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Studies have shown that, on average, recruiters spend just seven seconds looking at a CV before deciding whether a candidate is suitable for the role. Your CV is usually the first impression that a company or organisation gets of you, so here are a few tips to create a winning CV that will make you stand out from the crowd. 

Control the three “C’s” of your CV. 

Character (style/format) – Formatting and spacing your CV is equally as important as the content.  

  • Length: The standard length of a CV in Ireland is two pages. 
  • Headings: Each section must be introduced by a heading to ensure an easy read. 
  • Font type: Choose a clear font like Calibri or Arial. You can use a different font type for your headings, but keep it clear and easy to read. 
  • Proofreading and consistency: Formatting has to be consistent throughout your CV to keep it looking professional. 

Content of your CV – Your CV should consist of the headings below: 

  • Personal Details – make sure this information is correct and up to date – your name should be in bold to stand out. 
  • Professional Profile – Use the specific job title and number of years of experience. You should also put 3 or 4 hard skills versus soft skills. 
  • Work Experience – Most recent job first, format and content must be consistent, bold what needs to be highlighted. Use keywords. Consider any other work achievements and projects. 
  • Education and Training – Most recent education firstAdd all your training/education that will be relevant for the job you are applying for. Feel like you’re lacking the relevant training? Why not check out our courses at www.pitman-training.ie or book a free career consultation with our team?
  • Skills Profile – This section is really useful for people who are changing careers, have a lack of experience in an area and for graduates. Over here you are identifying transferrable skills which you have and that you can transfer to the job. At first, you have to identify the required skills, provide your example and create a match.  
  • Interest and Achievements – It is important to include them in your CV as it demonstrates your skills, attitudes, shows if you motivated and creates a likability factor. 
  • References – This section is usually placed at the end of your CV and, to save valuable space, should just be a short sentence saying ‘References available on request’. There is no need to include the details of your references. If required, you can supply these later on. 

Always explain the gaps in your CV. 

Customise – Respond directly to the job description and explain exactly why you are the ideal candidate for the role.

You can do this by relating your accomplishments to the elements of the job role. Employers want candidates to understand the role they are applying for, and the more you can demonstrate this, the more your CV will stand out. 

Creating the perfect CV can be quite time-consuming, but it is your opportunity to show off your accomplishments and skills to the employer. The more you study the job description and the industry, the better equipped you will be to make your CV stand out.  

We hope these CV tips have helped you, and good luck in your job search! 

Contact your local Pitman Training centre to speak with a Training and Careers director today! 

Martina – Sligo/North West – 071 91 44201 martina@pitmanwest.ie 
Tracey – Galway – 091 752345 – tracey@pitmanwest.ie 
Kelly – Midlands – 090 640 3404 – kelly@pitmanmidlands.ie 
Aga – Limerick – 061 516 410 – aga@pitmanwest.ie