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Who should use a professional CV writer?

Utilising the services of a professional CV writer has become increasingly common in the employment market, which gives a competitive advantage to those with a professional CV and cover letter. It means their CV has been designed and written by an expert writer who understands how employers and recruitment agencies review CVs and how they reject poor applications. This insight is critical in winning an invitation to interview.

Employing a professional CV writer to make an effective CV and cover letter is a suitable for candidates at all stages of their career journey and throughout every employment sector. It may be a particularly suitable option for people in these situations:

1. No existing CV

It can be daunting to find yourself in a situation where you suddenly need a CV for a role and have no experience in terms of what is required to sell yourself. In this situation, a professional CV writer can eliminate the risk of submitting a poorly prepared CV by writing the ideal CV for you.

2. An out-of-date CV

One of the most common reasons people make contact with a professional CV writer is to help them improve an out-of-date or outmoded CV or cover letter. A CV may lack the most recent experience and skills, be missing a contemporary presentation, or be focused on areas that are no longer relevant to a person’s career level or aspirations.

3. Refinement

Minor details can have a big impact when an employer is reviewing a CV. Many candidates with existing CVs use a professional CV writer to make precise refinements, where the CV writer can bring their wealth of expertise in producing top-class CVs to give an existing CV a competitive edge.

4. Graduates / Early Career

Employing a professional CV writer can be especially useful for graduates at the beginning of their career journey. When considering an internship, graduate programme, or travelling abroad for work, a specialist writer can play a crucial role in supporting a graduate in their early career.

5. New to the Irish employment market

CVs prepared outside of the Irish market may not be suitable for use when applying for jobs in Ireland. A local, professional CV writer can be extremely beneficial in supporting candidates to localise their CV and cover letter and help them avoid key mistakes.

For further information or advice about your CV contact The CV Agency on cv@cvagency.ie or 01 499 1466, or click here to order a CV, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile.

How to Make a Great CV

One of the most challenging aspects of filling a job vacancy is dealing with a high volume of CVs. It can be difficult to decide who to interview if there are a number of equally good candidates. It can also often be tricky to give lengthy consideration to a CV if you have a stack of applications in your inbox.

In the case of employers, particularly if it is a small company where there is no specialist HR or recruitment function, the individual hiring for the role may have limited time to spend on the task. Recruitment consultants see a very high volume of CVs every day and are adept at making a judgement within seconds. They will often be looking for negatives to rule out candidates and make their decision easier.

How do you make a great CV that will grab attention in seconds and avoid a quick rejection? One of the best pieces of advice for any candidate writing a CV or cover letter is to put yourself into the shoes of the person who will be reading it and make it an easy choice for them to call you for interview.

Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Does my experience, qualifications, and skills match the requirements in the job specification?
  • Are there spelling mistakes or unexplained gaps that make it easy for them to reject my CV?
  • Is my CV clear and easy to read?
  • Is the layout logical, starting with my most recent position?
  • Have I explained what I actually did in previous roles?
  • Have I highlighted my key skills and achievements?
  • Does my CV show the reader who I am or is it bland and generic?

Whether you are a school-leaver or a seasoned professional, a great CV is one that is clear, concise, sells your skills and achievements, and shows an employer what you have to offer.

Keep it simple and to the point and make sure to include the following:

  • Basic contact information
  • A profile
  • Education and qualifications
  • Work experience
  • Key skills

A CV is a marketing document and as such it needs to be confident and targeted. We are often our own hardest critics and it can feel a little awkward promoting yourself. However, you can be certain that other candidates will be telling the employer how great they are, so make sure your CV sells you.

For further information or advice about your CV contact The CV Agency on cv@cvagency.ie or 01 499 1466, or click here to order a CV, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile.

Practise your Performance: Interview Questions

Imagine giving a pitch to a business or a presentation to a class without preparing any material. Most of us would find ourselves struggling for ideas and find it difficult to give a structured presentation in a coherent and focused manner. The same principle applies to job interviews. Being prepared and knowing how you will answer a question is vitally important.

One of the best things you can do before an interview is to practise answering interview questions out loud. While it may seem strange at first, it will help you formulate your answers and think of examples. It will also help you feel more confident and relaxed going into your interview. While it is impossible to predict exactly what you will be asked, most interviewers commonly ask at least some of the following questions.

Sample interview questions:

    • What made you apply for this position?
    • Why are you interested in working with us?
    • What motivates you to work in this career?
    • Tell me about yourself.
    • How would a friend or former employer describe you?
    • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
    • Tell me about a problem you encountered in a previous role, how you went about resolving it and whether or not you were successful?
    • Have you ever been involved in implementing a new system or procedure?
    • How would you deal with a difficult client/customer?
    • Do you have experience managing competing priorities?
    • Do you prefer to work in a team or alone?
    • Tell me about an occasion where there was a conflict in your team. How was it resolved?
    • Describe a time when you used your initiative.
    • How do you organise your working day?
    • This is a high-pressure job. How will you cope with that?
    • Tell me about a time you worked towards a tight deadline.
    • What is your greatest achievement?
    • Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
    • Describe your dream job.
    • What qualities can you bring to this role?
    • What do you do in your spare time?
    • If I gave you a million euro, what would you do?
    • Sell me this pen.
    • If you could be any fruit, which one would you be?
    • Why should I choose you instead of another candidate?
    • You’re overqualified for this job, aren’t you?
    • What are the qualities of a good manager?