6 questions you should be asking yourself when writing your CV

Sunday, March 18, 2018

It can be so disheartening when you have sent off what feels like hundreds of applications, using your carefully written CV, but still aren’t getting the responses you were hoping for from employers. If you are amending your CV in the hopes of bagging a new job, or are writing it for the first time, here are 6 questions you should be asking yourself.


1. Does the information on my CV match with what’s on my social media?

Social media is an incredibly important tool for employers, particularly LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn is your online professional persona and most people provide a comprehensive list of their work history on their profiles. Make sure the information on your CV matches what is on your social media. It won’t look good if the dates, job titles and responsibilities are different to those on your CV. It could lead the employer to question why you are being inconsistent and if there is something you’re hiding.


2. Do the skills listed on my CV meet all the essential skills listed on the job description?

There’s no point applying to be a brain surgeon if you’re a butcher! Frequently job descriptions will list essential skills as well as desirable ones. You must at least have all the essential skills before you think about applying and if not, don’t panic, are there courses you could take to upskill? Many online courses provide comprehensive training in all kinds of subjects, such as Marketing and Microsoft packages. These courses combine learning tools like videos and online exercises to make the information accessible to a wide range of learning styles. Often you will receive a certificate once you have completed the course, which you can then add to your CV as a new qualification / skill.


3. Have I listed my relevant skills on my CV?

If your skills are particularly relevant, for instance, if you have knowledge of a software programme or a qualification, list them below your profile under the subheading ‘Skills’. Putting important information on the first page means the employer doesn’t have to go to the second page of your CV to know you’re right for the role.


4. Is my CV formatted correctly with no spelling or grammatical mistakes?

On average employers spend around 6 seconds reading a CV, not long at all! If there is a mistake, they won’t think twice about moving on to the next one. Don’t rely on spell check to proof read as this won’t pick up mistakes in, for example, email addresses or telephone numbers.


5. Am I tailoring my CV and profile for each job application I make?

Look at the job description and amend your employment history so the most relevant responsibilities to the role are bullet pointed at the top, under each previous position you have held. Also, change your profile for each application by reading the job description and thinking about how you can sell yourself in a succinct and professional way.


6. Have I listed the types of positions I have held and explained any gaps in my employment history?  

If an employer is scanning your CV, they could be thinking you have jumped from place to place whilst in permanent positions. Or it could just be that you have forgotten to mention they were temporary / contract roles. Putting the type of position before the job title, e.g. temporary, permanent and contract, leaves out room for any ambiguity or doubt in the employer’s mind about your commitment to work. Also, if you have any gaps in your employment history, write a short sentence explaining why. For example, you might put ‘I went travelling in Australia for 3 months.’- lucky you if you can actually say this!

Moving jobs, or getting your first job, is tough no matter how good your application is, so stick with it! Hopefully with these tips you will start getting responses from potential employers, good luck!

View our CV Tips page for more information on how to write your CV.