When preparing a CV there are two main things to consider as follows:
1) The content - is the content clear and does it reflect your skills and experience in a way that the reader can understand what you are talking about
2) Appearance - is the information presented in a clear way making the document easy to follow and appealing to read.
The content is the most important aspect of your cv. The first section of your CV should contain your personal information, such as your phone number and email address. There is no need to include your marital status, family status, or a passport photo in this section.
After your personal information you may want to include a short summary to state what you offer and what you are looking for.
The next section should be a summary of your education. You education should be listed in reverse chronological order so that your most recent qualification is listed first, and it should include the name of the course or qualification, the date of achieving the qualification, the institute from which you achieved it, and the final result (if relevant). If you are a trainee actuary be clear about where you are in the qualification process and what exemptions you attained from college. If you are a graduate be confident about declaring what exemptions you are expecting in your final grade. Graduates and trainees should include the results of their most relevant Leaving Certificate subjects i.e. Maths!
Next is work experience. Each position should be listed in reverse chronological order and should include the name of the company, the dates that you worked in that position, your job title, and your main responsibilities and achievements whilst in that position. If there are employment gaps in your CV be sure to account for them or it may be perceived that you have something to hide.
After work experience you should include a short summary of your IT skills and any other relevant skills or experience that you might have.
The next section should be an outline of your personal interests. This shows the employer that you are a rounded individual who has interests outside of work.
You can close off your CV off with ‘references available on request’. There is no need to list your referees’ contact information as this information will not be required until the end of the recruitment process and you want to retain control over when your references are contacted.
Whilst content is the most important it's really important to present the information in a clear manner. Here are some cv tips to help you:
- Try to keep your CV to two pages (three if you have a lot of experience)
- Use bullet points rather than large bodies of text where possible (ensure that bullet points are consistent)
- Make sure your CV is written in one font and that the font size is consistent.
- Leave enough white space to ensure the CV does not look too busy.
- Don’t over use bold, italic and underlined fonts
- Print your CV on single sided pages - lay the cv out on the table - is it appealing to read
- Run a spell check on your CV and make sure it's in English and not American!
If you are looking for your next actuarial role and would like assistance in preparing or improving your CV please send a copy of your current CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will send you a CV template and some personalised tips for improvement.