CV Guide

Getting the best out of a CV review

Posted on August 30, 2018 at 9:57 am

If you’ve been signing up to agency sites recently, you may have been offered (and accepted) a free CV review, as part of the sign-up process. Increasingly employers and their agents use software to sift through applications and CV content, dramatically reducing the time it takes them to assess who to invite for interview.

Whilst many employers will advise that the software doesn’t always get it right, it is out there and in use, so it’s worth bearing in mind. However, so is the purpose of the free CV review; whilst it does run your CV through the type of software that may be used, and give you some strong suggestions as a result, you’ll be met at the end with an invite to get your CV professionally re-written to address its shortcomings.

It is therefore worth noting that this is, like anything that appears to be free, part of a sales pitch. That’s not to say that you can’t get some use out of the review; it will give you some pointers that can readily be applied. Mine suggested applying a more achievement based focus, and identified some repetitive use of language. I’ve since run it through again another system, with much better results.


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Distributing your CV – how to Make Sure Employers Know About You

Posted on March 13, 2017 at 11:45 am

Your curriculum vitae is your most important tool when it comes to finding a new job. Once you have perfected its contents, you need to make sure the right people see it so that they can offer you an interview and, ultimately, a new job. Here are some of the best ways to distribute your CV effectively

  • Upload your CV online. There are lots of websites that will allow you to add your CV so that recruitment consultants can find you. This will make your CV highly visible to people who can offer you interesting and relevant positions.
  • Send your CV off to relevant companies. Even if they don’t have any positions at present, it will make you look eager which will in turn make your more memorable. They will keep your CV on file if you sound like an interesting candidate.
  • Send your CV directly to a recruitment agency. They will match you with the positions they have.

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Help with creating your first CV

Posted on July 12, 2016 at 11:54 am

Once you have left education and are in the process of looking for work, you will need to create a CV. A CV is a document that details your past and present work experience along with any qualifications and education you have. It may also include our hobbies.

If it is your first time in writing a CV then you may struggle to know what information to include, how much detail to go in to and how to lay it all out.

There are many places online that offer free sample CV’s and your carers advisor at school or part of the local job centre will also be able to offer you advice and guidance on CV writing. If you are using a template off the internet then make sure that it is from a reputable company. Some recruitment agencies will supply a CV template and guidance notes explaining how to create one in the right format.


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Explaining anomalies on your CV

Posted on January 19, 2016 at 8:24 pm

When writing a CV there may be times when you have to put something on that doesn’t look great such as a gap in employment or short employment period at a number of companies. Although you will often have the chance to discuss these anomalies when attending an interview, you may not even get that far. I would advise putting a little comment next to the anything that looks a little odd, just explaining briefly the reasons why. Employers to not have the time to read pages and pages of information, but a little note to say why, is perfectible acceptable.

If you are invited for an interview, be prepared for any questions they may ask you about it. Be honest but try and explain exactly why you had to leave a company after a short time. Some employers will not be concerned with such anomalies, but it is better to be prepared than find yourself on the spot.


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Proof reading your CV

Posted on June 17, 2015 at 7:48 pm

CV stands for curriculum vitae, which is Latin for ‘course of life’. It is essentially a document in which you are trying to sell yourself by telling a potential employer what skills and experience you have that makes you the ideal candidate for a job position they have available.

When writing a CV it can be hard to know where to start, how much detail to go in to and how long it should be. There are many websites that will offer you free guidance on writing a CV and even give you downloadable templates to use. These can be a great starting point but there is always something vitally important to remember… Proof reading!

You may be surprised how many CV’s are sent to employers that contain a number of mistakes. Some are spelling mistakes but a lot also contain mistakes in the contact details making it impossible for the employer to contact you if they are interested in you attending an interview. These mistakes can put employers off immediately as they may think that if you cannot take the time to re-read your CV then you may put the effort in to your work.

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Should you put a photo on your CV?

Posted on April 28, 2015 at 10:14 am

This topic is often subject to debate as some employers like to see photos on a CV and some think it’s unnecessary. The good thing about sending in a photo with your CV is it allows the employer to put a face to a name and if they have a stack of CVs they are more likely to remember you. There are also some industries where it is generally expected that you have a photo on your CV, such as customer facing roles in the beauty industry or a job in performing arts/drama.

For these it would be an idea to get a professional photo taken and in the case of the beauty industry dress as you would for work, hair tied back neatly, a clean smart uniform and ensure that you smile. This will give the employer a good idea that you can look professional and friendly and understand the importance of dressing for health and safety during treatments.

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How important is a cover letter when sending a company my CV?

Posted on March 27, 2015 at 12:45 am

Although time consuming generally once you have put together your CV it’s just a case of printing out multiple copies to hand out to any prospective employers, however the same cannot be said of a cover letter.

There are some people who write a very basic cover letter using generic terms in order to make it a ‘one size fits all’ document to hand to all prospective employers. The problem with this is that although it will save you time, it will be quite obvious that the letter is not aimed at an individual or even at a company and can give the impression that you can’t be bothered to put in the extra effort with your application.

The best course of action before writing your cover letter is to call the company and state that you would like to send in a copy of your CV for consideration and would like to know who it would need to be addressed to. This will boost your chances of being considered for a role as you know your details will quickly reach the correct person and if addressed to them they will know that you have done your research.

Your cover letter should be not too lengthy but should state references to the company and job role you are applying for.

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How much detail should you put on your CV?

Posted on February 24, 2015 at 12:15 pm

When composing your CV it can be hard to know exactly how much information you should put on it. It can be tempting to fill it with as much info as possible but the problem with this is that if a potential employer has a large pile of CVs to look through and yours is five pages long you can almost guarantee that they won’t bother reading the majority of the content. The general rule of thumb is to not exceed two sides of A4 paper.

The basic idea of your CV is to get a potential employer intrigued, give them some content that they will find relevant to their industry and only give the basic information with a view to discussing points on your CV at an interview.

I personally have always found the use of bullet points very effective when describing previous responsibilities in jobs that I have had before. These keep the facts short and to the point and allow the potential employer to scan read to quickly gain the information that they need.

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CV templates off the internet

Posted on December 16, 2014 at 9:37 pm

There are thousands of websites that offer CV templates and many of them are free. Some of the templates are quite good whilst others are simply very outdated or not written well.

When using a template to write a CV you should always make sure that you check everything that is in there. Too many people rely on the spelling, punctuation and grammar being correct simply because they think that a template will always be correct (this is very often not the case).

Although a template can be a great way to start a CV you should look at more than one as they can differ greatly in content and layout suggestions.

One important thing you must do when using a CV template is ensure that you proof read your CV a few times and ideally get a friend or family member to read through it too. It is very easy to leave a section of information in a CV that was on the original template and does not apply to you.

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Keeping your CV up to date

Posted on September 24, 2014 at 9:34 am

Writing a CV can be a long process and you may feel unsure of exactly what you should include and in how much detail. There are many useful websites out there that will tell you what a CV should contain and show you examples of them.

If you already have a CV then I would suggest trying to update it every six months or so. Even if yo haven’t changed jobs, you may have learnt new skills or been sent on training course that you wish to include in your CV. If you update it as you go along it means that when you do come to apply for a new job, you should have most of the information already on there and it may just be a bit of tweaking.

Many people don’t update their CV for years and then they see a job which they want to apply for but the closing date is too soon to allow them to have chance to update the CV. You don’t want to miss out on the career you have always wanted.

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