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How strong is your CV?

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Use the questions below to check that your CV is application ready.

1 Is it tailored for the role?

Keep your CV succinct by removing irrelevant information and keeping it focused on the role you’re applying for.

Are you quoting specific achievements that showcase your strengths related to the role?

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2 Are you ready for first contact?

Are your contact details clear?

Is your email address professional and appropriate?

Have you recorded an appropriate voicemail message?

Email and telephone are the main contact methods for most jobs, so consider whether it’s necessary to include your home address.

As a general rule, it’s not a requirement to include your date of birth.

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3 Does your personal statement describe behavioural traits?

If you’re including a personal statement, does it highlight significant skills and experience relevant to the role? e.g. an experienced project manager with Prince II qualifications…

Avoid describing your behavioural traits e.g. ‘great communicator…’

Hiring Managers are looking for candidates that stand out. Detailing your significant skills and experience rather than behavioural traits should help you get noticed.

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4 How many pages?

Does the Hiring Manager have more than two pages to read?

Two pages should be ideal to showcase your relevant strengths for the role.

We don’t recommend attaching a photo as this takes up valuable space on your CV.

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5 How important are qualifications?

Relevant qualifications and experience are key elements of your CV which will be reviewed by the Hiring Manager during the selection process.

Reflect on the requirements of the role before ordering your CV and position the most relevant information first.

How much detail?

Summarise your GCSEs. It may be relevant to give more detail about higher qualifications, but ensure you emphasise the information most relevant to the role you’re applying for..

6 Too much information?

Is your work experience in chronological order, starting with the most recent?

Have you included the role, the company, the dates you worked there and a brief description?

Have you bullet-pointed your duties and successes, rather than using long paragraphs which can be harder to read?

Are you stating tangible measures e.g. length of experience, scale of tasks and key achievements?

Have you ditched minor duties irrelevant to the role you’re applying for?

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7 Do you have any unexplained gaps?

Your CV shouldn’t have an unexplained gaps.

Hiring Managers will want to know what you have been doing during any of the gaps, so don’t be afraid to include activities like travel, volunteering and personal projects, particularly where they highlight relevant skills or achievements.

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hows your grammer

Have you checked for spelling and grammar errors?

Have you relied on spell-check?

It won’t pick up on everything, so triple check your CV and ask a friend or colleague to proof-read your CV.

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9 What’s the bigger picture?

Have you used no more than one or two simple fonts that make your CV easy to read?

Stick to simple Sans Serif fonts like Arial.

Is the appearance of your CV consistent throughout?

Are there big chunks of text? Lengthy paragraphs make it harder for Hiring Managers to identify the information they need.

Use bullets, headings and tables to present your information in an easy-to-read way.

Have you had a second opinion on your layout?

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10 So, you enjoy socialising…

If you’re including hobbies and interests, try to demonstrate relevant skills and achievements through these.

Highlight fundraising efforts, voluntary work or big achievements related to your hobbies – particularly those that are relevant to the role.

Are these in the right place on your CV? Hobbies and interests (if listed), are normally best at the end of a CV.

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