Tag Archive Resume

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.

The Top 5 Reasons a CV is Rejected

Spelling mistakes

Spelling mistakes in a CV are a red flag to any employer or recruiter. They show poor attention to detail and a lack of care and consideration. Even with spelling and grammar checking enabled on a word processor, taking a few extra minutes to read through your CV to make sure it is correct can be invaluable.

Poor layout

It is an unfortunate truth that many recruiters spend mere seconds looking at a CV. If it is not well laid out and to the point an otherwise good candidate can be overlooked. Not structuring a CV in a way that is easy to read and understand quickly, using confusing dates, or not putting information in reverse chronological order are common mistakes.

Too little or too much information

Your CV should have sufficient detail to highlight your skills, experience, and education in a concise way. If a CV is too short it may lack detail about what you actually did in your previous roles or what your achievements were. Conversely, an excessively long CV is equally off-putting and challenging for an employer to digest and compare to other applicants.

Vague or generic statements

Specifics are absolutely critical when writing a CV. Give actual examples of your skills and achievements and exact details of what you did. Generic statements not evidenced by experience or education will result in a CV that does not stand out and is easily disregarded by an employer.

Unexplained gaps in your history

There is nothing inherently negative about having a gap in employment or education. The main thing an employer or recruiter wants to see is that the period of time can be accounted for in some way (for example, taking a career break to travel or raise a family). Employers like to have the full picture before calling a candidate for interview and leaving a lengthy gap in your work history will raise questions about what you were doing during that period of time.

For further information or advice about your CV contact The CV Agency on cv@cvagency.ie or 01 499 1466

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?