How to write a CV Ireland

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CV Layout & Templates

Your CV should include the following sections:

  1. Your name
  2. Your contact details
  3. A summary
  4. Key skills
  5. Your work experience
  6. Your education
  7. Your interests 
  8. CV references

If you need a CV Template for Ireland you can find one here. The CV templates are in MS Word format. Do not include a profile picture on CV in Ireland. 

You do not need to include your full address, just the area or town you are living in. eg Dublin 2, Ireland. It’s particularly important if you live near where you will be working, employers will have a preference for those who live near their place of work.

A summary tells the reader why they should hire you, it should grab the reader’s attention. 

You should start off with your work experience first and start with your most recent work experience. 

If you are an experienced hire you should put more emphasis on your work experience and less on your education. Depending on your industry, employers show little interest in education and are more concerned with practical experience. 

If you are a graduate you will have little work experience so you should give more weight to your education and focus on your transferable skills. Such as problem solving, learning new things, working independently etc. 

Often you’ll be working as part of a team. Having common interests as other team members will be a benefit. Also, being able to demonstrate you will work well in a team through social activities such as team sports, will also benefit you in your job search. 

Importance of a summary

The summary is the most important part of your CV. It grabs the reader’s attention. Given the current economic situation in Europe, recruiters and HR managers in Ireland are inundated with CVs. Given the volume of applications they don’t have time to read every CV in detail. Often, if you can’t tell them why they should hire you within 20 seconds there’s a high probability your CV will not get fully read.

You can literally send out 100s of CVs and you will not get a call back. It’s really important to read the job description and understand what are the key questions the reader will have about my experience number one and two, my education. You need to be able to tell the reader I fully understand what the job is and here is why I’m the best person for the job using your summary.

How to write your CV for Ireland

When writing a CV for Ireland it’s critical you fully understand the job description in detail and tailor your CV to that description. In general, do not include experience which is completely irrelevant to the job. The more experience you have the more of a problem it will be. 

When reading your CV it’s important to demonstrate to the reader you have read the job description. As someone who has reviewed CVs, it is very obvious which applications are generic and which have read the job description. Companies are unlikely to offer an interview to people using a generic CV.

Make sure you give more weight to the skills which are critical to the role.This should be obvious from the job description. If it isn’t, reach out to someone on Linkedin in a similar role and ask them for their advice.

If the job description seems generic it’s probably because HR are using a general template for a particular role. HR will collect CVs and pass them on to the department manager. You will greatly improve your chances if you can reach out to someone in the company who can give you advice on what the key skills required for that role are. When the hiring manager reviews your CV you’ll definitely stand out from other applications. 

How to write a student CV for Ireland

One of the biggest problems a lot of employers have with graduates is they don’t have practical experience. In my first role out of university we worked with Excel a lot but I have never used it in university.

One approach would be to blame the university you went to for not giving you the necessary experience needed to find a job. Another approach would be to go out and find the experience you need to get future roles you are interested in. 

As a student writing your CV you need to be clear what experience employers are looking for and to try your best to plug any gaps. For example, if they require you to use Excel and you’ve no experience, first contact people on Linkedin to find out what is the key functionality required and go learn it. There are plenty of free videos on youtube. Also, try to get some practical experience through contact startups or through friends and family who can give you specific tasks.

Also, by doing so you clearly demonstrate you are a proactive person who can work independently which are key attributes of any employee no matter what industry you work in.

CV References

Do not include your references on your CV. You should only share your references when you have received a job offer and that offer is often subject to speaking with your references. On your CV under the references section simply state “References available upon request”.

The problem with listing your references is that they may be contacted before you have accepted a job offer. They may become annoyed if they are contacted too often. 

Check Spelling and Grammar

Make sure you spend some time reading your CV to check for any spelling or grammar mistakes. In most roles attention to detail is critical. If you make mistakes on your CV employers may think you’ll make mistakes in your role.