How to prepare your CV
Your CV is your initial presentation of yourself to a prospective employer or recruiter.
You should include a clear overview of your skills/experience and other qualifications as outlined below:
- Personal Data – give your full name and contact details including your address, telephone number(s) and e-mail address.
Tip: Include some personal information, such as date of birth and marital status, at the beginning of your CV.
Success is when persistence meets preparation
- Brief professional statement – briefly outline who you are, what you do, your work related achievements, your career plans.
- Work Experience – List your work experience from the most recent employment to the oldest. Include the employer, job title and dates of employment for each work experience. Keep your dates clear and in order as well as keeping the details clear and in bullet point. List your achievements under each role you were involved with.
- Education – Start with your most recent qualification, to include the name of the institution, the qualification sought or completed, and the date of completion or date of expected completion. Don’t include your Secondary/High school education, only include your third level education and extra trainings/ further education courses.
- Awards and Professional Society Memberships – Any relevant academic, organizational or community awards and memberships are appropriate.
- Hobbies & Interests – Keep this brief and truthful.
- References – you can include names in your CV or note them as “Provided Upon Request”. Ask the referees permission before including them and have references ready prior to offer stage.
Helpful hints on the preparation of your CV
- Only include facts and avoid bias.
- Ensure your CV is relevant, up to date and easy to follow.
- Make sure your CV is well structured.
- Never falsify any information.
- Always double check your contact details and make sure they are up to date.
- Ensure you spellcheck and check grammer.
- Make sure your CV is customised to the role you are applying for.
- Be conscious of your public domain on Linkedin, Facebook, etc. Employers will do online searches for potential candidates so bear in mind what is featured on your online profiles.
- A cover letter will give an overview of your suitability for the role you are applying for in terms of skills, strengths and experience. It is your initial opportunity to stand out from other candidates and increase your chances of being chosen for interview.
- State the role you are applying for and why it appeals to you and what special interests or skills make you a good candidate. Always display a positive and enthusiastic tone throughout.
- Research the company, their culture, values, interests and recent achievements. Demonstrate knowledge of the company in a complimentary way in the letter and why you want to work with them.
- Conclude with “I am available for interview at your convenience” or the dates you are available.
- Research the company – You are certain to be asked specific questions about the company. Also take a look at the latest developments in the industry so you are confident in your answers.
- Practice your answers – There are always some questions that you can almost guarantee will crop up such as your personal strengths and weaknesses, why you are the best person for the job, where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
- Look the part – first impressions last. Your appearance should be professional and smart.
- Stay calm – If you are well prepared you will stay in control. Plan how long it will take to get to the interview, allowing extra time for any unexpected delays. Get everything you need to take with you ready the night before.
- Remember to speak clearly, smile, offer a firm/confident handshake and maintain good eye contact.
- Stay positive and focussed on the questions asked of you.
- Ask questions – Prepare questions for your interviewer to demonstrate your interest in the position.