Competition for jobs in Ireland is very strong. For every job advertised there are numerous applications, in some cases in the 100s. Standing out from the crowd has therefore never been as important. Knowing how to stand out sometimes puzzles people, however, there are a few important factors to consider.
Firstly, the importance of having a proper CV is overlooked by many seeking career change or new employment. A CV is the primary information a potential employer will receive about you, so its importance must never be underestimated. A CV is your principal marketing tool – its purpose is to get you to interview stages. Therefore your CV must set you apart from your competitors. This can be achieved by:
Summarising your qualifications, experience, skills and achievements.
Projecting your personality as much as possible.
Showing what problems you solved rather than ‘I am good at…’
It should not be a complete autobiography, but it should give adequate information to let the person recruiting see how well you match their requirements. Therefore, it is crucial that your CV emphasises your strengths and key areas of experience.
Secondly, it is crucial to include a cover letter with your CV. Its purpose is to give an overview of your suitability in terms of skills, strengths and experience, which relates to the position you are applying for. It is a chance to stand out from other candidates and increase your chances of being chosen for interview. The standard format for covering letters is one typed sheet of A4 paper only. Your cover letter should display a positive and enthusiastic tone throughout.
Thirdly, if you do not have much to include on your CV, you need to start building a profile immediately. Building a profile has never been as easy, job seekers can avail of internships with JobBridge or seek voluntary work in organisations such as Samaritans, Bodywhys etc. This aspect (profile building) is frequently ignored by prospective job seekers.