CV Advice

A Curriculum Vitae is a summary of your skills, accomplishments, experiences and education designed to capture a prospective employer’s interest.


  • CV Content
  • CV Appearance
  • CV Don’ts
  • Cover Letter

The CV is a key document to use because a good CV will:

– Get you an interview by intriguing a potential employer
– Encourage the interviewer to focus on your achievements
– Help you to remember the key points that you want to emphasise at interviews
– Leave the interviewer with a clear reminder of what you could do for their organisation

In order to achieve these aims, you must ensure that your CV stands out from other CVs. Your CV must be distinctive and professional. It must create an impact and stimulate interest with the potential employer.



CVs should cover the following areas:

Personal Details
Include name, address, telephone numbers & email address.

Include third level and secondary schooling in reverse chronological order. When listing courses undertaken, list them in order of relevance to the position that you are applying for. Always limit these to what is recent and relevant

Career Summary
This is an optional part of your CV, which will help your CV to stand out from the rest. It is a simple statement of 20 words or so which encapsulate your career aspirations. View it as an advertisement for the details that follow. It can also help you to focus on your abilities in your own mind. Imagine you only have 30 words to convince someone to hire you. Example: An effective thinker and achiever, offering proven leadership and communication skills. A genuine and direct approach with the ability to inspire others with a proven track record of promotion.

Work Experience and Achievements<
The reader of your CV should be able to select your skills, ability and achievements with ease. Golden rule: keep it short! Work experience and Achievements include:

  • Where you work
  • What type of industry you work in
  • What dates have you worked there from
  • Your job title
  • Your main responsibilities

Ensure that your job title stands out on the page and emphasize your achievements. Work experience should be in reverse chronological order as your most recent experience, in most cases, will be the most relevant.


Keep your CV clear and precise

Confine CV to 2 or 3 pages
Keep your CV single-sided
Never bind your CV
Avoid fancy covers
Make sure there is enough ‘white space’. Let your CV breathe.
Don’t try to squeeze everything on to one page.
Use bullet points wherever possible
Try not to have 3-4 lines of text at one time as this makes your CV look dense.
Don’t overuse underlines, italics and bold fonts


DO NOT make spelling mistakes
The advent of the spellchecker makes this inexcusable and reflects poorly on your application.

Don’t lie
Hiding periods of unemployment is one of the biggest mistakes. As innocent as the omission may be, the prospective employer can view it as an attempt to hide something.

Personal information
Such as your religion, race, marital or family status, is irrelevant to job applications. Your prospective employer is not allowed to judge you on these criteria when making a hiring decision.

Do not include copies of certificates or written references, unless requested to do so. This results in a bulky CV, which reduces the impact of information that is otherwise well presented. References are usually checked at the final stage of the recruitment process and therefore you are normally asked at interview for permission to seek references from the relevant party. If you want to mention references, put ‘References are available on request’ at the end of your CV.

Other notes
It is unnecessary to include a passport photograph unless specifically requested to do so.
Don’t forget your contact details; it may sound obvious, however it does happen.