By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors
Whether you are starting out in your career or applying for a new role, it is essential that you take time to look carefully at your CV.
In the majority of cases your CV will be the first introduction a potential employer has to you, so it needs to impress! It needs to be clear, concise, and accurate, and present the best version of your professional self. It must also reflect an obvious link to the job specification. Regardless of the amount of experience you do or don’t have, you will give yourself a great chance of getting noticed if you follow the following tips when compiling or updating your CV.
It is helpful to look at templates online for ideas on layout and on language to use, but my advice is to start with a blank Word document and build your own original CV so that you avoid any copyright or formatting issues when you want to make edits. Keep the layout simple. Use a font that is clear and the 12-point size works best.
Keep it to two pages if at all possible. Don’t make the mistake of including every job you have had, particularly if they are not relevant. Always focus on the role you are applying for and select the information that the employer needs to know if they are to consider you as a suitable candidate for the position in their company or organisation. This means that it’s very likely you will need to make some changes to your CV each time you use it. Think of it as personalising it to each particular job description and specification. Make sure you use keywords linked to the job itself and the skills and qualities required. This is to ensure that your CV gets noticed in an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) which is used by lots of larger companies and organisations to scan through applicant CVs before they are looked at in more detail by the Human Resource Department.
At the beginning of the CV include your name, address, contact details and URL link for your LinkedIn profile if you have one. Next, add in a professional profile, a short paragraph which showcases the most important skills and competencies you want the employer to be aware of. Again link this to the job specification here and really choose your language carefully so that your brilliance and suitability to the role is obvious.
If you are starting out in your career it is best to lead with your education or qualifications, whereas if you have lots of experience it is better to lead with your employment history. Also, include other relevant experience such as volunteering or side projects you have been involved in. Include experiences which showcase your strengths and competencies as well as your willingness to go the extra mile or think outside the box. Your aim is to impress the person reading the CV so that they are interested in finding out more by calling you for interview. When describing your work experience, give more than the job title and tasks or responsibilities. Use achievement statements to demonstrate what you achieved in the role, as this gives the employer evidence of your competency. For example, “Managed and prioritised movement and positioning of equipment, vehicles, and crew to ensure maximum efficiency and minimum disruption”. You don’t need to include the details of your referees unless you are asked to do so, simply add in the sentence, ‘References available on request’.
ASK THESE QUESTIONS
It may take several drafts to get your CV right. At the end of the process ask yourself the following questions:
* Is this an accurate, positive and impressive reflection of me as a potential employee?
* Have I linked my experience and expertise to the specific role I am applying for?
* Will this CV stand out from the crowd?
Once you are happy with the content and layout then proofread it very carefully and get others to do so too, they may spot mistakes that you don’t. Remember you want to make the best possible impression with this CV, so the finished product must be grammatically correct.
Your CV is like a working document, you will continue to edit it as you progress along your career path. Investing time in it now will serve you well in the long run, but it may also open the door to that new opportunity you have been looking for, sooner rather than later.
Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant - For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Well-known Killarney man, Donncha Crowley, who lives in Woodlawn Park, was joined by his friends and staff from Centra, Muckross Road, to help him celebrate his very special 50th birthday on Saturday. Donncha is a keen cyclist, and well-known for his mastership of Suduko, and expertise on puzzles and general knowledge quizzes, winning many competitions […]
Well-known Killarney man, Donncha Crowley, who lives in Woodlawn Park, was joined by his friends and staff from Centra, Muckross Road, to help him celebrate his very special 50th birthday on Saturday. Donncha is a keen cyclist, and well-known for his mastership of Suduko, and expertise on puzzles and general knowledge quizzes, winning many competitions down through the years. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan
Musician Liam O’Connor back and busier than ever
By Sean Moriarty Local musician Liam O’Connor has gone from zero to hero following the lifting on the ban on live music as a result of pandemic restrictions. On Saturday he played his first gig in over 18 months, next Friday he will release a new single, and before that he will play a special gig […]
By Sean Moriarty
Local musician Liam O’Connor has gone from zero to hero following the lifting on the ban on live music as a result of pandemic restrictions.
On Saturday he played his first gig in over 18 months, next Friday he will release a new single, and before that he will play a special gig in London.
Liam and his family played at the Kerry County Council organised ‘ANSEO’ concert in North Kerry that was run to coincide with the Listowel Harvest Festival last weekend.
It was his first live show since he played at St Brendan’s College, Killarney when he shared the stage with special guest, former Irish rugby coach, Joe Schmidt. That event took place on March 11, 2020, the night before the country entered its first COVID-19 lockdown.
The ‘ANSEO’ series of concerts signalled the return of live music in Kerry and the O’Connor family shared the stage with other local musicians like Tim O’Shea and his Afro Trad Ireland group.
“People were delighted, they were mad for it, they were obviously missing it,” Liam told the Killarney Advertiser. “But they are not letting go just yet, they are still a bit hesitant.”
This Sunday Liam heads to London were he will help Dan Tim O’Sullivan steer sheep over Southwark Bridge (see page 36 for more on this story).
To cap an exceptionally busy period for the local accordion player, he has joined forces with Moya Brennan of Clannad fame. Brennan and O’Connor will release a new single – ‘Strong in Numbers’ on Friday next, October 1.
They previously performed together at a concert in the Friary in 2017.
“It was such a positive experience for all of us we just had to repeat it,” he added. “So not only have we done this recording of ‘Strong in Numbers’ but we are planning to do the Friary again later this year. After that, I wouldn’t rule anything out.”
Meanwhile, the ‘ANSEO’ series visits Killarney on Sunday night.
The Fair Hill car park will host two shows featuring: The Gleneagle Concert Band; Pauline Scanlon with Mick Galvin; The Small Hours; The Rising; Cathal Flaherty and Truly Diverse.
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