The aim of your CV is to enable an employer to decide if you are likely to fill a particular job effectively. It needs to contain specific information such as education and employment history, and personal information that might distinguish you from the next applicant.
As a student, there may be a limited amount of information that you can put on your CV. Any achievements or work experience you have gained to date should be highlighted.
- Are you a member of a sports team?
- Have you undertaken a work experience placement in school?
- Have you done any volunteering?
- Have you shown leadership skills in group tasks?
- Have you won any academic / music / sporting / Gaisce awards?
The information provided should always be relevant, accurate and brief.
CV Do's and Don'ts
There are no hard and fast rules about how to lay out your CV but if you follow a few simple pointers, you're half way there. The way you present your CV can have an overwhelming influence over whether it is even read, so it really is worth the extra effort.
Click here to download a sample CV template.
- Keep the design simple. No fancy graphics or pictures. The employer wants to get to the information as quickly as possible.
- Keep it concise. Include all relevant information but don't waffle! Get straight to the point.
- Be specific about your skills, qualifications and achievements.
- Use positive and assertive language - saying "I organised" rather than, "I was involved in" sounds much better.
- Keep it to less than two pages
- Display information in chronological order - always start from the present day and work backwards
- Tailor your CV for different jobs. Think about what information is most relevant and make it more prominent.
- Proof read it several times before you send it.
- Finally, accompany every CV with a covering letter, specific to the job you are applying for.
- Embellish or exaggerate any information, don't promise what you can't deliver!
- Go over 2 pages.
- Put it in a folder.
- Send it without a cover letter
Your CV should always be accompanied by a cover letter - a single page indicating why you have sent your CV for consideration. Your cover letter should entice the reader to give your CV some extra attention, though it should not contain duplicate information.
Click here to download a Cover Letter Template.
When you're composing a cover letter, remember the following:
- Always address the letter, using name and title, to the particular person with whom you wish to meet.
- Be positive - the tone of the letter should be upbeat.
- Try to stress the benefits of considering you for the job, for both the organisation and for you personally
- Don't promise anything you can't deliver
- As with your CV, use good quality paper and ensure it's neatly typed