To secure an interview with a prospective employer you will need to submit a quality CV and cover letter/email. We cannot emphasis enough the importance of these two documents. Candidates need to give 100% effort to their CV to get it right.
At Principle our consultants will always give honest feedback on your CV, and are happy to help with its production. However the initial exercise should be your work, as only you know your specific skills and previous experience.
Your CV (Curriculum Vitae)
Principle recommend candidates use Microsoft Word for the preparation of their CV. Microsoft Word is the most recognised programme and therefore allows candidates to send their CV’s electronically to most employers. Its functions also enable you to easily modify your CV, perform a grammar \ spell check, apply for different vacancies and continually update your experience when it changes.
A CV should be no more than two pages and should contain the following information.
- Personal contact information
- Qualifications, Education & Training
- Professional \ Work Experience
- Relevant Skills
- Relevant Membership and Activities
Personal contact information
Personal contact information should include: your full name, address, phone number and email. Date of birth is optional. Three or four lines are sufficient.
Qualifications, Education & Training
Always begin with the most recent qualification \ training. If you have achieved a third level degree or higher, there is no need to give the full details of your leaving certificate.
Professional \ Work Experience
You should start with your current employer and the following information should be included for each period of employment:
- The name of employer
- Website if available
- Period commenced and finished
- Your position
- Responsibilities and achievements
When highlighting your responsibilities try not to repeat these if you have moved positions within similar jobs.
Do not leave any unexplained gaps between employments as this may give the potential employer the wrong impression. If you took a year off to travel the world or looked after a family member state that.
List skills which are relevant to the position you are applying for or are transferable skills between employers. Languages, organisational, technical, computer, artistic and other.
Relevant Membership and activities
Listing relevant interests, activities or achievements will give the reader an insight into your persona and maybe highlight a common interest.
If you include a profile be careful that it is not a copy, or downloaded from a sample CV as most employers can see through this. A profile should be an individual brief summary of your experience and relevant to the particular vacancy you are applying for.
You should have at least two referees. If you do not want to disclose the details on the CV, no need to state that references are available on request. Employers will take this for granted.
Format and Layout
- When choosing a font for your CV we recommend:
- Times New Roman or Georgia
- Size 11 or 12
Cover Letters \ Email
Your cover letter should demonstrate to the reader that you have read the advertisement \ job specification carefully, researched the company and that you are interested in this job.
The cover letter should:
- Refer to the job reference and where you saw it
- Be to the point and link your experience to the role being advertised
- No more than four paragraphs long i.e. one page
- Positive and upbeat. Make the HR recruiter interested in reading your CV
The cover letter should NOT be:
- A summary or repeat of your CV
- A standard letter you send with all job applications