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CV Preparation - Writing an Awesome CV

The CV is not necessarily just a snapshot of your career history to date; it is a marketing document to present your skills and experience in the best light, and ultimately secure an interview. Due to the high volume of CVs a recruiter receives, they traditionally take anything from 15 to 45 seconds to make a decision on an applicant. In this recessionary climate, it is therefore, imperative that you understand:

YOU ONLY GET ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION !

Things to Do 

  1. Use Buzz Words / Technological Jargon
    The IT sector is acknowledged for its widespread use of acronyms and jargon as far as technologies are concerned. It is therefore important that your CV encompasses these key buzz words for it to stand out, and allow for a fast assessment of your skills.
  2. Tailor Your CV
    Incorporate your positive personality traits into your CV. In addition, replicate the desired attributes contained within the recruitment advertisement into the CV, to show you’re the one for the job.

Information to be Included on a CV

  1. Personal Details
    Provide all relevant information such as name and contact details( ie home address, contact telephone number and email address). Refrain from adding too much personal information.
  2. Educational History and Qualifications                                                                                        Starting with your most recent qualification, name the institution, the dates attended, the course, and the grade achieved.
  3. Employment History
    Starting with the most recent position, name the company, dates of employment, your job title, information about your role and responsibilities, pertinent technologies utilised, and major projects worked on etc. It is also imperative to highlight any achievements, career progression, and/or qualifications attained. Always accentuate the positive!
  4. Gaps in your CV
    Any gaps in the CV (as a result of family commitments, bereavement, maternity leave, extended holidays/sabbatical or other reasons) should be explained in a positive and honest manner, and deceptive and inaccurate accounts must be avoided at all costs.
  5. Other Skills
    State any other relevant skills or qualifications such as project management training, foreign languages skills etc
  6. Hobbies and Interests
    Keep this section very brief. If cutting code is your key hobby, incorporate this....but please remember to temper your enthusiasm for technology. You must show that you are a social animal as well ;-)
  7. References
    State that references are available upon request. This will save you space on the CV to provide more important information.

Information to be left off the CV

  1. Photo
    Unless you are applying for the role of an actor/actress/model/cabin crew assistant etc, a photo has no relevance to the application.
  2. Clip Art / Graphics
    Refrain from using clipart / graphics / fancy borders on your CV as it can create a cluttered appearance, and detract from the actual content.
  3. Age
    As a result of the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006, it is no longer a requirement to provide details of your age or date of birth on the CV.
  4. Salary Information
    Salary can be used as a filtering method. Provide salary details on the covering letter instead.
  5. Reason(s) for leaving each job
  6. Irrelevant Information Too much personal information such as weight, height, health, the names and ages of children, religion, NI number etc.

Tips

  1. Take your time when writing the CV.
    You only get one chance to make a good impression – make sure you embrace this opportunity!  A well written CV is worth its weight in gold, especially when it comes to salary negotiations, where it can convey your full worth to a potential employer, thereby leading to a higher salary offer than you might have received from a poorly written CV.
  2. Never attach extra documents, letters or certificates - save these for the interview.
  3. Use positive language and be truthful.
  4. In any technical skills profile you have on the CV, only list those technologies you have actually used in the last five years or so. Do not list technologies that you have no practical experience with, or have not utilised recently.
  5. Check spelling and grammar.
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