Find out how to turn the contents of your professional career into the perfect CV in 4 steps.
1. Good Base
Like all good soups, a CV begins with a good base and by base I mean structure. Employers spend about 20-30 seconds scanning your CV so you need to make sure your CV can be easily digested.
Whilst in recent years we’ve seen great examples of creative CVs – unless you are in a creative industry it’s best to stick to the basics when creating yours. Resist the urge to cram everything into 1 page and have a layout that is broken down into appropriate sections, with a clear font, consistent formatting and adequate white space.
Cramming too much into your CV will make it overwhelming to an employer so use concise sentences and bullet points. Using bullet points makes your CV easier to read and encourages you to only list the important points of your past experience.
2. The Main Ingredients – Experience and Achievements
A lot of candidates have a tendency to just state their duties and responsibilities when writing their CV without outlining their performance. You are not the only person applying for a job so how do you differentiate yourself from the competition? By demonstrating your achievements of course!
An employer not only wants to know you’ve got the necessary skills for the job but that you can add value to the role. So take a second now and think about your role, what have been your proudest achievements? What challenges have you had and what did you do to overcome them?
Aim to have at least two achievements – specific examples, rewards or performance to targets or in relation to others in team.
3. Season to Taste
Soup without seasoning is a cardinal sin in my eyes, the same way not tailoring your CV to a specific job is. Vague, general CVs just don’t cut it. You need to target your CV to each job sought.
Get your hands on the job description for the role you wish to apply for and then write your CV to suit this job description. It is crucial that your CV lists what is relevant and recent, or you lose the interest of an employer.
Apply the “so what?!” test to every line of your CV. If it is not mirroring a requirement of the job you are applying for, kill it! Irrelevant detail is a waste of space.
It may sound time consuming but making the effort to tailor your CV will greatly increase your chances of securing an interview.
4. Finishing Touches
If there was ever a time when perfectionism is warranted, it’s when writing a CV. The biggest bug bear of employers and recruiters alike are spelling mistakes and typos. Spell check does not catch everything so make sure you proofread and get a second pair of eyes also. Nothing shows lack of attention to detail like spelling mistakes.
As well as checking spelling and grammar, make sure your employment dates match up and that you’ve provided the right contact details.
Posted by Julia Purcell, Marketing & Communications Manager Sigmar on 29 November 2017
HR skills hiring managers want to see on your CV
HR skills hiring managers want to see on your CV
Human resources (HR) professionals play a vital role in any organisation, from small businesses to large corporations. They are responsible for a wide range of tasks, including recruitment, onboarding, training and development, performance management, employee relations, and compensation and benefits.If you are interested in pursuing a career in HR, there are a number of skills that you should highlight on your CV to make yourself a more attractive candidate to hiring managers.Here are some of the most sought-after HR skills:Communication skills: HR professionals must be able to communicate effectively with a variety of stakeholders, including employees, managers, executives, and external vendors. They need to be able to write clear and concise reports, give presentations, and have difficult conversations in a professional and respectful manner.Organisational skills: HR professionals often must juggle multiple tasks and deadlines simultaneously. They need to be able to prioritize their work, manage their time effectively, and meet deadlines.Problem-solving skills: HR professionals are regularly faced with challenges and problems that need to be solved. They need to be able to think critically and creatively to come up with solutions that are fair and beneficial to all parties involved.Interpersonal skills: HR professionals need to be able to build rapport and trust with employees at all levels of the organisation. They need to be able to listen empathetically, resolve conflict, and provide support and guidance.Technical skills: Many HR departments now use HR software and other technology to manage their operations. HR professionals need to be familiar with these tools and be able to use them effectively.In addition to these general skills, hiring managers may also look for specific HR skills and experience depending on the role they are hiring for. For example, if you are applying for a role in HR recruiting, hiring managers may want to see experience with conducting job interviews, screening resumes, and negotiating salaries.When highlighting your HR skills on your CV, be sure to use specific examples and keywords to demonstrate your abilities. For example, instead of simply saying that you have "excellent communication skills," you could say something like, "Managed a team of 10 HR professionals and successfully communicated complex HR policies and procedures to employees."You should also tailor your CV to each specific job that you apply for. Be sure to read the job description carefully and highlight the skills and experience that are most relevant to the role.Check out our current HR vacancies here:HR OfficerSalary: €33,000Location: SwordsHR GeneralistSalary: €35,000-45,000Location: GalwayHead of HRSalary: €85,000 - 90,000Location: Kilkenny
7 CV Tips and Tricks for Temps & Contractors
7 CV Tips and Tricks for Temps & Contractors
