Top CV Tips

Top CV Tips

Top CV Tips from our MD, Eamonn O’ Reilly

Your CV is the way to make a good first impression with a hiring manager and could potentially result in you landing the job of your dreams, so without a doubt it needs to be as good as possible. Our Managing Director, Eamonn O’ Reilly has given us some key tips in ensuring your CV stands out from the crowd in all the right ways.

Firstly, your CV should be direct, pointed, and easy to read. We therefore recommend using the same font throughout (Arial or Times New Roman) and having a good clear structure where you can see job titles, dates and employers clearly.

Secondly, we would recommend you include an executive summary or key skills profile at the top of your CV. This allows the reader to assess your experience, qualifications and interest within seconds- the aim is to convince them to continue reading.

Next comes your education and qualifications- this is to include everything from your degree, to your professional qualifications (completed or part-completed). There is no need to include Leaving Certificate subjects/ primary school education once you have completed a third level degree.

Next up; work experience. Begin with your most recent role and work backwards. Include job title, main responsibilities and for senior roles, include a list of achievements. It is crucial to keep these main points relevant to each role you apply to- so create a generic CV that you can work from to create role-specific CVs as you need to. You can do this using a job specification or with guidance and advice from your Red Tree consultant.

You should also list additional skills such as IT skills, training courses completed, driving licence and additional languages spoken and your proficiency in each. You could also include a list of industry-specific systems knowledge and any other proficiencies such as ECDL, Microsoft Office, etc.

Last but by no means least, we would recommend you include a list of hobbies/ interests to give the hiring manager an insight into your personality outside of the workplace. We would recommend keeping this to a short description, which may lead to some light conversation/ reference during your interview.


I went travelling for a year around America/ Asia / Europe- do I leave this blank on my CV?

We would never recommend leaving blanks on your CV. Hiring managers are often please to see a well-traveled, experienced candidate in their inbox. This also allows for light conversation based on your travels. Sentences such as ‘January 2017- July 2018: Career break to travel in Asia’ will explain your absence in employment, for example.

Do I include every job I’ve ever had in my CV?

This is really dependent on experience and where you are in your career. For candidates who have many years of relevant experience for a role, we would suggest including this. For less recent or less relevant roles that you still want to include, we would recommend bullet-pointing main roles and responsibilities.

Should I include my date of birth on my CV?

There is no particular need to include your DOB. It is often somewhat clear to hiring managers/ recruiters what age you are, based on your education and experience acquired- and these are the most important aspect a hiring manager should consider when reviewing your CV.

My CV is 4 pages long when I include all my work experience- is this wrong?

Ideally, your CV should be 2-3 pages max. This ensures your content is relevant and it will not scare off someone from reading your CV. You also want to intrigue your reader, to encourage them to want to pick up the phone and call you. This might not be the case if your CV is 5 pages long.

Can I tell white lies on my CV?

We would advise not adding false information to your CV,as often roles are reference checked, date checked etc. Fabricating material on your CV fosters a dishonest approach to the recruitment cycle which we would strongly discourage.

What format should my CV be in?

We would suggest having your CV in word document format as it is easily accessible, clear and often other formats such as PDF do not sync well with company databases, for example.

Should I include my referee’s name on my CV?

We would suggest including the line ‘references available upon request’- therefore protecting the privacy of your referee until they are needed to give your reference.

As every candidate’s experience is different, we would recommend getting in touch with one of our experienced recruitment consultants who are experts in their respective fields for further guidance.

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