Your Curriculum Vitae is the most important document in obtaining any job. It is a personal record of your academic and professional experiences. Its aim should be to represent you in the best light possible
Your Curriculum Vitae is the most important document in obtaining any job. It is a personal record of your academic and professional experiences. Its aim should be to represent you in the best light possible. It should express the firm belief that you are the best candidate. There are a number of common mistakes that prevent qualified candidates from netting their ideal position. Amongst the most heinous crimes are: spelling errors, failing to tailor the CV to the job, and poor layout.
The ideal CV will allow your information to be easily absorbed. Language should be concise and clear. The layout should be attractive, neat and organized. The information contained in your CV should be truthful and succinct. The use of headings allows for a direct, accessible layout. Allow lots of space between headings.
Heading titles should include personal details, career objective, education, employment history, interests, achievements, personal statement and referees. Ensure that headings are underlined and/or in bold.
Use the same font size and type throughout your CV. Size 12 in Arial Black or a similar plain font is preferable. If you are listing exam results, a table looks better. Leave out your Junior Certificate (or equivalent) results. Start with your most recent educational experience (your degree) and work backwards. Referees should include previous employers and an academic referee such as your tutor. Remember to ask their permission first and include their contact details.
Your personal profile should very briefly outline how best you fit the role: as a team player, having relevant skills or reliability. It should not be more than five lines and should act as a complement to your qualifications, employment history and hobbies. Ask your careers advisor to read over your CV when you are done to make sure that your personal profile reads well, that there are no spelling errors and that it looks professional.
It is important to include a cover letter if you are serious about a certain post. This should convey your enthusiasm for the position, a brief synopsis of your capabilities and a positive, confident close.
The final and most important point is relevance. Your skill set, experience and personal traits need to focus on the job at hand. If you want a job in the bank don’t harp on about your ten years cockle picking in Madagascar!
For further information and personal advice contact the Careers Advisory Service online at tcd.ie/Careers