Origon's Sample CV Template:
Brief personal statement:
Summarise your experience to date focusing on what you can offer the employer. Adapt this to the role in question and your specific skill set.
- Dates attended
- University / College nam
- Qualification / Degree nam
- List of relevant modules completed
- Projects you were involved in.
Employment History - reverse chronological order:
- Employers’ Name
- Dates Employed
- Job Title
- Main responsibilities listed in bullet points.
- Skills and experience gained.
Key Achievements and Skills:
- Include achievements and skills that will be beneficial in the role you are applying for.
- Skills such as communication, problem solving and initiative are attractive to employers as well as technical skills such as IT or computer skills.
Interests and Hobbies:
- Give an overview of your personality here by showing your employers what your interests are outside of work.
Referees: (Or references available on request.)
You might also be interested in our CV writing advice section.
How to write a winning CV:
When it comes to applying for a new job, your CV needs to stand out from the crowd.
There are loads of conflicting articles detailing the do’s and don’ts of CV writing. Whilst there are a few essential things to include and some to avoid, the general format and what you write is up to you.
- Use a sensible black font (Times New Roman / Arial)
- Include a key achievements section (recent, relevant achievements)
- Add a key skills section detailing your key skills for the role
- Don’t use text boxes or tables
- Don’t include pictures or logos
- Ensure there are no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors
Format and Presentation:
Ensure that your CV is well laid out, avoid blocks of text, add in bullet points to break up the text and ensure it looks attractive.
Use a font that is easy to read and a decent size (11 or 12pt), Times New Roman or Arial.
Make sure your CV is specific, concise, and most importantly relevant. In general a CV should have the following sections:
Put your full contact details on the top of your CV, including: address, mobile number, landline, and email address. Make sure these are up to date – if we can’t contact you what’s the point of sending in your CV? Also, you are using a professional email address for all job applications.
This should be a paragraph or two explaining what makes you a good candidate for the role. This should briefly cover your background, relevant skills, and an insight into you as an individual. Academic background/professional qualifications: This should list your academic background with the most recent at the top. If you are a recent graduate this section should contain good detail about the course you did, especially modules relevant to the jobs you are applying for. You should include the subjects, grades achieved, institutions, and course dates. This is the same for professional qualifications/training.
In reverse chronological order list your relevant experience with descriptions of your duties at each position. Make sure you explain what you have gained from the experience, rather than merely what you did. It’s important to acknowledge any career gaps.
Include a skills matrix at the top of your CV highlighting the main skills you have as an individual. These can be technical and/or personal skills. This makes it easier to quickly identify your suitability for the job.
This should be a list of 3-5 key achievements. These must be recent (last 3 years, ideally), and relevant for the role you are applying for. Be specific about your achievements- statistics and figures are important.
Interest and Hobbies:
Include some details of any interests or hobbies you have. Make sure you think about what these say about you as a person and whether these support your application or not.
Read over your CV thoroughly and check for spelling/grammar mistakes. Don’t rely solely on spell check. If possible get somebody else to read through your CV too. Read it aloud to ensure it sounds ok.You might also be interested in our CV layout advice section.
How best to approach the interview:
Interviews can be daunting - with the right interview preparation, you can optimise your interview performance and land that dream job!
It’s critical that you research the company you are interviewing for. Find out about their history, products, and services. The best place to start is their website, but don’t rely on this alone. A good tip is to read some recent news stories about the company. This will help you establish that all-important rapport with your interviewer. You’ll be able to demonstrate a deep understanding of the company and show that you’ve taken your time to fully understand what they do.
Make sure you know the exact date, time, and location of the interview as well as who you are meeting. Your consultant will provide you with all of the above information.
Plan your route the night before, there is no excuse for being late because you got the details wrong or didn’t allow enough time to get there. If for unforeseen circumstances, you will be late, you need to phone your consultant immediately so they can inform the client.
Before the interview, think about the types of questions you might be asked. “Why do you want this job?” and “Why do you think you’re suited to this position?” are staples, so make sure you line up a few points to tackle them.
Probably the best piece of advice for answering questions in an interview is slow down. You always have more time than you think. Take a few moments to compose yourself before you answer a question. Taking a sip of water is a great way to do this. This will help you stay confident and not get too thrown off by awkward questions.
Try to answer questions in a clear and concise way. This makes your answers easy to follow and stops you from rambling. Be specific in your answers. If you’re not sure something is relevant, consider whether it’s worth mentioning at all.
Come prepared with a handful of questions to ask the interviewer. There’s nothing worse than coming to the end of a great interview and then having nothing to say when the interviewer says “Have you got any questions for me?” Asking about training and development within the role is a good idea. Don’t ask about the salary/package though, this has been covered with your recruitment consultant. Don’t ask too many questions about promotions either; this is likely to make the interviewer nervous about how long you’d be happy in that position.
Always dress smartly for an interview. By looking professional, you’re telling the interviewer that you are serious about the role.
You might also be interested in our Top 7 Questions to ask at an Interview.
