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curriculum vitaes

CV Preparation

Writing up a C.V. is a task that can be off-putting.

How do you put one’s life or career into two pages?

Here are a few guidelines to help you on the way!

Helpful Hints on doing up your C.V.

  • Remember the aim of the Curriculum Vitae is to get you an interview for the job. So keep in your mind: What can I put in my C.V. that will make the employer want to interview me?
  • Keep it short. The C.V. should be one to two pages long (maximum three pages). Only include information that is relevant to the specific job you are applying for.
  • Pay attention to appearance. Don’t clutter the information and ensure that it is visually attractive
  • Emphasis the points that are important.
  • Avoid too many words. Keep the sentences short and to the point. Use bullet points.
  • Check that your spelling and grammar are correct – this is essential! You want to show that you pay attention to detail.
  • Avoid using “I” too much.
  • Choose positive active words, e.g. “experience in”, “knowledge of”, “created”, “implemented”, “developed” etc.
  • Tailor your C.V. to suit the job you are applying for. Depending on the job, you will have to highlight different skills, experiences and personal qualities.
  • Keep your C.V. up to date.
  • There is no one optimal style or format
  • Match the resume style to the company/position you want: Conservative company…conservative resume
  • Presentation and clarity are very important
  • Be concise
  • Include relevant and positive information only
  • Be honest, be able to explain/prove everything on your resume. Remember your resume is often used as the basis of questions in an interview
  • Layout should be consistent and reader friendly
  • Use clear type styles
  • Use a reasonable font size for the text (~ size 12)
  • Avoid “font mania” – the excessive use of different fonts, italics, bold, underlined, ETC!
  • Not cluttered – lots of white space
  • Use bullet points and relevant subheadings
  • Use short statements in point form rather than lengthy sentences or paragraphs
  • Only use abbreviations that are widely understood (Beware of technical jargon)
  • Eliminate excessive punctuation
  • Check for spelling and grammatical errors
  • Have all indents in alignment
  • Use a laser printer
  • Page breaks should not split lists, paragraphs, etc.
  • Use A4 good quality paper and usually pick subtle colours; white, buff, pastel
  • Print on one side of the paper
  • Use an A4 envelope for posting
  • Binders and fancy covers are seldom worthwhile.

Most Common Mistakes:

  • Typing errors, especially in spellings or grammar.
  • C.V. is too long.
  • Disorganised: Information and layout is difficult to follow. For e.g. dates out of order or the relevant information is difficult to find.

C.V. Templates:

Sample 1:

Your Name Qualifications MBA BA etc.

Contact Details (including Town and County)
Phone: +353 1 1234567 Mobile: +353 87 12345678
Email: Linkedin:


It is important to get this part of your CV right. Often it is the first thing an employer will read and it should set the tone for the rest of your CV. This is your chance to highlight the value you can bring to the role and showcase your core competencies and skills. Focusing on your skills is particularly important if you are changing career. Your profile should be 8 to 10 sentences long, don’t use bullet points.


  • This section should include a list of 4-8 achievements. Select achievements that will highlight the skills you bring to your new career.
  • You should include details of a situation you were involved in that resulted in a positive outcome for your employer.
  • Employers want to know that you have solved problems similar to theirs and that you achieved the results for which they are looking.


Title Held, Name of Company                                                12/12/2016

  • Insert further details of your key duties and responsibilities. Remember to use active verbs including sold, solved etc.

Title Held, Name of Company                                               12/12/2016

  • Insert further details of your key duties and responsibilities. Remember to use active verbs including sold, solved etc…

Title Held, Name of Company                                               12/12/2016

Insert further details of your key duties and responsibilities. Remember to use active verbs including sold, solved etc…


List qualifications gained
University name                                                                                     12/12/2016
List any qualifications gained
University name                                                                                    12/12/2008
List qualifications gained (do not include Leaving Cert results if you have a Degree qualification)

School name                                                                                          12/12/2006

Insert details of memberships

  • Include details of all IT skills and software knowledge you have to offer potential employers. Example: IT Skills: WordPress, AutoCad, Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Explorer.
  • List languages and competency level – conversational, fluent, mother tongue etc.


