Much like doctors not taking care of their own health or accountants having bad personal finances, recruiters when applying for jobs themselves consistently have the worst CVs.
As a specialist HR recruiter I coach all types of HR and recruitment candidates on improving their CV for their job search. Again and again it is my candidates who come from a recruitment background who most under-represent their experience.
This is quite surprising when you consider that they see more CVs than any other jobseekers out there. So if you are a recruiter and are considering applying for a role take the time to read through the below. These tips are based on the direct feedback I have received from the hiring managers of tech companies, financial services, public sector clients etc.
Tips for your Recruiter CV
- Explain what type of volumes you have worked with such as multiple vacancies in a specific ramp up campaign.
- Demonstrate how many roles and what type of roles you have placed. Working on a job is not impressive, placing the successful candidate in the job is. Include job titles and numbers of placements.
- Whether in-house or agency, recruitment is fast paced and target based. Does your CV show how you have performed against targets in the past?
- When it comes to creative sourcing methods, how have you thought outside the box before? Advertising and using social media is the norm, what have you done that is different?
- Have you had to maintain reports and metrics either for a hiring manager, a client or for your own manager?
- What type of clients have you worked with? If you can list company names then do, especially when they are well known brands or corporations.
- Give the range of salaries you have recruited for, this shows if you have hired both junior and senior level candidates.
- Recruitment requires administration skills. You should list any applicant tracking systems, HR systems or Excel skills that you have.
- Are you a problem solver? Do you show initiative? Include any examples of process improvements. Technology companies particularly seek these competencies.
- From a client perspective what different stakeholders have you had to deal with – list the range of job titles such as Managing Director, HR Manager, CFO etc.
- This is relevant to anyone but again recruiters seem to forget it; include work and personal achievements e.g. Employee of the month, promotions, volunteering.
If you are an in-house or agency recruiter, a recruitment administrator or a HR person I would be happy to talk you through the Irish job market. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Kate on 01 4744 646 for a confidential chat.
Posted by Kate Stewart, HR Recruitment Manager on 30 November 2017
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 email@example.com 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.
Back to basics – Get your CV right!
Back to basics – Get your CV right!
Your CV is your sales document. Make sure to target your CV for each job you apply for. Your CV should mirror the job spec of the job you are applying for, ticking all of the requirements for the role. Create a first draftWrite all your qualifications, experience, employment history, personal history, hobbies and interests, including all relevant information under headings. Now write down everything you’ve gained personally from these experiences – skills, insights, personal growth (in paragraphs). At this stage just write as many pages as you need to get the brainstorming process done – only later on will we be concerned with cutting it down. Filter out the unimportantYou can’t tell potential employers your entire history, but you can highlight the important details for them: these will include skills, insights and abilities that you have been able to develop, as well as your academic qualifcations and what you gained from your studies and experience. Keep it conciseEliminate unnecessary details.HR departments have lots to do, so don’t make the mistake of asking them to read through an unnecessarily long CV. HR departments won’t read a lengthy CV if they are short on time, short on patience, or have a lot of CVs to wade through.Remember that there may be a pile of CVs a foot high for some positions!CV’s should be around two pages in length, although it may be longer if you have to describe a lot of relevant work experience. Even a two page CV is of no advantage if it’s full of information that isn’t reasonably applicable to the position you’re qualified or applying for. Use the space only if you need it to fully disclose your accomplishments. Include the Basic informationEven if you have entered this information into this site, you should still include it on your CV. When the recruiter makes the call to say you have been accepted, your CV is the only document he or she will hold in their hands. Make sure it at least has all your personal information such as:NameAddressTelephone NumberDate of BirthNationality, including visa and work permit statusLanguages (level for both written and verbalDriving License (if you have one) State long term objectivesWhat are your short and long term career aims and objectives? Do you have any preferences for the type of work you want to undertake? (Don’t be too restrictive. It is better to be general about your career aspirations at this stage, for example, Business Related, IT). Don’t include short term objectivesYour short-term objectives should be clearly articulated in your cover letter. If you do include objectives, be specific. Vague statements, such as “Looking to utilise my marketing skills” or “seeking a rewarding position” add nothing to a CV and may in fact make you appear insincere. Include your Employment historyAll your employment is important whether it is part-time, temporary, voluntary, vacation work or Saturday only. It should be presented in reverse chronological order, most recent first.Give dates, name of employer, job titles etc. Include your Education historyList your most recent qualifications first, including:Dates, Institution – Name of Degree Course etcDegree Classification. It is not necessary to list all the modulesyou have studiedTechnical qualificationsAchievements / Positions of Responsibility Include Hobbies / InterestsBe Positive! Use “power words” such as “developed,” “managed,” and “designed” to emphasise your accomplishments. Stick your chest out and don’t be afraid to tell people what you’ve done. Produce a well-organised professional documentYou’ll generate a better response from your curriculum vitae if it is well organised and is packed with relevant information to match and support your professional, academic or career objective. Be honest!There is a huge difference between making the most of your experience and exaggerating or falsifying it. A falsified CV can be easily spotted by a recruiter or employer (if not immediately then certainly through the interview process), and if it doesn’t prevent you from getting the job, it will cost you the job later on. Use good document layoutMake your CV easy on the eyes. Use normal margins (one inch at the top and bottom, one and a quarter inch on the sides) and don’t cram your information onto the page.Allow for some “white space” between the different sections.Avoid unusual or exotic font styles; use simple fonts with a professional look.Do not use more than two fonts throughout the entire document. If you aren’t sure of the fonts to use, try a sans-serif font like Arial or Helvetica for the headings, and a serif font such as Times Roman for the rest of the text. Put the good stuff at the startOne big mistake that job seekers often make is to list very important data in the lower sections of their job descriptions. As you compile statements for your CV, prioritise them by importance, impressiveness and relevance to the job you want. Remember that a strong statement, which uses power words and quantifies, will affect every statement under it. Re-read!Read through your CV. Ask someone else to read through your CV carefully once you are finished. When you have been working on your CV for hours, it can be difficult to spot the errors.