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Helpful tips on how to write a job-winning CV

Helpful tips on how to write a job-winning CV

The CV is a document that contains relevant information about your academic and professional history and is also the first impression you will give to your potential employer when applying for a new job. Many employers are faced with multiple CVs for the same position and studies show that employers take less than a minute to decide whether an application is worth considering or not. So writing a good CV is essential to stand out.

The CV should be a summary of your skills and experience and carefully tailored to the job you are applying for. While the curriculum structure is flexible, there are specific sections (which we’ll explore below) that employers expect to see on it.

As you can imagine, we receive a lot of CVs every day and we see some mistakes that should be avoided, such as spelling errors and poor grammar, lack of information about tasks and responsibilities, inexplicable gaps, inadequate formatting, lack of personal information such as number phone and more.

Below you can find the key sections of the CV and helpful tips on what should be in each of them.

The essential sections in the CV are as follows:

  • Personal details (first name, last name, address, email and phone number)
  • Personal statement (brief overview of your experience, key skills, and why you would be a good fit for the role)
  • Professional experience (job title, employer, location, start and end date)
  • Education and qualifications (courses/qualifications titles, provider, start and end date)
  • Skills (language skills, communication skills, digital skills, job-related skills, etc)

Non mandatory sections but also relevant:

  • Achievements (awards, projects, etc)
  • Interests (include interests that show skills that employers are looking for)
  • References (at least 2 references)

Personal details

This should be the first part of your CV, positioned at the top of the page. And include your name, postal address, phone number and email address. Make sure you have your email and phone number there so a recruiter or employer can easily contact you if they are interested. You can also add your linkedin profile or a professional website, if you have one, to your personal details.
Information such as marital status, date of birth, photo and nationality are not necessary. However, nationality may be relevant if you are applying for a job abroad.

Personal statement

This is one of the most important parts of your CV. A short, well-written personal statement gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself and highlight relevant skills and experience, your career goals, and why you are a good candidate for the job you are applying for.

Example:
A highly talented Pharmacist, with over 5 years experience, skilled in community pharmacy and pharmacy management. Experienced in retail pharmacy operation with exceptional analytical and problem-solving skills. Currently searching for a Supervising Pharmacist position to fully utilise my skills and take on more responsibility and expand my career.

Professional experience

In this section, you should write down what kind of work you did, where and when, from your most recent jobs to old ones. Volunteer experience is also a relevant experience.
Your work history should include your job titles, employers' names, locations, start and end dates and, if possible, some bullet points of your responsibilities and duties performed in each job.

Example:
July 2019 - Present: Supervising Pharmacist, X Pharmacy in Dublin 

- Overall supervision of the day-to-day operations of the dispensary;
- Ensuring that standard operating procedures are up to date;
- Providing training and support to intern pharmacists and technicians;
- ...

Education and qualifications

The education section must follow the same structure described above in the professional experience, i.e. you must write it from most recent to oldest, writing the name of the courses or qualifications you completed, institutions that awarded the certifications, where you studied and start and finish date of your trainings or studies, or the year you graduated.
If you hold a bachelor's or master's degree, you don't need to include your high school education in this section.

Example:
Sep 2015: MSc Pharmacy, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Skills

In this section, you can write down all the skills that are relevant to the job, like communication skills, time management skills, job-related skills, language skills, digital skills, etc.

Achievements

As referred above, this section is not mandatory, but can be used to add relevant information to your CV that is not covered in the other sections. It's a chance to highlight awards and commendations you've received, projects you've been involved in, and important contributions you've made to your community or jobs.
And it should follow the same structure of the previous sections, i.e., what was the achievement, when and where you achieved it.

Interests

Including your interests on your CV is also optional, but if you do, please be sure to only include interests that show the skills employers are looking for, such as leadership skills, time management skills, communication skills, and others. Avoid common interests such as going out with friends, traveling, etc.

References

It is not mandatory to provide references on your CV, but keep in mind that you will most likely be asked to provide at least two references if you get the job. In the CV you can write the references (first and last names, job titles, organization they work for, phone number, email address) or just state that your references are “available upon request”.
One of the references should be ideally your current manager, supervisor or co-worker. Other referees could be a former employer, teacher or colleague.

Additional tips

Try to keep your CV short and no longer than 2 pages. Use easy-to-read fonts such as arial or times new roman and a font size between 10pt and 12pt. Only use “bold” to highlight relevant information such as CV sections and job titles. And always re-check your CV for any spelling or formatting errors before submitting it. The CV format (to be sent) should be in pdf.

 

If you have any questions or need help with your CV, feel free to contact us at [email protected].

Posted on 02 August 2021 by Andreia Castro
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