If you’ve been using the same CV layout for some time and it hasn’t yet landed you the job of your dreams, it might be good to look at it with a more critical eye. Obviously a fresh CV is a good CV, and maybe a layout change might help readability. But should you take the next step, and get your CV reviewed by a professional?
You are certainly too close to your CV to be impartial, and you may also miss those subtle mistakes that you as the author read over. Never forget: typos, spelling mistakes, poor grammar and misplaced apostrophe’s (!) are some of the main reasons CVs are rejected by an employer. So you should always give your CV to a friend to look over – they may see the glaring errors that you miss.
But what about a professional CV review? Cost would be one reason not to – pricing ranges from around £50 through to £100+, but could be seen as a sound investment in your job search.
However, many of the professional services do offer a free, basic review, and you should definitely make use of these (presently CVNow https://www.cvnow.co.uk/ and theFullerCV https://www.thefullercv.com are two of several that offer free CV evaluations).
In particular it can be useful for showing how you appear to a recruiter who uses an ‘applicant tracking system’ that scans your CV and presents a snapshot of you based on your CV. For instance, it will provide a view of your overall skills (e.g. 60% Marketing, 40% Technical).
Here are the top tips for a good CV that a review may well flag:
- Keep it short, 2 pages at most
- Triple check your spelling and punctuation – then give to someone else to check
- Most recent jobs first, less details for older jobs
- Think keywords
And be sure to write with a more action-oriented turn of phrase – you didn’t just ‘manage’ or were ‘responsible for’, you slashed/negotiated/improved/won/… Sell yourself!
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