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Career Clinic - CV Tips

Friday, 20 November 2009

We continue our quest to get three unemployed people back into the workforce. However, 2 of our participants have now gotten jobs! Annmarie last week got a job and attributed it to the re-structuring of her CV by one of our experts, John Fitzgerald from Harmonics. To show you how to get a CV that doesn't just get thrown away, we have Aoife Coonagh from Carr Communications in to give us 7 tips on how to make your CV sparkle!

The live register in September of this year stood at 429,400 people, an increase of 183,422 people or 76.4% in just one year according to the Central Statistic Office's figures. The standardised unemployment rate in September was 12.6%.

(Sourced from
"On September 22nd, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) for Quarter 2 2009, which covers the period March to June. The QNHS Q2 '09 recorded a drop in employment levels by 8.2% in comparison to Q2 2008. With just a little over 1.9m in employment, employment has dropped back to Q1 2005 levels. However at that stage unemployment was only 4.2% and it is now 12%. Long-term unemployment has started to rise and now stands at 2.6% - a figure not seen since early 1999. Over the last year, 174,300 jobs were lost against 23,800 created. Out of the six categories where jobs were created, three are funded through the public purse and so future employment growth is doubtful."

Aoife Coonagh - Career Development Expert:
Aoife heads up the career development service in Carr Communications. She provides clients with individual and group interview preparation sessions, as well as recruitment interviewing skills at all levels. She also delivers training and development programmes, ranging from individual skills development to company-wide training and development programmes such as customer service, quality process improvement and management development. Aoife's clients include the departments of Education, and Environment, Heritage & Local Government, DPP, OPW, Valuation Office, Comptroller and Auditor General, as well as South Tipperary county council. Private clients include Merrill Lynch and AIB. She has a background of 20 years' HR, recruitment and training experience with Aer Lingus and in the financial services sector.

Aoife has written a book called Find That Job, a guide to CV tips, interview tips and much more. For more details and to order, visit

You've put together your seven things to avoid when writing a CV, what's the first one?

1. Don't have one standard CV
. Reflect what the employer wants (read job description etc.)
. Identify and highlight relevant skills and experience
. Show enthusiasm for the particular role

2. Don't have an untidy, careless CV
. Layout is important, make it clear and easy to read
. Always proofread and get others to help (to proofread and critique)
. Don't rely on spell-check!
. Avoid American spellings (organization etc.)

3. Don't have your CV too long
. 2 or 3 pages is perfect with one or two exceptions
. Be conscious of the volume of applicants the employer receives, won't read a CV which is too long
. The employer wants the information quickly, wants to be able to scan it

4. Don't lie (A recent survey found that as many as 27% of people admit that they have lied or exaggerated on their CVs)
. You could lose credibility in an interview
. If employed, having lied could be grounds for dismissal

5. Don't forget.
. Use positive language
. Include results and achievements
. Chronological employment history
. Be professional (email etc)
. Be concise!