s really no need to list every subject and grade you achieved in your Leaving Cert. A simple one liner outlining the number of honours you received will suffice. Degree holders – if you’re including your degree/third level qualification, please remember that it’s a “Bachelors” degree and not the well known brand of Beans. It’s likely to create a very poor first impression if you’ve misspelt this key word.

In terms of your Work History, CV’s should have a reverse chronological order to them, ie. your current or most recent position should come first, followed by all of your previous roles. Don’t forget to include your start and finish dates (exact Months & Years where possible) and account for any gaps as these will be thoroughly examined, if not by the recruiter, then certainly by the prospective employer. A common question we’re often asked by more senior candidates is “How far back in my work history should I go?” We would recommend that you should account for your entire career but there’s really no need to write any more than a line or two about that summer job you held 20 years ago. The majority of your Work History should contain your list of duties and responsibilities for your most recent roles as these are more likely to be the skills and experiences upon which you will be critiqued and therefore the most relevant. Don’t forget to also include (where relevant) a line or two about your achievements in each role. Most employers will already have a pretty good grasp of what your responsibilities were, but what’s of most interest to them is what impact you had on the role/company and therefore what impact you’re likely to have on their position. Bottom line, did you save the company millions or did you increase their profitability? These key points will make your CV stand out in any application.

You should also include a Hobbies and Interests section on your CV. Think about who is reading your CV and what impressions you might be conveying to them about yourself based on what you like to do outside of work. Aside from displaying a rounded personality, your extra curricular interests can also be a selling tool to a prospective employer. “Corporate Social Responsibility” has become a buzzword du jour in recent years, with many companies actively encouraging their staff to take up some charitable cause or activity outside of work. At Campbell Rochford we can help you identify the most relevant hobbies and interests, highlighting your self-discipline, enthusiasm and motivation that will be attractive to employers and ultimately make you a more marketable candidate.

Finally, spell check your CV. There’s really no excuse in the modern day for any typos to appear on your CV and their presence will send out a very bad signal to any prospective employer. It’s not uncommon for employers to favour one application over another simply by the impression created by their respective CV’s. A little more thought and effort in the preparations stage can go a long way to ensuring that your CV stands out from the crowd and ultimately gives you the ideal platform from which to launch your job search.

For further information or queries related to your CV, please email your CV and follow up questions to [email protected]

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