CV Advice for the Irish Market
CV formats differ throughout the world and it is important to tailor your CV to the needs
and expectations of the employer in the country in which you are seeking work.
If you are applying to the Irish market, you are expected to identify relevant skills for a job
vacancy and provide examples of how you have demonstrated those skills in your CV. This requires
more than just a list of your academic qualifications and experience. Employers are inundated with applications and only briefly scan CVs before deciding whether they are interested in an application or not, so it's vital to make sure your CV is in the right format and provides the information they are looking for in a clear, accessible format.
It may help to view your CV as a marketing tool which will help convince the employer to
notice you. In this sense, you are the product and must market yourself in the best
Top tips for international students: CV Content
- At the top of the CV, you many want to include your nationality, although there is no obligation to do so. There is no need to include your date of birth, marital status or religion. There is no need to write "Curriculum Vitae" at the top of the page, or to include a photograph.
- Include your work permission status, if applicable e.g. “Eligible to work under Third Level Graduate Scheme, with possibility of extension.” If you are an EU citizen it can be helpful to indicate this so that employers know that you are legally entitled to work in Ireland without requiring a work permit.
- When listing your educational qualifications, give the Irish equivalent if possible (e.g. “equivalent to Irish 2.1” or “equivalent to Irish Leaving Certificate standard”). See the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland to check equivalence of qualifications.
- Draw attention to any additional skills you have which might make your application stand out, e.g. language skills, technical or IT skills, statistical packages used, instruments used, etc.
- There is no need to include degree certificates or official academic transcripts with your CV.
Top tips for international students: CV Language and Style
- Use your CV to present yourself in the best possible light to employers but be honest at all times.
- Use examples to provide evidence for your skills and qualities.
- Spelling and grammar – ask your native English-speaking friends or colleagues to look over your CV.
- Write in third person, and write about any current employment in the present tense, and about all previous experience in the past tense. Do not use 'I' or 'My'. For example, "Consistently submitted monthly project status reports in advance of deadline" instead of "I consistently submitted monthly project status reports in advance of the deadline".
- Phrasing should be direct, to the point, and persuasive – ask your Irish friends or colleagues to look.
- Use action words: e.g. Led, Managed, Analysed, Initiated…
- Focus on the things you improved, achieved and implemented, and give data to back this up e.g. "Implemented customer loyalty system which led to an 8% increase in customer satisfaction in 3 months".
- Use positive language – don’t undervalue your experience.
Please go to our CV section to find out in detail about Irish CV formats.
Click on this link to view a sample International student CV.
The Careers Advisory Service offers several supports to help you with your CV. If you need assistance with your CV come along to our weekly drop-in CV clinics - click here to find out when the next ones is taking place, or you can make an appointment with your Careers Consultant for a CV review.
Please note that the Careers Advisory Service does not provide a proof reading service.