CV | Collins McNicholas

Top 10 Phrases to Avoid on Your CV and What to Write Instead

Top 10 Phrases to Avoid on Your CV and What to Write InsteadA study conducted by the New College of Humanities in 2015 reveals that on average, recruiters make their mind up about a CV in less than 60 seconds. While they spend on average only three minutes and 14 seconds reviewing an application. These findings come after researchers interviewed over 860 recruiters, 20% of which have admitted to discarding a CV before they finish reading it. However, don’t let this information dampen your spirits, as the main reasons for a recruiter’s lack of interest in applications, and tips on how to make your CV stand out from the crowd are discussed below. The study found that the biggest turn off for employers when reviewing CVs are typos and grammatical errors. Followed in second place by the use of an overly casual tone, this includes using terms such as ‘you guys’ or signing off an email with ‘cheers’. Other turn offs include using jargon and clichéd quotes. The research identified the top ten most over used phrases most likely to put employers off potential employees: Can work independently Hard worker Work well under pressure Good communicator Enthusiastic Team player Good listener Excellent written communication skills Proactive Problem solver According to Mary Lorenz from CareerBuilder, the problem with using buzzwords, is that they have become so overused that they have lost all meaning, and don’t differentiate the applicant from other candidates. It is advised that job seekers should speak in terms of accomplishments, show the employer their qualities rather than just tell them. In order to stand out from the crowd, an applicant should avoid the use of overused phrases, and alternatively display examples of their achievements. Words such as ‘achieved’, ‘managed’, ‘launched’ and ‘improved’ can clearly and accurately describe what you have previously accomplished. By doing this, it will become obvious to hiring managers that you possess many of the above qualities, without you ever mentioning them!           Mark Whelan Recruitment Consultant Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services...

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Jobseekers Guide – Interview Tips

Introduction “You only get one chance to make a first impression” First impressions do count, and research has shown that the average person can make up their minds about somebody within the first 30 seconds! A job interview is no different. Preparation, presentation and attitude are the key ingredients to be successful. What to Expect? From the employer’s perspective, the purpose of the interview is to evaluate you and your capabilities, to assess your ability to contribute to the organisation and to see how well you might fit into the organisation. The Stages of an Interview There are 4 stages in a typical job interview: • Breaking the ice – introductions and ‘chitchat’ designed to help you relax and feel comfortable. • Exchanging information – questions that focus on the organisation, the job and your interest in both. • Expanding the focus – specific questions about you and how well you will be able to do the job. • Wrapping up – time for clarifying, asking questions and final comments. Interview Preparation Preparing yourself properly for an interview will help you relax and give you the confidence to answer tough questions. Thorough preparation will dramatically improve your chances of getting the job. Research the Company & the Role Firstly make sure you read through the job description carefully. If you are dealing with a recruitment consultant they should also be able to tell you about the company you are going to see, and about the person who is interviewing you. You should also conduct your own background research on the firm and the individuals you are meeting. You will...

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Jobseekers Guide – CV’s

WRITING YOUR CURRICULUM VITAE What is the purpose of a CV?  A CV is the first thing you think of when applying for a job, and people often wonder what an employer looks for in a good one. Your CV gives you the chance to tell the employer all about yourself and what you have achieved before you even met them. It is important to structure it carefully and include relevant detail. Here are our tips. YOUR CV SHOULD BE: Clear – organised and clearly presented. Concise – not too long and not too short – just get the message across. Consistent – all formatted in the same manner, using the same fonts Complete – tailored to the industry in question – all information must be relevant Current – CV must be fully up to date THE STRUCTURE OF A CV CVs are made up of a number of different sections that contain different kinds of information: Personal Information Your full name, full address, telephone numbers (home and mobile) and email address. Some people also include their place of birth, age, gender and a photograph – but these are optional. Personal Profile (Optional) Include a brief paragraph that gives the employer an insight into your personal qualities, skills and experience. This need only be about 3-4 lines. Education List your academic history in reverse chronological order, include dates, names of colleges/institutions and location. Subjects and examination results should be included if they are directly relevant to the position to which you are applying. You can also include memberships of professional bodies here. Further Training (if appropriate) Depending on your...

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Is it Time to Declutter Your CV?

As a recruiter in an agency and in industry for many years, I have seen my fair share of CVs ranging from good to very poor. To me the ideal format is one that is easy to read with no unusual graphics. Most companies now use web based systems for uploading CVs – usually these systems don’t like elaborate graphics or photos. Word is the best format to use and PDF is best avoided. Ensure your contact details are correct. Ideally a CV should be kept to a minimum of 2 pages. It is always good to get a friend to proof read your CV. My motto is “the facts at a glance,” so keep it lean and avoid any unnecessary text. Here are my top tips for decluttering your CV: Use Microsoft Word, Times New Roman or Arial font in size 11 Avoid using photos or graphics Where possible avoid italics, use bold font in headings Avoid putting huge indents in text as this wastes valuable space Bullet points for responsibilities are ideal Avoid any typos or spelling mistakes Clear headings for each section help it flow better List any gaps in your CV, e.g. career break/traveling etc. By following these simple tips you should have a professional, well laid out CV to send to employers. Always ensure that you keep track of where you send your CV to avoid duplication. If an agency is sending your CV ensure that they have your permission and have provided you with a detailed job spec. For access to our CV and cover letter templates and all of the information you...

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Tailoring your CV: One Size Does Not Fit All

Tailoring your CV, making it as relevant as possible to the job advert, is vital in order to earn yourself an interview or to progress to the next round of the hiring process. On many occasions, job seekers send the same CV out for every job they apply for. This just doesn’t work. No two employers are going to look for the exact same skills and experience. So, it’s important to customise your CV, highlighting particular skills and experience that are applicable to the job advert. What to do My advice would be to save a generic CV to your computer, which can be quickly tailored or amended to suit the job being advertised. This should contain your personal details, introduction/career objective, education, employments history, skills etc. Basically, everything about your career to date. Then, when you come across the job opportunity which is perfect for you, you customise the CV to highlight your relevant skills and experience: Read the job spec in detail Print out the job spec and read it thoroughly! Your aim here is to identify particular skills, experience or personal characteristics that they are looking for. Read through it carefully and write down what you feel is important. List your skills and experience relevant to the role Write down your own relevant skills and cross-check them against what you have identified in the job spec. The list you come up with is what’s going to make your CV stand out to the hiring manager. Customise your CV Make the necessary changes and additions to your CV. Position the most important parts well, making them stand...

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How to Structure Your CV and Stand Out From the Crowd

In today’s job market, you need your CV to stand out from the countless others that employers and recruitment agencies receive on a daily basis. In order to be in with a shot of getting your dream role you first need your CV to be noticeable, interesting and efficient. How your CV is structured is just as important as its contents – it needs to be clear, concise and relevant in order to appeal to potential employers and recruitment agencies. Your CV should include the following 6 sections: Section 1 – your personal details. Include your name, address, phone number and email address. You do not need to include your date of birth, a photo or your marital status. Section 2 – your personal profile and key achievements. This is your opportunity to sell yourself. Use just a few short sentences to highlight your attributes and the skills you can bring to the role Sections 3 & 4 – your education and work experience. You can alternate these sections, depending on which is strongest or most relevant to the job you are applying for. Always list your qualifications and experience starting with the most recent. For your work history, use bullet points to highlight your achievements and duties in the role. Use clear headings detailing your job title, the company name and your period of employment. Section 5 – your hobbies and interests. This is an important section to include as it gives potential employers an opportunity to develop an image of you as a person as well as an employee. Section 6 – your referees. It is perfectly...

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