CV writing tips

Your CV is your initial introduction to a potential employer. It is a marketing tool to advertise your skills and experience. It sells your qualifications, skills and achievements to a potential employer and informs them of your employment history.

A good CV gives a potential employer a snapshot of you, your experience and relevant skills, leaving them curious and wanting to know more about you and what you could bring to their organisation at interview stage. Your CV should be:

  • Accurate.
  • Succinct.
  • Easy to read.
  • Relevant to the position for which you are applying.

Suggested CV Structure

1. Personal Details

Name, address, contact details. There is no obligation to put in details such as marital status, date of birth although you can if you wish.

2. Personal profile

A brief description of you in 4-5 lines.

Start with a personal bio that reflects you and what you have to offer. It should showcase your relevant experience & competencies. It should be told in your voice and should not use industry jargon. This is a good opportunity to capture the reader’s attention and encourage them to keep reading your CV.

3. Career to date

Feature your company, your role title and the exact period of time you worked there. We recommend you highlight your top three to four areas of responsibility in your past positions and then highlight beneath them your key achievements in each position. Give more weight to your recent experience & achievements.

  • Highlight the key areas of responsibility in each of your roles
  • Separating out your achievements will help them stand out to the reader, who may have to read numerous CVs to determine a short list. Your achievements should be very commercial, very results-oriented. How did you make a difference? Achievements should be factual, measurable and quantifiable. Demonstrate how you drove market share, sales volume or value, profit.
  • Bring out what you owned in your role, what you were responsible for and where you added value.
  • It can be useful to provide top line information on your company, without divulging confidential information.
  • Your CV should demonstrate career progression where possible.

3. Key skills

Again this section should be as relevant to the role you are applying for as possible but it is useful to highlight skills, particularly when moving sectors or changing jobs. Some examples include:

  • Strategy Development/Implementation
  • Product Development/Road Maps/Launches/ International Marketing/Global Sales
  • Team Management/Development
  • High Level Communication Skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Relationship building skills

4. Education

Start with your most recent qualification first. Again, keep it succinct and there is no need to include your Leaving Cert results! You should include relevant skills gained throughout your career including company training courses etc.

5. Special interests

This is the part of your CV where you can give potential employers an indication of who you are. Keep these succinct and ideally relevant, showing skills required for the particular role e.g. Teamwork, by showing you play sport for a local club.

6. References

You are not required to include details of references, however you should make note at the bottom of your CV that references are available upon request. You should have at least two referees on standby should they need to be contacted. You should be confident that the individuals you have selected will give you a relevant reference, so ask them what they would say and use the opportunity to address any concerns they might have. You should ensure your referees are as recent as possible.

If you have any other questions regarding your CV or would like some advice on specific areas of your CV then don’t hesitate to get in contact with one of our specialist consultants on:

Dublin: +353 1 668 5144
Belfast: +028 9077 0999

Download Sample CV

CV Template