Origon’s top 7 Interview Questions:
One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is to ask the right questions during your interview.
By asking the right questions you will stand out as someone who is truly interested in the job rather than someone who is only interested in getting the job.
This section of the interview allows you to ensure that the interviewer has no reservations; while also giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your interest and decide if this is an organisation you want to work for.
The questions you ask should confirm your qualifications as the ideal candidate for the position and should be based around these goals.
It is important to prepare a good stock of questions as some may have been answered during the course of the interview. Below we have put together our Top 7 Interview Questions to help you stand out as the ideal candidate:
What skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate?
This is a great open-ended question that will have the interviewer put their cards on the table and allow you to understand exactly what they are looking for.
How can I be a good addition to your team?
One of the most important elements of working within an organisation is being good at working with other people. This question shows the interviewer that you are interested in both getting the job and working alongside the rest of the team.
This question is extremely important if you are applying for a position that involves a lot of collaboration, or if the organisation you are applying to work for has a organisation culture that heavily values collaborative work.
Can you tell me about the team I will be working with in this role?
Not only will this give you an insight into the people you will be interacting with on a daily basis, but it is also phrased in a way that assumes you are going to get the job.
The people you work with have a huge impact on your creativity, productivity and focus. If your role involves working with other people, ask for more information on the people you’ll be working with if you get the job. This signals to the interviewer that you’re interested in the people that make up the organisation. It also signals that you care about your colleagues, indicating that you are a team player.
What constitutes as success in this organisation?
By asking this question you are illustrating your interest in being successful and while gaining an insight on how to progress within the role. A follow on from this question would be to ask about any challenges that may arise – this will further illustrate that you are already thinking about how you can help the team, and encourages the employer to picture you within the role
How will I help the organisation achieve its goals?
One of the keys to passing an interview is demonstrating that you are interested in the organisation’s success, not just your success. Before your interview, research the organisation sp that you have a good understanding of its goals, objectives and mission.
During the interview, take the opportunity to ask about how you can help achieve the organisation’s goals. No matter how minor your role within the organisation might be, showing that you care about outcomes sets you apart as someone who cares.
What is the usual time frame for making the hiring decision?
This is an essential question as it shows you are interested in moving along within the process and invites the interviewer to tell you about other candidates.
May I contact you if any further questions arise?
This leaves you on good terms with the interviewer.
By using this section of the interview well you will have the opportunity to obtain further information with regards to both the position and the organisation itself.
Take advantage of this opportunity to ensure this is the right position for you.
You might also be interested in our Interview advice section.
How to resign from your current role:
Resigning from your job can be a difficult and daunting situation.
Whether you’ve had a good or bad experience with your current employer, you still have to hand in your letter of resignation and explain the situation. Here is our guide on how to resign cleanly and respectfully.
When writing your letter of resignation, make sure you are clear and to the point. There’s no need to explain why you are leaving in your letter of resignation, the letter simply needs to state that you are resigning and when your last day will be.
The likelihood is, this meeting will be fairly short and straightforward, but it’s worth being prepared anyway. Your boss may try and persuade you to stay; you may be offered a pay rise, you may even be offered a promotion. You need to remember the reasons you were looking for another job in the first place.
See our section on counter offers for more information.
Politely inform your boss that it is time for you to move on and hand over your letter of resignation. Make sure you agree upon an end date.
After the conversation is over allow a little time for your boss to process what has happened before you tell all your colleagues (it might be worth discussing the way the news will be delivered with your boss in the meeting).
Here are our top tips for resigning smoothly:
- Keep your letter of resignation clean and concise.
- Agree a date for your final day.
- Remain professional throughout your notice period.
You might also be interested in our Counter Offer advice section.
How to handle a counter offer:
Employers don’t like to see talented employees go. Selecting and hiring a replacement is expensive and time consuming, and there’s no guarantee that the new person will have the same work ethic.
So what is the alternative?
The Counter Offer.
When you hand in your notice, you may well be offered a pay rise or similar improvements to your position to try to get you to stay. This can put you in a difficult position; our guide to counter offers will help you through the process.
So you’ve just received a job offer and you’re about to walk into your boss’s office and hand in your resignation. Be aware that your boss may well give you a counter offer and try to get you to stay. Knowing this on the way in ensures that you are prepared. Make sure you have decided if you would accept a counter offer or not, and stick to that decision.
It all comes down to why you wanted to leave in the first place. If you were unhappy in your position/the workplace, a pay rise is not going to change this.
Overall it’s best to stick to your original decision.
According to industry reports over 50% of employees who accept a counter offer change employers within the next 2 years.
Furthermore, even if you decide to stay at a company it might not be quite the same. Employers often view people who have accepted counter offers as flight risks and employees often find themselves ostracised from so-called ‘inner circles’. Your boss may be left wondering if your CV is still doing the rounds.
Here are our top tips for dealing with counter offers:
- Decide if you’d be willing to accept a counter offer before you hand in your letter of resignation
- Be prepared for your boss to try to persuade you to stay
- Stick to your decision
You might also be interested in our How to Resign advice section.