So you’ve completed your CV and you’re ready to send it off as part of your application to that job vacancy you’ve got your eye on. But wait…before you print it off or attach it to an email, be sure to review your CV. You want to make sure there are no glaring mistakes or nothing vital you’ve accidentally missed out before you let a recruiter or potential employer see it.
Here are 5 top tips for reviewing your CV:
1. Be objective.
Although you may be extremely pleased with your efforts and believe that you have produced the best CV possible, it’s important to re-read it with an open mind. If you were a recruitment agent or HR director, what would you honestly think of this CV? Consider whether you’re happy with how you’ve portrayed yourself—remember, the eventual readers of the CV most probably haven’t met you before. This is their ‘first impression’ of you, as it were.
2. Double check everything
Double check the spellchecker’s suggestions. You already know it’s absolutely vital that you use spellchecker on your finished CV to correct any spelling and grammar errors, but don’t just automatically accept all the suggested changes without properly looking at them. Spellcheckers occasionally scan a particular spelling mistake and suggest a word that has an entirely different meaning to the one you originally intended. Be sure to select the right suggested corrections to avoid embarrassing misunderstandings.
3. Proofread manually too.
Another issue with spellcheck is that it doesn’t always detect all mistakes, whether these be spelling, grammar or syntax errors. Even after you’ve put your CV through spellcheck, it’s worthwhile reading the document yet again to make sure that all typos really have been eliminated.
4. Check the Layout
Content is not the only thing that’s important here—the format and design of a CV can also influence its reader for better or for worse. When you’re looking over your CV, be sure that there isn’t too much ‘white space’. However, the text shouldn’t be too small or crammed in either. As a rule the font size used should be 12 and each section should be separated from the previous one with a double line break.
Think about how to make your CV clean, easy to read and non cluttered.
5. Ask for Help
Get someone in the know to ‘beta-read’ for you. No matter how many times you yourself review your CV, it’s always worth getting a second opinion before sending it off, if possible. As opposed to getting an immediate family member or close friend to review it for you, look for someone able to give an opinion characterised by both objectivity and expertise. Perhaps you know someone in the recruitment business or HR sector who’d be willing to act as your ‘beta-reader’. Alternatively, if you’ve been working with a career guide or coach as part of your job search strategy, they may well offer a CV reviewing service.