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Top tips to make your CV stand out from the crowd

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Your CV has one thing to do – get you noticed by potential employers. It is the ‘door-opener’ and needs to demonstrate clearly why you are the right person for the job or the company in question.

 

This needs to be done in the most concise and targeted way possible and you need to test that it passes the seven second rule! On average if an employer doesn’t see what they want in seven seconds your chances of getting shortlisted or interview are slim to none! Get the basics right and they will read on.

Keep it to two pages

It doesn’t matter how much experience you have or how many courses you have done, only those that are relevant to the job should be included. This means that you will need to adapt your CV to different jobs.

Use a clear and simple layout

Fonts such as Times New Roman, Verdana, Tahoma, Arial, Calibri, Cambria, Georgia and Helvetica are best and use 12-point font size unless you are really tight on space and then reduce to 11.

Put your name in larger font at the top of the CV. There's no need to include the word CV or Curriculum Vitae, and include your contact details underneath – email, mobile number, address if you feel you want to, and LinkedIn profile details if you are on it.

Stick to the truth

While it is tempting to stretch it a little, if you get called to an interview or references are verified, there is every chance that you will get caught out.

Your CV should have the following sections – Opening summary/professional profile, Work Experience, Education and Training, Key sSkills and Expertise, Interests and Achievements which are only needed if you are a recent graduate or school leaver.

After the Opening Summary which can be done as a paragraph or bullet points, you need to lead with your strongest section. If you have extensive relevant experience and it has been a long time since you completed your education then you are primarily selling your experience on your CV. If you are student or recent graduate then you need to focus on how your education links to the job so give details of modules, projects and any key achievements linked to your qualification.

Employers like evidence and data so when completing the section on work experience include proof of what you have achieved in the workplace and rather than giving a list of tasks and responsibilities of your past jobs tell them what competency you have demonstrated. Use action verbs to explain what you do/did. Don’t forget to include voluntary work if relevant.

In relation to education; be selective. If it’s more than 15 years since you completed your Leaving Cert then you don’t really need to include it. While you may have lots of courses done over the years only include those which are relevant to the job you are applying for. You could also consider dividing them into two sections – ‘Education & Training’ and ‘Other Training’.

Information in sections on employment and education should be listed in reverse chronological order.
If you are concerned about a gap in your CV, say for example if you have taken a year out to travel or some years out to care for family then state the years so the employer can account for the time and give a simple and short explanation of the competencies you developed during it.

Keywords are essential

This is particularly the case if the CV is being read by a computer before it ever reaches the eyes of a human resource manager, a process known as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
Mirror the exact words, language and terminology, that have been used in the job description. Make it clear that you have what they are looking for.

When it comes to key skills and expertise make sure to link them directly to the job, demonstrate what you are great at and be prepared to explain your skills in interview.

The section on ‘Hobbies & Interests’ always raises questions. If you have more than seven years’ experience it’s not really relevant. Never use the word ‘hobbies’, use ‘Interests and Achievements’ instead. Give a line about each one that is useful and dynamic.

Referees

Unless you are a recent graduate or starting out in your career, employers don’t need details of referees on your CV, only if requested to do so in the job advertisement, as they won’t contact them until after interview. Always remember to ask permission of those who have agreed to provide a reference for you to include their name and contact details on the CV.

Proofread the finished product several times! There is no greater turnoff for a potential employer than seeing spelling, grammar mistakes or misprints. Get a couple of family members or friends to check it and don’t rely on spellcheck!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore & PRO of Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She can be contacted on careerfocusnow@gmail.com

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Eileen rewarded for her dedication to athletics

By Sean Moriarty Well-known Dalton’s Avenue woman Eileen Switzer has been named as the Honorary President of Killarney Valley Athletic Club in recognition of her work as a volunteer. The club held its annual awards night on Friday night last. As well as presenting awards to club members in recognition of their achievements at home […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Well-known Dalton’s Avenue woman Eileen Switzer has been named as the Honorary President of Killarney Valley Athletic Club in recognition of her work as a volunteer.

The club held its annual awards night on Friday night last.

As well as presenting awards to club members in recognition of their achievements at home and abroad they decided to honour Mrs Switzer for her “lifetime of volunteering to the community, to sport, to youth and for championing diversity and inclusion”.

“Eileen has been an advocate, a coach and an administrator in the sport of athletics for over 60 years in the town of Killarney, Kerry and beyond,” said club chair Jerry Griffin.

Eileen and her husband Frank have dedicated their lives to the community games and athletics in the greater Killarney area.

“I enjoy, but I don’t like, all the limelight,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

“I like to watch newcomers as they come up through the ranks, many of the Community Games people of the past are now running the committee.”

In a life time dedicated to volunteerism in Killarney Eileen has helped sports like golf, pitch and putt and badminton grow.  She was also heavily involved in the local Irish dancing scene and remains a great supporter of Kerry Parents and Friends.

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A Mass of Commemoration in Kilcummin

COMMEMORATION: A Mass of Commemoration for all those who fought and died in Kilcummin during the Irish War of Independence was celebrated last Sunday last at 11.30am in Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Kilcummin by Fr Kieran O’Brien. Organised by the Kilcummin Historical Group there followed a walk to the Kilcummin Mass Rock where Fr […]

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0212020_War_of_Independence_Commemoration.jpg

COMMEMORATION: A Mass of Commemoration for all those who fought and died in Kilcummin during the Irish War of Independence was celebrated last Sunday last at 11.30am in Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Kilcummin by Fr Kieran O’Brien. Organised by the Kilcummin Historical Group there followed a walk to the Kilcummin Mass Rock where Fr Kieran laid a wreath.

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