Our Top Tips

colm caveyView the various articles and blogs written in our Top-Tips which are mostly comments on some of the less obvious issues relating to work, career change and/or job searching. Less obvious - yes, but important nonetheless.

The links to all these articles are on the drop-down menus below and listed under their relevant topics. As always, your comments are welcome.

'Top-Tips' are short extracts from the Jobdoctor's Career Change Manual all of which is freely available to all our clients.





The best time to write a C.V. is when you don’t need one!


Never Write a C.V. in a Hurry 


A few days ago the Taoiseach, the Irish prime minister announced the governments plan for a carefully managed return to work through the coming summer. All this is conditional on the Covid-19 infection continues to recede as anticipated.

I rarely ever repeat an article but in this instance the one I wrote about three weeks ago was;


The best time to write a C.V. is when you don’t need one!


Now it’s more relevant than ever. All being well the return to work will mean an unprecedented rush of job applications at every level and in every sector.


What I wrote and is now more relevant an ever was;

As sure as night follows day, this contagion will pass, but it will leave a trail of distress and disaster behind it.  For some companies and business large and small will re-open at the first opportunity and recommence trading as fast as possible and strive to catch up on their business lost.


Despite this, no one can guarantee that all staff members laid off will be re-employed. Business owners will be carefully reappraising the market place and their needs and will, without doubt, re-employ only the absolute minimum number to get started and hire more people as their trade picks up speed.


At this point, the company may take the opportunity to rationalise or re-organise very carefully with the result being not all the same staff numbers will be needed in the 'new look' organisation. Their needs will be carefully appraised, and employment carried out with precision.


In doing that there is no guarantee that all staff will be rehired. Employers will hire the best and leave the rest. They will carefully engage further people as needs arise. Unfortunately, some won't be invited back at all. Their view might be that a short advert in the right place could produce an ideal candidate closer to their needs.


Writing a C.V. is probably the last thing on most peoples mind at the moment. However, it's essential to take this break in the employment market to write, rewrite or update your old C.V. When the rush comes, as it will, it will not be the time to scribble an updated document in a hurry.


The best time to write a C.V. is when you don't need one. That’s a time when you can do it at your leisure and give it the time to get it right.  Also, whatever condition your old C.V. is in it probably needs to be updated and record the break from your work that you experienced as a result of Covid-19.


During that time, did you do anything unusual, creative or innovative? If so, describe what you did, show initiative and demonstrate how you are active and keep busy no matter how small or simple your activity was. 


Did you do some part-time work anywhere, maybe help with a charity organisation, perhaps drive for meals on wheels, do deliveries or anything that shows you're a 'doer' but always complying with the Government recommendations? If you did, say it.


Update your most recent employment detailing achievements or responsibilities that an employer will want to read. Give all the old past jobs a good ‘haircut’ and keep the whole thing to two pages only.


Nevertheless have a good, updated C.V. ready to go. Have your target recruiters listed in preparation so you can contact them when the moment is right. Likewise prepare a list of target companies where you think your expertise would be a match to their needs.


The one thing you should not do is to wait until you see an advert and the go about creating a C.V. based on that single advert. That C.V. will be of no use for anything else; it will be a miss-match.


When that's all done, then prepare for a new style interview process.  Telephone interviews have been part of our lives over the last few years, especially where there is a significant response to an advert' posted.  Usually, the phone interview reduces the list of applicants down to a manageable number, and then the face to face interviews followed.


Looking to the future phone interviews will be used every time at the initial stage and then followed by Skype as the numbers get whittled down to a selected few. This is where the whole interview takes on a different style.

Skype interviews tend to be very intense, driven by a pre-prepared list of questions. This doesn't allow for developing a rapport with the interviewer. It's very hard to make a connection, make good eye contact, sell yourself, sell your skills and your style or demeanour.


Preparation for Skype interviews is a subject all of its own and the subject for another day. Suffice to say it's full of tripwires and something that needs lots of preparation and practice.


Do your C.V., and do three well scripted and professional cover letters. One is in response to an advertisement, one for introducing yourself to a recruiter, and the third a speculative letter to a company. Save them and have them ready to go, and you will never miss an opportunity.


Further information about the author, Colm Cavey can be seen below and also at


The very best of luck. 

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