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How to have a winning CV/Resume

Every career guidance counsellor will have a slightly different view point about this and all of them will give you different advice but most of us will agree that your CV or resume must be easy to read and should highlight your skill set making it easy for the employer to see exactly what they get if they were to employ you.

Use a font like Ariel or Calibri size 10 to 12pt. Use bullet points to highlight key points and use bold to make points stand out that match the job description.

In the US they have to do it all on one page which can make it difficult to sell yourself but it is good practice in my opinion to try and produce a one page CV. It really makes you think about your skill set and what it is you can offer this employer. In Ireland and the UK the standard CV is usually 2 to 3 pages long at most.

For past roles on your CV try to use action words such as "Increased", "Managed" "Created" etc. Always point out where you got promoted or took on extra responsibility or introduced a new way of doing something and mention how successful that was.

I highly recommend a personal profile at the top of your CV which is basically a line or two about yourself. Remember you want them to call you for an interview so make it short, snappy and memorable.

Do Not say anything on your CV that you cannot back up with an example from your past employment. So if you say you are a fantastic salesman well prove it!, give examples of when you exceeded your targets or if you say you are ambitious then your CV should reflect this.

If you are applying for a job locally and have a local address then leave your address on the CV. However if you are applying for a job which is far from home then I recommend you leave off your home address and just have an e-mail and contact phone number on the CV. You do not want an employer to be put off by an address that is far from where you may be working. You may be willing to commute, work from home or re-locate and this should not become an issue even before you have an interview.

If you are an non EU citizen make sure you state that you have the relevant working visa for the country you are hoping to work in. if you come from a non-English speaking country make sure you let the employer know that your spoken and written English is excellent.

HR personnel are trained to look for gaps in your CV so if there was an occasion when you were unemployed or took time out to raise a family then simply state this. If you did a course during this time out make sure you mention this in your CV.

For every year that you are unemployed it is important that the employer sees that you were up-skilling in some way so mention any courses that you took in this time even if they were short. Also mention any volunteer work that you may have undertaken during this time. This shows that you are proactive and keen to keep your skills up to-date.

if you are a recent graduate and have little or no work experience then highlight the projects that you did in college. If you have a website mention this and if you are on Facebook and LinkedIn include these on your CV. Just make sure that they are up to-date and show you in a good light.

Most people will have a couple of CV's each one tailored to a specific job type highlighting the appropriate skill set that suits the job you are applying for.

Finally do not use a template that you have found on-line. Start from scratch in Word, you can copy a template layout if you like but making changes to some of the templates can be a pain and one little change can cause havoc creating a lot of work for nothing.

Well I hope this helps. Have a lovely day and best of luck with the Job hunting.