CV Advice & Tips

Your CV is the document in which you make your initial sales pitch to an employer so it’s important to know how to get your CV noticed. A strong CV can make a tremendous difference to your job hunt so investing your time into creating the perfect CV can be the difference between success and failure.

Here are some tips to help get your CV noticed.

A job description is a list of the skills and attributes which an employer wants. Even though your skills and experience may not match the criteria exactly you still want to try to match this as much as possible. Mirror / use the terminology of the job description and try to put your headings in the same order as they appear in the job description. This will make you quickly look like an ideal match. Remember, they are looking for someone who is ‘a good fit’ to their company.

It is important to avoid send out generic cover letters. You should try and show how you are suited, and why you are interested in working in the job you are applying for! Ensure you use the company name so your application is targeted and does not look generic. Employers like to see keen interest from candidates in working for their company.

Spelling, punctuation, spacing and general attention to detail are things all employers look for. Silly mistakes make your application look unprofessional and are unacceptable. Don’t let yourself down with silly mistakes.

First impressions last, so the layout, formatting and presentation of your CV should be as strong as possible.

Core competencies are behaviours that employers deem necessary to do the job. Your CV should highlight these– show how you did the tasks and list what your achievements were avoid listing basic tasks. Make sure you mention transferrable competencies- you may not have had a managers role in the past but you can still show your ability to lead people through, for example, captaining a football or camogie team.

A personal profile is a good opportunity to summarise your core competencies and experience and highlight your writing skills. Personal Profiles often look best if written in the third person.

Listing your achievements shows a prospective employer the value that you can add to their company. They really help separate you from other applicants.

CV’s can be very generic. If you can show your personality, it will make you stand out. How you do this is by highlighting core competencies, achievements, hobbies and interests. Interesting hobbies can be a good way to show personality. Add these to your CV, as many employers like to see them. Employers also like to see leadership, so if you had roles of responsibilities in your hobbies, this would look very good.

A lot of today’s jobs require IT and/or technical skills so if you have these make sure you highlight it in your CV. A lot of employers and recruiters conduct searches based on job titles and IT skills so it is essential that these are mentioned. If you have no formal IT qualifications but you have experience make sure that you mention it.

Writing CV’s is a skill and not one that most people are naturally born with. To assist you and ease the burden of writing your own, Insight Training run a number of training programmes for job applicants. Please contact us – we will help you. There are no exact rules on how to get your CV noticed but your time is well spent as it will mean the difference between be selected for interview or not.