How to prepare a winning CV

cillian blog

Your CV should depict you, as a professional person, it should emphasis your skill set, your experienced, your product and industry knowledge and your achievements. Here are my top tips on creating that winning CV, one that will stand out from all others, will engage the reader and will get you the interview.

Research has shown that employers and recruiters spend approx 7-15 seconds reading a CV, so your CV has to make that very important initial impact. 

Remember your CV is a ticket to getting that interview

Contact Information

Lets start with your contact information, this can be centred at the top of the page or aligned down the left-hand side, that’s your preference.

Remember any mistakes with contact numbers or email address will lead to you not being contacted for that interview, check and double check again.

Contact information should include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Contact number: mobile and or landline
  • Email address
  • LinkedIn address

 Personal Profile

This is not essential; however, I would recommend that you include a personal profile, a small paragraph of about 5-8 lines, underneath your contact information. The personal profile gives the reader an insight into you as a professional, draws attention to your key attributes and competencies, skills and experiences with relevance to the role you are applying for. They are about selling your best points.  

Work Experience

This is the area of your CV where you outline your professional experience, it's imperative that this is accurate and factual. Starting with your current role and work your way back. If have you have a had a gap in your employment, it is OK to document this here, outlining exact dates. Remember to be specific, if you have relevant product knowledge, industry knowledge and an existing client base which is relevant to the role you are applying for, outline it here as this will really appeal to the Hiring Manager or Recruiter. 

This section includes

  • Company Name and Address
  • Dates of Employment
  • Job Title
  • Duties (use bullet points to document these duties – illustrating a parallel between your own skill set and experience and what the role requires)

Education Section

This should include School, College and or University. Start with most recent and work your way back, again using the bullet point format

The Headings in this section should include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Year’s attended including Graduation Year
  • Qualification

No need to list every subject or grad achieved, keep this area short and straight to the point, so as not to use valuable space. In this section you can also include any training which you have undertaken, again using the bullet point form.

Hobbies and Interests

This section is often left out of CV’s but it is actually a very important section of your CV. This section emphasis you as professional all-rounder, and that you understand the importance of a work life balance.

Some examples for this section are:

  • Sports
  • Music
  • Exercise


Your references are referees or people who can testify about your character, your skills set, your experiences and your abilities. It is usually a previous employer.

It is very much a personnel decision if you want to include your referees contact details, however if you don’t want to, References on Request is very acceptable.

I hope you find this helpful in preparing your winning CV, if you wish to contact me directly, mail [email protected]

View our sample CV:

Watch the video here

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