As a temporary or contract worker, you may have a unique set of challenges when it comes to writing a CV. After all, you may have a variety of different jobs and experiences on your resume, and it can be difficult to know how to highlight them in a way that is both relevant and appealing to potential employers.Here are a few tips for writing a CV that will help you land your next temporary or contract job in 2023: 1. Relevance is keyEnsure your CV focuses on relevant work experience. Avoid including unrelated jobs, even if they were interesting, as the skills you gained probably aren’t transferable. You want to include work experience which is relevant to the role you’re applying for. Organise similar roles together, prioritize the most important ones, and include dates and durations for each. 2. Use a consistent formatWhen you have a variety of different jobs on your resume, it can be helpful to use a consistent format to make it easy for employers to scan your CV and find the information they're looking for. For example, if you have a lot of temporary work experience, you may want to group it together into one section on your CV. This will help employers to see that you have a consistent track record of work, even if it wasn't all in permanent positions. 3. Emphasise your temp credentials:To excel as a temp or contract worker, it's crucial to demonstrate technical and soft skills, such as adaptability, communication, and being able to learn quickly. Make sure to highlight these qualities in your CV's career summary to grab employers' attention right away.While technical expertise is important, soft skills are increasingly valued in contracting. These are less teachable traits that reflect your personality and can distinguish a good contractor from a great one. When updating your CV, weave in the soft skills that have benefited your contracting career. Incorporate this information into your personal statement and key skills section. 4. Make your skills stand out:Instead of just listing your job skills, showcase how you've applied them at work by highlighting major accomplishments using the STAR technique: Situation, Task, Action, and Result.Include a skills and technology grid under your personal statement on your CV. Recruiters and hiring managers need to see your relevant skills upfront, as they don't have time to train contractors. Use this section to highlight your systems and technology skills, along with any relevant certifications. 5. Make your work availability clear:As a contractor, your recruiter needs to know your availability, which is crucial. Clients often want to start projects promptly, and your recruiter aims to find the right contractor with the right skills at the right time. To ensure clarity on your CV, mention your departure from your previous organization and your availability near your contact details. Also, include your expected completion date for your current assignment in your work history to avoid potential misunderstandings about your availability. 6. Label your temporary or contract work experience:Failing to indicate whether past jobs were permanent or temporary on your CV can cause issues. When applying for a temporary position, add "(contract)" or "(freelance)” after each job title. This helps employers understand your contract work experience. It's especially crucial if you've had multiple short-term roles because not specifying might make hiring managers think you've left a series of permanent jobs quickly, which could raise concerns about your reliability. 7. Use keywords throughout your CV:Many employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan resumes for keywords related to the job they're hiring for. Be sure to include relevant keywords throughout your CV, including in your job titles, work experience, and skills sections.Google and other search engines use complex algorithms to match search terms with relevant content. If you're aiming for an administrative role, relevant content includes skills like typing speed, excel proficiency, and teamwork. If your CV highlights your unique selling points in the first paragraph, Google will notice it.As a contractor, you're likely aware of the advantages of temporary work, such as gaining diverse experience and expanding your professional network while improving work-life balance. Because contract positions are in high demand, having an impressive CV is crucial to stand out from the competition.
In-Demand Business Support & Customer Service Skills
In-Demand Business Support & Customer Service Skills
As companies work hard to stay competitive and provide exceptional experiences to their clients, the need for skilled staff in business support and customer service keeps growing. In this article, we'll look at the important skills businesses are looking for.1. Great CommunicationWhether you're talking or writing, it's vital to be clear. Nowadays, good communication also means being good with digital tools. Employers want people who can talk professionally with colleagues, clients, and customers, making sure everyone gets the right information.Top Tip for interviews: Prepare examples that highlight your proficiency in clear and effective communication. Share instances where you successfully conveyed complex information to non-technical stakeholders. 2. Problem Solving AcumenIn the world of business, problems come up all the time. The ability to think on your feet and adapt to unforeseen circumstances showcases your commitment to delivering results.Top Tip for Interviews: Prepare specific anecdotes showcasing your problem-solving skills. Describe situations where you identified a challenge, analysed options, and implemented a successful solution. 3. Technological ProficiencyFamiliarity with various software, tools, and platforms can significantly enhance your employability. Things like customer relationship systems, project management tools, and data analysis software are just a few examples of technologies that are becoming increasingly integral to business operations. Embracing technology shows you're ready to work in a modern business.Top Tip for your C.V: List the software, applications, and tools you are proficient in on your C.V. Make sure to also include any certifications or trainings related to these technologies on your LinkedIn profile. 4. Adaptability and FlexibilityThe Irish business landscape is always changing, which is why being flexible is so important. Companies want people who can handle change, learn fast, and switch things up when they need to. Being open to new challenges and being willing to upskill can set you apart in a competitive job market.Top tip for your C.V.: On your CV, talk about times when you changed and helped your team or company grow. For interviews, give examples of when you tried new things or took on jobs that weren't easy for you. Show your ability to thrive in dynamic environments. 