What is a Curriculum Vitae (CV)?
Your curriculum vitae (CV) or resume, is a personal marketing tool used to sell yourself to prospective employers. It should tell them about you, your work history, and your skills; ultimately, it should show why you’re the best candidate for the job.
- Contact details – Make sure we can find you! Include all your current details: home address, contact numbers and email address (Make sure your email is professional i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org not email@example.com)
- Education – Focus on your highest qualification and work backwards. i.e. university degree and then secondary education.
- Work Experience – In chronological order working backwards from todays date, list you’re your paid/unpaid work experience. List the name of the employer, dates (from – till) title and bullet point the 3-5 key duties. If you only had 1 or 2 key duties, that’s fine. Keep it to the point. Include any achievements within the specific role you enjoyed the success in!
Acme Incorporated Jan 2016 – Dec 2017
Customer Service Manager
- Listed duties
- More listed duties
- All the responsibilities
- Achievements: listed
- Hobbies and interests. List your top interest and things you like to do in your spare time. This helps paint a picture about the kind of person you are and helps the prospective employer find things in common that you may both share.
- These are very important! You may not wish to include these details within your CV, but you must be ready to present them if requested.
- Personal statement – This is not considered a vital ingredient. It’s up to you if you want to include 1 or 2 lines that ‘sum you up’. What excites or motivates you? Maybe what you’re looking for?
- Make it easy to read. There are loads of templates available online – just Google it. Top tip: use bullet points instead of paragraph format.
- Suggested length 2-3 pages. 4 pages MAX!
- Edit. Edit! Attention to detail! Ensure correct spelling and grammar.
- Put the most impressive information first, bullet point your most recent job summaries.
- Consider setting up a LinkedIn profile (online CV) and build your professional network and join industry groups. You could also follow prospective employers and receive notifications when they have job listings.
- Is it important? This is a matter of personal opinion, but we encourage you to attach a brief note to your CV to clarify the position you are applying for.
- It’s not a CV! Do not regurgitate all the information that is already in your CV. Keep it simple.
- Cut and paste carefully.
- Ensure the address’s name, title and company name are correct!
Congratulations! You have secured an interview time! Now here are a few tips to help you nail it!
Learn about the company – its people, products and industry by looking at the websites, reading industry magazines, and asking your consultant.
Learn about the role – read the job description thoroughly so you can anticipate questions and determine what skills you have that are applicable.
Know who you are meeting with, how to pronounce their name correctly and what position they hold in the company.
Make sure you know exactly where you are going, and take in account travel times to be there on time.
Mentally rehearse the interview procedure. Think of questions you may be asked and what your answers will be:
- What do you know about our company?
- Give me an example of…
- What are your strengths / weaknesses?
- What management style motivates you?
Prepare questions to ask in interview
- Why is the role available?
- What training is given?
- Where is the company going in the next 5 years?
Self assessment: think of your strengths / weaknesses, what type of environment you work well in, as these are common questions that many people have trouble answering.
Arrive a little early to the interview so you can settle in. If you are going to be late, call ahead – let your consultant know you’re late and we will handle it for you.
Fill out any application forms given to you neatly and correctly. Make your first impressions count!
Always be respectful and friendly to the Receptionists. They know a lot about the company and can be a good source of information. If you are rude to them this is likely to be communicated to the interviewer.
Shake your interviewers’ hand firmly. Limp handshakes don’t convey confidence.
Sit upright in your chair, look alert and interested at all times – smile!!
Maintain eye contact with your interviewer.
Nervousness often shows by fiddling with things or gripping your handbag as if it was a flotation device. Try to avoid these signs and any unconscious movements such as playing with your hair or shuffling documents constantly.
Actively listen to everything that is being told to you and ask your own appropriate questions such as: What makes a successful person in this company? What induction and training will be provided? What is the vision for the organisation and how will the individual in this role be expected to contribute to that goal? What do you expect the successful candidate to achieve in this position within 6 months? 12 months? 2 years?
Don’t just answer “yes” or “no”, elaborate as necessary, but don’t overdo it. Keep it to the point.
Don’t make derogatory remarks about your present or former employers.
Remember you are in an interview and talk politely and appropriately.
Decide whether this is a company or job that you are actually interested in.
Phone your O’Neils consultant and tell them honestly how you thought it went and what you thought of the company.
Be ‘up-front’ with your consultant if you have any reservations or potential conflicts e.g. other job interviews. Adopt a ‘no surprises’ policy, as the consultant will be taking your details as face value (but will reference check). If subsequent conflicting information results this will potentially undermine the consultants’ confidence in presenting you to prospective employers.
Your O’Neils consultant will be in contact with you as soon as they have feedback for you. Even if you are not successful in obtaining the role you applied for the consultants feedback can be used to help you in your future interviews.
Treat every step as a learning experience. Although we may not succeed in placing every candidate we interview, it is our aim that your contact with O’Neils Personnel adds value to your career aspirations. Even if this tip sheet is the only thing you take home we hope that it helps you in the way you approach your next interview.
NB: Stay in touch with your O’Neils consultant and work with them. This will help you stay at the top of their mind – which is very important for non-advertised roles.