Sunday 22 July 2018

For CV advice and tips, ask a HR manager

We spoke to recruiters from leading companies who are actively recruiting on right now and asked them to share their CV tips with job seekers.

So when you are writing a CV where should you start?

Start with the job description says Judi Kinnane, the Head of Recruitment & Staffing for the UK and Ireland with the pharma multinational MSD.

“We recruit for very specific roles so a good CV is one that is tailored specifically to match the job description. It should reflect the language and key words used in the job description. Your CV should convince the HR manager that you have exactly the skills and experience they are looking for.”

It’s a sentiment shared by Kevin Daly who is a recruitment consultant with Bank of Ireland.

“I would emphasise that you should always tailor your CV to suit the role for which you are applying. I can always spot a CV that is being used to blanket apply to different companies for different roles and it never impresses. I believe the amount of care a candidate takes in preparing his or her CV is indicative of the care they will take in a role. “

It goes without saying that on any CV the basics need to be right. Bad spelling and/or poor grammar really does mean the bin no matter how great your experience.   

It’s also a good idea to think of the reader when writing your CV, work on the assumption your CV will be one of many.  

Serena McGivney is the Recruitment manager at JP Morgan in Dublin, in her job she sees hundreds of CVs and says making it simple for recruiters to find the information they need is important.

“Make it easy to read and have it clearly laid out. The bulk of our roles [at JP Morgan] involve attention to detail and being logical,  so if you can’t lay the information out in your CV then immediately that raises doubts about whether or not you have the skills to be effective in the role. “

When preparing your CV don’t forget to include your contact details. Not adding them is a pet CV peeve of Suzanne Whelan, the Talent Acquisition Manager for Ireland & UK at Version 1.

“When you are writing your CV remember to include your email, phone number and address. You’d be amazed how many people don’t. If your email address is something “quirky” then consider setting up another email account with a more professional email address specifically for your job hunt. If you put your phone number on a CV then don’t be surprised if you get a call from an HR manager. If you receive a call from an unrecognised number always answer politely using your first name.”

Finally, if your CV does its job then an interview will follow and but even here a well prepared CV still has a part to play.     

In his role as Group Sales Director for the IT services company System Dynamics, John Sexton has interviewed hundreds of candidates. 

“Remember your CV is the basis for any interview.  Most interviewers will use it as a jumping off point for discussions.  If you know it inside out and are confident about your ability the interviews shouldn’t be a problem.”

You can find more advice on how to write a great CV on the Career Advice blog, you can also find free CV templates to download.

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