time to NCT your CV

The week we look at how to quickly review your CV to help improve the chance of getting to an interview stage….its the small stuff that people notice first

Good afternoon! Justin O’Keeffe from Talent Force Recruitment, continuing our mission to help parents who are returning to work, or simply people that are after more family-friendly or flexible jobs. It’s been a whole month since our last video, apologies, we’ve had a bit of a break.

So, today we’re going to do some very straightforward and, you know, it’s something we deal with every day, we talk to candidates absolutely every single day and so this is perhaps our observations in the last couple of weeks, having looked at hundreds of CVs. We got asked, before you do anything more on your CV, send it to one more person, you do a very simple NCT. Simple, basic check to make sure that when you put your CV forth for that role, that it really does you justice and it does the job it needs to do.

The first thing we’ll ask you to do, actually before number 1 here would be to look at the application engine. Is it Monster, is it Indeed, is it Recruit Art, whatever the website is, and go have a look at the version of your CV they’re using. I would say, 20-30% of CVs that we receive are simple out of date. People are sending the wrong version, they haven’t uploaded, they’re not quite sure what they sent. So go simply, go check that out. So, I’m not even going to start very much with the contents of these, I’m going to look at overall some high level stuff and we can do a course on action words and how to bring your story to life. But these are some real, fundamental technical items around your CV.

The first thing we often see is people include their date of birth and address and a landline number up at the very front. And we would say most of the time a date of birth simply isn’t necessary. On the other hand, we would say an address probably is. It’s unusual to have a CV without an address, or even have a location if you’re in Dublin 18 or Dublin 24, whatever it is, Dublin 2. Say that you live in Dublin 2. Date of birth, definitely not, it’s very, very unusual. It’s much more used in graduate CVs and address or location, where you are, yes.

Starting to come in very slightly now, you seem very much in graphic design CVs, starting to come in, creep in is a question of a photo. It’s absolutely a personal choice and towards the higher-end jobs it’s quite unusual. But it is starting to happen, so again, personal preference. For the moment, I’d probably suggest not. Okay? So, LinkedIn – should I include a LinkedIn profile? If your profile is any good, absolutely. It’s a verification check, it’s something that a recruiter or a company can use to do a quick check. Are you who you say you are, is what you’re saying accurate? So, that leaves the question – should you have a LinkedIn profile? Absolutely, it’s very unusual not to.

Email, phone? Simply do a double check that you actually have an email and a phone number on your CV. Again, about 10% of CVs we would have coming in don’t actually have an email address. Okay? So is it there? I know it ought to be there, and should be using a work email address or personal email address? Perhaps a personal one. And double check what that email address looks like. Just go for something nice and simple. SeanBurke@gmail.com or something, something very similar. Not something deeply personal or around a world trip or weekend.

Phone number, landline, generally isn’t necessary. A mobile number absolutely will suffice. This is a number people contact you on to have a chat with you. The length, we would absolutely recommend to 2 pages. We see many CVs, 4-5-6 pages, you need to, the purpose of the CV is to peak the person’s interest to get you to start to get you into the interview process, being concise, telling your story, talking about your achievements and having more detail on the more recent job. Length, two pages, absolute maximum 3. Starting to see some 1-page CVs starting to creep in now, we would say stick with 2.

References, absolutely not necessary if you’re in an early stage, I definitely wouldn’t include them. And the fact that they’re available on request is absolutely a given. The sequence of jobs? I would absolutely start with the most recent first, working backwards, some people try and disguise career gaps or breaks in what they’ve been doing by altering the sequence. I would simply keep it sequential. Big one – should my CV be modified slightly for each application? And we would suggest that probably 10%, 20%, 30% should be customized.


Okay, so, check your address. Check your date of birth, take it off, add a photo if you need it, put your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you have the email address, the phone, stick to two pages, maximum 3, one is simply too short. There just isn’t enough information there. You do not need to even reference references. The sequences, make sure it’s nice and sequential and clear and understood. And as regards jobs, I would stick with months, rather than – somebody put in ‘I started on the 11th of February’. I started the job in February – absolutely fine. And should I be making a bespoke? Absolutely.

So, a very, very quick NCT, a quick double check should take you no more than 5 minutes to do this check, some high level technical things a reviewer, and recruiters and reviewers and companies are looking for that you put in your CV. Never even mind the content. I hope this helps, any questions, please feel free to give myself or Julie or Kathy a call at 01-9081-514 or email us, justin@talentforce.ie. Thanks for your time, take care, bye-bye!







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