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Job hunting Information

Tailored one to one career advice for job hunters of all levels and professions. Expert assistance and training in CV and Interview preparation.

CV template and advice

 

Personal details

Name
Mobile number
Email address
Home Address

 

Profile/ Career summary

  • This paragraph if well written can be very effective part of your CV and can really impress a potential employer. Recent research claims takes person reading a CV only 6 seconds to make a decision on whether they will invite candidate for interview.
  •  Short concise paragraph summarizing your strengths, attributes and personal qualities (5-7 sentences).
  •  Must be relevant to the job you are applying for. Key tip.. use the job spec as your guide !
  •  Also include any relevant competencies and skills again using job spec as your guide.
  • At the end of this section do put in a type of mission statement i.e. state the type of job and or industry you are interested in.
  • Important to be able to back up at interview stage whatever you say in this section with concrete examples.

Education

  • Dates attended
  • College name
  • Name of course or qualification achieved
  • If relevant to the job put in additional information on any modules taken, Projects,Thesis etc.
  • If you are a graduate you need to make a connection with anything that you have done in third level that would be relevant to the job so for example a work placement or projects completed.

 

Work Experience

Company name,  Dates worked (to and from), Job Title

  • List your most recent work experience first
  • 5 – 7 key bullet points per job. List most relevant experience first!
  • Give concise, clear, relevant information.
  • Use active verbs, positive phrasing
  • Put most emphasis on your most relevant experience. Any role after your third last should be referenced but don’t go into details ( unless very relevant to the job application) i.e. you were an Insurance administrator 8 years ago you left it to do hairdressing and now you want to get back into insurance
  • Where possible do include career highlights, a work achievement or details of key projects you were involved in. Doing this will really give your CV the x factor! Where possible include metrics and details of how your actions had a positive result for the company.

 

Achievements/ Career highlights

  • Bullet points, must be specific no ambiguous statement or padding,
  • Include number, figures, percentages where possible
  • This is a very important section of your CV – major selling area and sets you apartfrom other candidates with similar work experience. Don’t shy away from this section.
  • You can also include achievements outside of work if you don’t have many workrelated ones.

 

Skills

Any relevant skills such as

  • IT (list software ,programs ,databases you have used recently or have a goodknowledge of)
  • Languages (state level of knowledge)
  • Driving Licence ( If necessary for the job state if you have a clean full license)

 

Interests/Hobbies

Only put in genuine interests especially anything relevant to the job application.

References

Simply state Available upon request
At application not necessary to include contact details of your references

Do give your reference the heads up that someone may be calling, ideally with rough details of type of job you are applying for. This is for practical reasons. It may have been a while since you have worked for them so they need to refer to their records and prepare for the call. You also need to confirm they still work there! Aside from all that it is also good business etiquette

Final Basic tips on format

  • Keep it simple, professional and reader friendly. Your CV can be personalized within reason. Don’t overdue tables and boxes.
  • Keep away from colour fonts and paper
  • It is not necessary to put personal information such as date of birth, passport numberetc. on your CV.
  • Irish job market not really tradition to put a photo of yourself.
  • CV length should be 2 to 3 pages depending on your experience. Full pages only large amount of empty space on a CV doesn’t look good. Over three pages is really getting too long. If your work experience is varied you may consider having different versions of your CV. Do keep a master CV and this can be as long as you like as it is for your reference only.
  • Consider putting in a competencies or skills section in your CV. Avoid shopping list of competencies need to back up with brief examples.
  • Check for typo’s or ask someone to proof read it for you
  • Final check before you send it review the job you are applying for and compare it toyour CV. Have you tailored your CV adequately for this job?

 

Typical Interview Questions

Questions can vary depending on the type of job you are going for and the Interviewer’s style but many of these questions will come up in some form or other during an Interview.

Tell us a little about yourself.
Why did you choose this career?
What would you consider to be your greatest strengths and weakness? Please give examples.

What have you learnt from your mistakes? Please give an example
What are your career aspirations or objectives for the next five years?
What do you know about our company?
Why would you like this job?
Why should we hire you?
What’s more important to you, what you get paid or what you do?
What accomplishments are you most proud of? Please give examples.
Describe your day to day duties in your last job.
What would your boss say about your work performance?
Do you work better on your own or in a team?
Have you ever had a difficult situation with a supervisor or a team member? How did you deal with it?

Describe a difficult problem in work. How did you deal with it?
What are your salary and remuneration package expectations?
The salary package for this role is less than your previous job, why did you apply for this position?

Competency Based questions
This type of questioning is becoming more popular. It is also known as a behavioural based interview. The aim of these types of questions is to assess a candidate’s behaviour in specific situations thus determining their competence for the position.
Some examples would be:
Tell me about situation where you had to analyse a problem and solve it
Give an example of where you had to deal with a sensitive situation in work
Give an example of where you had to deal with a difficult client
Tell me a time you had to change your priorities to meet others expectations
Describe a time when you successfully worked well in a team
These questions are very specific. The Interviewer is looking for concrete examples. No room here for ambiguity or bluffing it.

Interview checklist and preparation
Even the most experienced of us can forget some of these especially if it’s been a while since the last interview!!!

Research the company.
Go through the job spec.
Know your CV inside out.
Know who you are meeting
Know exactly where the interview is taking place (some companies have several offices in Dublin/ around the country don’t assume it’s happening at company headquarters. Ask for the address to be emailed to you.
Ideally find out the format of the interview. Is it One to One, Group, Panel, via video conferencing? Avoid any surprises on the day.
Identify why specifically you are suitable for the role and identify any USP (unique Selling points).
Have an idea of what questions you will ask
Be dressed to impress. Do use your judgement based on your industry norm. But it’s better to be over dressed than too casual no matter what level you are at.