5. Speaking Other LanguagesIreland’s strategic position in the European Union has led to an influx of international businesses and customers. If you know languages like Spanish, French, or German, this can be a significant advantage. It means you can talk to more people and understand more clients Multilingualism showcases your cultural awareness and ability to engage with a diverse audience.Top Tip for your C.V: Include a section that highlights your language proficiencies and any experiences where you effectively used them in a professional setting. 6. Being Kind and Focused on CustomersFor jobs where you help customers, being kind is important. If you know what customers want and care about their problems, they'll like your company more. Companies value candidates who prioritize customer-centricity, as it directly impacts customer satisfaction and long-term success.Top Tip for Interviews: Share stories of how your empathy positively influenced customer interactions, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction and/or conflict resolution.7. Time Management and OrganisationKnowing how to use your time well and organise things can make you get more done. From arranging meetings to handling administrative responsibilities, these skills demonstrate your capability to juggle multiple priorities and meet deadlines consistently.Top Tip for interviews: Provide examples of how your strong time management skills helped you meet tight deadlines or manage multiple projects simultaneously. As the business world in Ireland keeps changing, the demand for proficient business support and customer service professionals remains steady. Cultivating these in-demand skills not only increases your employability but also positions you as an asset to your employer. Whether you're already experienced or just starting out, getting good at these skills can help you find great jobs and help Irish businesses grow, even when they're competing with companies from all around the world. At Sigmar, we're committed to connecting top talent with businesses seeking excellence in business support and customer service. Get in touch to explore how we can help you thrive in these exciting fields. Email your cv to firstname.lastname@example.org or check out current jobs here
How To Write Your Accountancy CV
How To Write Your Accountancy CV
As a recruiter, I have seen some good, some bad and some ugly CVs cross my desk. There are a couple of things which an accountancy CV should always contain and similarly, a few things which should never appear. Below I will discuss in a number of points how you, as an accountant, can grab the attention of the prospective audience i.e. recruiters or HR professionals and secure yourself an interview. Personal ProfileThe one thing you are looking to gain from your CV is an interview and hopefully, at the end of the process, a job. The first thing we should realise is that a HR professional or recruiter takes only 10-15 seconds to decide whether they are going to delve deeper into your CV and discover what you can offer. So to grab their attention you should include a short summary of yourself which is essentially a description of what an employer would be getting if they hired you. “A highly experienced ACA big 4 qualified accountant with 3 years PQE in a global FMCG multinational. Highly adaptable team member with strong communication skills. Looking for a role with a progressive multinational in a commercial finance capacity.” QualificationsAs a finance professional, your qualifications and certificates are some of the first things employers or HR will look for on your CV. For this reason you need to put exact details of your education and how proficient you were in each area, for example: 1st time pass ACA. The same goes with your degree or college achievements. You need to include the level of the qualification, the name of the degree and the name of the college, not to mention the dates which you attended. I would also include your leaving certificate points and results here to save the employer looking for them later in the process. Experience and AchievementsWhen listing the companies you have worked for, my opinion is that you should use the same format every time. The experience should be listed from the most recent back to the beginning of your career. Each role must list the company name, dates employed, industry, monetary turnover and your position. If you have worked in a number of roles in the one company, you need to clearly specify the continuity of your time there and the different positions you held. For each role I would separately list your responsibilities and achievements and list them in the third person. Describe your responsibilities according to the requirements of the job specification you are applying for. As an accountant or finance professional, the more senior you are, the more important your achievements become. Potential employers want to see where you have run projects, cut costs, improved processes and generally exceeded expectations. IT and Software SkillsThese are extremely important to have on your CV as a role with a prospective employer could depend on the systems exposure you have had. I cannot begin to tell you the amount of times I have had to do a specific search for an accountancy package or system and began my search from there. If you happen to be a super user of any system, again have it noted in black and white. It could be the difference in you or someone else getting the job, and I have seen it happen. Skills and Hobbies This area of an Accountancy CV is difficult to advise on. I would recommend that skills such as fluency in a language should always be included and even have their own section but if you would like to list them here that is also ok. I would not recommend you put skills like “fastest pint drinker” on your CV but at the same time, an innocent skill or achievement like being a beauty pageant winner or Ireland’s strongest man can alienate you or intimidate the interviewer so always be careful in that regard. The reality is, you will not do yourself any harm leaving hobbies off your CV altogether but this is something to take on a case by case basis and speak to your recruiter if you are unsure. Proof Reading 9 out of 10 recruiters will agree with me when I say that seeing a CV with a number of grammatical or spelling errors is a major annoyance. The opinion is that if a candidate cannot take care while writing their CV, how much care and effort are they going to put into the role? Your CV is a ticket to an interview and can get you in front of the right people so there are no excuses if you cannot do a simple spell check before you send it off.