Following on from my recent blog post I have had a number of queries about how best to fine-tune your CV, and ensure that it hits the mark when you send it in for a role. There is a whole host of information and a variety of templates available online, and we have a few specific templates that we would recommend to job seekers. Once all that is completed there is still work to be done reviewing your CV. For the purposes of this article, I am going to assume your CV is complete and that you are reviewing it before sending it out.

When giving a CV its final review I like to break it into two sections: 1. Structure, and 2. Content

  1. Structure – is your CV clearly structured and easy to read? Is there a flow to your CV? Can an employer pick out the relevant details they want from your CV in 30 seconds?Just imagine the scenario: a hiring manager is sifting through 80 CV’s to get a shortlist of 5 people to interview. You need to make sure your CV is easy to read and is quickly passed onto the interview or further review group, rather than the NO group. In an ideal world, we would love to think that hiring managers will spend 10 minutes reviewing each and every application in detail, but the reality is very different. So make sure it is easy for the hiring manager to review and make a decision on your CV.Ensure you structure your CV into clearly defined sections. Personal Details, Education, Further Training, Employment History, Achievements and Hobbies & Interests are some suggestions for the sections that need to be included in your CV. When your CV is complete you should ask a friend to review it for 30 seconds to see if they can glean the key information from your CV. If they can get the key information, i.e. education, further training, job title, current and previous employers, achievements, projects etc. in 30 seconds then your CV has passed the first test and is ready for sending to employers
  2. Content – In relation to content, it is no longer enough to just list job titles or give a bland list of duties. Employers now want to see details about your achievements, responsibilities, and key projects that you were involved in. Any key metrics that you can list are also important. If a CV states that you have managed a team, does that mean you managed 3 people or 30 people? Use key metrics and stats to bring your CV to life, e.g. implemented a lean project which resulted in a saving of €500k in materials. Another section that is often ignored is further training. If you have completed a number of courses, be they in house or external, be sure to include these, they could very well spark an interest with an employer reviewing your CV. It goes without saying that your content needs to be proofread and checked in detail to ensure no mistakes have been made.

The 30-second test is a very good way of checking if your CV hits the mark. Why not run the test on your own CV today!

For more information on how to ensure you write up a good CV and to download our CV templates, go to

Niall Murray

Managing Director

Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services