Curriculum Vitae (cv's)
is a Curriculum Vitae
What you should include
The layout and style
is a CV?
Your Curriculum Vitae, (C.V.) is a means of communicating with
the recruiter. The purpose of a C.V. is to summarise your personal
details and work experience. Attention to its design and submission
are very important. Normally you should not use a C.V. where
the recruiter issues an application form. Use a C.V. when, for
example, the advertised vacancy says: 'send full details to...'
or simply asks for a C.V. If you are sending an 'on-spec' letter,
a C.V. with a cover letter is essential.
Whereas application forms are structured with questions and
spaces for replies, you can design your C.V. as you think fit.
Your C.V. should include information relevant to the recruiter.
Thus, each C.V. that you produce has to be tailored for the
specific requirements of each position for which you are applying.
A standard, 'mass-produced' C.V. is not the most effective means
of presenting yourself for a specific job.
The content of your C.V. will depend upon the position you are
applying for. A C.V. to impress an advertising agency will be
of a different style and content to that intended to impress
Your C.V. has to provide the recruiter with a picture of you,
of your accomplishments and experiences, as well as your potential
capabilities. Although it is necessary to use facts when writing
your C.V., adopt a style that allows the recruiter to make favourable
assumptions about you.
Once you have decided on the style and content of your C.V.
you need to follow a number of guidelines. Try to emphasise
the most relevant and positive aspects of your qualifications.
Start with your Personal details such as name, address, phone
number, date of birth. It is not necessary to include your marital
status, religion or nationality. This is entirely up to you
whether you want to include these details or not.
Educational details come next such as the name of your school,
the years you attended, the qualifications gained (subjects
taken and results of Leaving Certificate if you completed both
leaving and Junior Certificate, results of Junior Certificate
if you did not do your Leaving Cert.)
Further Education such as the name of College attended, dates,
subjects/courses, results of examinations etc.
Experience. The general rule is to start with your most current
position and work backwards giving names addresses and dates
of the time spent with the company, as well as a brief outline
of your duties. Do not forget to include any part-time positions
held whilst you were still studying as this shows a willingness
Key words to use when mentioning your work experience are;
achieved, arranged, contributed, developed, devised, directed,
established, initiated, motivated, organised, planned, supervised,
Include any that you may have gained through work experience,
i.e. typing and office skills, interpersonal and reception skills
Achievements: Mention any certificates that you have been
awarded or whether you have taken part in any fund raising activities,
Mention any spare time activities, any clubs that you belong
to, any sports that you play, types of books you read etc. Try
to make it as interesting as possible! The general guideline
is to include a sport which involves team effort and an individual
Choose your referees with care and do not forget to ask the
people concerned if you may use them as a referee. Try to include
a past employer and school/college teacher
Neatness and accuracy are very important, and don't put anything
on your C.V. that is not true as you are only causing problems
for yourself in the future.
Write down all the information in a rough manner at first and
then check it. Think about what you are saying and how the information
will be interpreted before the final draft is typed up.
You should produce an initial first draft and check the following
selective about the education details that you include, e.g.
if you have a Degree in Communications, then there is no need
to list the results of your Junior Certificate.
length of your C.V. should not normally be more than two A4
pages. Remember, the C.V. is a summary, not a report. The recruiter
will receive many C.V.'s and needs to be able to read through
them quickly, gaining an initial first impression of your suitability.
various sections of your C.V. should be well spaced with ample
margins. A tightly packed C.V. will be difficult to read and
style of writing should be 'snappy' using verbs that suggest
dynamism. Sentences, if used should be short and to the point.
Just include facts.
tone of your C.V. should be positive and optimistic creating
a strong and favourable image.
should then get another person to read through your C.V. to
confirm its appropriateness, and to make sure it creates the
intended impact. The next stage is to:
the C.V. professionally typed on good quality paper.
the C.V. with a covering letter.
a copy of the C.V. and read it before any interview you may
be called for.
with application forms, the immediate objective of using a C.V.
is to obtain an interview. The golden rule for achieving this
is to relate your skills and accomplishments to the recruiter's
needs. To support the C.V. and to motivate the recruiter to
read it you will also have to write a cover letter.
An important point about the style of your C.V. is that it should
be easy to read and concise, using brief, clear statements.
4 or 5 page C.V.'s will not be read. Companies may have hundreds
and in some cases thousands of replies to a job advertisement
and they just do not have the time to read long C.V.'s. A two
page C.V. is the length that you should aim for.
Your C.V. will have a stronger impact if actual facts or figures
are included, such as grades achieved in examinations, and successes
that you have enjoyed at work, for example, increasing sales
turnover by 100% in 12 months! There is normally no need, however,
for sentences to be used, as a note-format will suffice.
When applying for posts which demand creativity, you should
use a creative approach in designing the C.V., for example write
it as if it were a press release.
Alternatively, you could provide an additional 'fact file' that
includes further details and examples of your creative work.
You will need to give this approach careful consideration and
pay attention to detail. If you are sending a fact file it must
encourage the selector to read it rather than discard it in
the waste paper bin.