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20 February 2015
Go Get It!

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Get that job: CV tips

Your Curriculum Vitae is an outline of your educational and professional history and it should give an employer enough interesting, relevant information to get you an interview. Because of fair employment legislation, most Northern Ireland employers use standard application forms, but many also ask for a CV.

Check out our Interactive CV

Your CV may be used to shortlist you for interview and employers often refer to it during the interview and possibly again when making a final decision - so it’s vitally important that you put the effort in to make it work for you.

So how can I write an impressive CV?

A CV should be honest and factual. It’s important that you don’t volunteer negative information, but you also shouldn’t leave gaps in your history because you will be asked about these at interview, if you get that far.

Collect all relevant information

Collect all relevant information about yourself before you start. In fact, as your career progresses there will be more and more of this, so it’s a good practice to keep a running record of things like qualifications, jobs, training courses, and achievements. You can then refer to this list when you’re making a career move.

Tailor your CV

While many people have one CV, it is worth spending time on tailoring a CV to a specific job, especially if you’re serious about getting it. Read the advertisement and person specification and make sure that you show how you meet the criteria. A functional summary can be useful to achieve this if the standard layout of work experience and key achievements doesn’t cover the points well enough for you.

State relevant experience clearly

If they are specific in what they need (essential criteria) it is likely that they will shortlist the applications using these criteria. You need to be explicit that you have what they ask for or they may have to discard your application. Remember, an employer can’t call you to interview if you don’t give them the information they need.

CV length

A CV should not be more than two A4 pages. A longer CV may lose the employer’s interest. Because employers get numerous applications for each job, they will not spend very much time on each CV, so clarity and organisation are very important in writing a CV.


Most people don’t put much time and effort into their CV. So with some effort, you can easily make your CV stand out.

CV design tips

  • use a good quality A4 paper
  • don’t overdo the typefaces and design, less is definitely more
  • be meticulous about spelling, grammar and neatness
  • leave plenty of white space
  • use headings, bold and italic type to help the reader navigate
  • make the font size 12 points so it’s easy to read


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Application Form Tips
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