How to write the perfect CV (template included)

Darragh McCarthy 05.06.2014

If anyone tells you that they know the definitive format of “the perfect CV”, then walk away…they clearly don’t know what they’re talking about!

The ideal or perfect CV is in fact completely different depending not only on the type of job but also on the specific industry or company you’re applying to, the country you're working in and most importantly of all, on the personal opinion of the hiring manager who is reading it.

Much like beauty then, what makes “the perfect CV” is completely a matter of opinion; and that rests in the eye of the beholder.

There are a few helpful hints however which will maximise your potential when it comes to hitting the right notes on your CV. And this is incredibly important. After all if your CV isn’t right, it doesn’t matter how perfect you are for the job. They will never know because they will never meet you.

  • The most important thing to do is to target your CV every time you apply for a job. That doesn’t mean exaggerate, that doesn’t mean invent and that doesn’t mean lie. All of these are grounds from dismissal from any company… so never do it!
  • What it does mean is that you highlight what is most relevant from your background to the job you’re applying for. That goes for experience and education.
  • Look at the job as advertised and mirror the language and terminology where you can. Keywords are how the vast majority of CV’s are found and without the right keywords, your CV may never be opened.
  • Your achievements are what sets you apart from every other applicant who had the same duties as you. These are your unique selling points so focus on achievements rather than duties.


Knowing the “perfect CV” then for a particular job means knowing the company you are applying to, and ideally knowing the person who is reviewing the CV. The best person to do that is a Recruitment Consultant (yes, this is the consultative part!). An experienced Consultant who specialises in your field and who knows that company is almost always the best option, Morgan McKinley or otherwise.

Attached here is a template for a CV which I find is "almost perfect" for Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement jobs in Ireland.

Please free to use, amend and tailor it for your dream job, and I really hope it helps get you your next interview. Getting the job then will be up to you! For more advice though, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me or my team.

Finally, here’s a short (true) story for you. You'll have to figure out the moral of the story yourself.

"There once was a lovely, long and brilliantly written cover letter, but it was never read. It’s in the bin as the HR Manager had 310 CVs to read and they couldn’t be bothered with letters. And they all lived unhappily ever after! The end."

Darragh McCarthy's picture
Associate Director