Top Tips for a Great CV

Top Tips for a Great CV

At Greendale Jobs Club we have been working with employers for years to understand what makes a great CV. Here are our top tips!

Your CV should be:

  • A selling document: You are selling yourself and your achievements to a prospective employer.
  • Neat and easily read: It should be typed and well spaced.
  • Short: Keep the length to two pages
  • Simple:  Use a plain, business typeface such as Arial, Times New Roman and Calibri.
  • Plain: Keep your language plain and simple.
  • Factual: Curriculum Vitae is Latin for “the facts of your life” – keep it as such. Do not use subjective statements such as ‘a highly motivated employee’ as they are your opinion only.
  • Positive: State your achievements. These are selling points, so bring out your strengths, contributions, skills and successes.
  • Tailor it: Always tailor your CV according to the job description you apply to.
  • Keywords: Use keywords from the job description in your CV and cover letter.

TOP TIP: Use your CV to talk about your achievements, not just a list of tasks.

Your CV should include:

  • Personal Details: Full name, address, phone number – mobile & work (if possible) and email address, Linkedin link, Twitter handle.
  • Profile Summary/Key Skills: A good profile on your CV describes your attributes in a few short, concise lines.
  • Education and Qualifications: Make some reference to the schools, college or university you went to. The further back your education, the less detail you need. Likewise, if you took your Intermediate/Junior Certificate or Leaving Certificate some years ago, save space by just putting the number obtained rather than listing the subjects. State the highest level of qualifications and education first – it has more impact.
  • Training: Training courses you have attended whilst working can be more relevant than your formal education. State the name of the course, if you have attended a large number select the ones that you think will have the most impact.
  • Work History​Put your most recent job first and work backwards. State for each job, dates employed, the name of the company and its’ location and your job title. For the most recent positions, give a brief outline of the type of company you worked for. Mention the business sector it was in and the number of employees. Put a brief summary of the job you performed, its main responsibilities and duties.
  • State your selling points. For each position say what your major achievements have been, between 2 and 4 for each job is usually sufficient. Show how the company benefited by you working for them. Quantify them if you can. e.g.: ‘Successfully re-organised the customer complaints procedure by updating the computer data bank and logging system, resulting in a 50% improvement in response time’. The further back you go, the less information is needed.
  • Use action verbs to describe the jobs you did.  Avoid words that do not accurately describe your role, e.g. involved, liaised, co-ordinated.
  • Do not leave any gaps in dates. If you were unemployed or raising a family – say so by including the title Career break. It clears up any doubts in the mind of the employer.
  • Leisure Interests. Briefly state what you do in your spare time. Do not give a long list or go into too much detail.
  • References. It is not really necessary to state who your referees are or attach copies to your CV. The employer will ask you if he wants to know. Check with the people concerned that it is all right for you to use their names.

If you would like more help please contact us at Greendale Jobs Club!