Include brief details of interests. If you can use your interests to emphasise your skills then so all the better for example team captain or chairperson of a local group.
References available on request

Sample 2: Youthworker

Joe Bloggs. Sean Murphy Court, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

Ph: 053 9212345 M: 087 1234567 E:

Personal Profile:

Through my experience to date I believe that I have developed a range of skills and qualities to a high level. In particular, I can easily empathise with people’s needs which enables me to be a strong team player. However I am equally comfortable and effective when left to work alone and I give maximum effort and commitment to all tasks undertaken. Learning new skills and investigating new ways of doing things interest me greatly and I try to make a positive contribution in my community whenever possible.

Work History:

Youth Worker, F.D.Y.S Centre, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

(2005 to date)

– Facilitating and organising visits to the centre by various youth groups.

– Organising youth exchange trips, outings and activities.

– Organising and promoting talks and information meetings for young people.

– Communicating effectively with a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds.

– Encouraging teenagers to engage in learning, sporting and musical and cultural activities.

– Interacting with teenagers in a manner that encourages their personal growth & development.

Caretaker, Oylegate G.A.A. Club, Oylegate, Enniscorthy.


 – Maintaining playing surfaces on all club grounds.

– Cutting grass and marking out of playing pitches. – Maintenance duties on dressing room and car parking facilities.

– Preparing nets and goals before each game. – Maintaining/repairing equipment and machinery.

– Working effectively with a wide range of people involved in the club.

Voluntary Caretaker, Sean Murphy Court, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford (2000-2005)

– General maintenance and grass-cutting on public areas.

– Sowing and planting of new flowers and shrubs.

– Repairing of broken amenities such as taps, light switches, sockets and radiators.

– Occasionally visiting elderly residents to ensure their safety and comfort.

Primary Homemaker, Sean Murphy Court, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford: (1999-2000)

– Responsible for all day-to-day aspects of my family and our home.

Caretaker, Community Services, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford: (1998-1999)

– Installation of emergency response telephones.

– Installation of smoke alarms & detectors. – Delivering “Meals on Wheels” to clients.

– Working effectively as part of a team.

Further Education:

Youth Work FETAC Level 5, C.T.E.C., (2009)

Safe Manual Handling, F.A.S. (2009)

Basic First Aid, Order of Malta, (2008)

Perceptions Personal Effectiveness Course, Maher Consulting/F.A.S., (2007)

Fork-Lift Driving, F.A.S., (2006)

Security Personnel Course, F.A.S., (1991)


Founder member of my local youth club. Voluntary leader of the above youth club for 7 years.

Interests and Hobbies:

I greatly enjoy keeping fit and am heavily involved in refereeing G.A.A. matches throughout County Wexford and in the Leinster region. I enjoy all sports and follow with particular interest in hurling, soccer, rugby and snooker. In recent years I have begun to collect a large selection of old and foreign coins. Gardening and D.I.Y. are also ways in which I enjoy spending free time.


Full references available on request.

Sample 3: Waiter

JOHN BRADLEY 67 O’Malley Park Enniscorthy Co. Wexford

Tel: 053 910000



– Provide a la carte and table d’hôtel style service

– Set tables for up to eight-course meals

– Receive and seat customers

– Take orders from customers and liaise with the kitchen

– Serve wine and other beverages

– Perform silver service and French style food service

– Handle customer enquiries and complaints efficiently

– Clear tables systematically


– Catered for all types and sizes of functions in a wide range of establishments

– Performed French style food service for up to 60 people

– Provided room service in a 5 star deluxe castle hotel

– Served in dining room, providing breakfasts, lunches and dinners to 400 people daily


2009 – To date.  The Great Wall Restaurant, Gorey


2009 – 2001.      The Gresham Hotel, Dublin



2000                    CBS Wexford – Leaving Certificate


Tom Jones, Manager, The Great Wall Restaurant, Gorey 088 123456

Mary Murphy, H R Manager, The Gresham Hotel, Dublin 01 100000