Five Ways to Critique Your CV Before Submitting It

Before sending your CV off to a hiring manager, make sure there are no mistakes. Look out for some of these main CV critiques.

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Table of Contents

  1. Do you have to have your CV critiqued?
  2. How do CV critiques benefit job seekers?
  3. Five of the most common CV critiques
  4. CV critique checklist: don’t forget these key elements
  5. FAQ: can a CV critique improve your CV?

Do you have to have your CV critiqued?

Looking for a career change and just starting your job search? Before you submit your CV with a job application, it’s usually a good idea to have someone look at it first. This way, you can have a chance to make edits before it’s in front of a hiring manager.

You always have the option of sending your CV and cover letter to a CV expert to have it analysed, critiqued and edited for success. Or just follow the below five steps to critique your own CV.


How do CV critiques benefit job seekers?

CV critiques benefit people who are looking for a new job in many ways. For example, a professional CV reviewer will take the time to analyse your CV just as an employer would. Then they’ll give you their suggestions for edits, so you have a chance to revise your CV before sending it over to a hiring manager.

 
Additionally, constructive criticism from a professional CV reviewer allows you to find areas of improvement and an unbiased perspective on your CV skills. Overall, getting a second opinion on your CV and cover letter can be crucial to creating an outstanding first impression.

Five of the most common CV critiques

Creating a CV from scratch is challenging. Luckily, you can use a template as a guide for formatting your CV content creatively. However, using a template doesn’t ensure a perfect CV—there is still room for error. Let’s go over five of the most common CV critiques.

  1. Poor choice of fonts, design and formatting
  2. Misspelled words and grammatical errors
  3. Irrelevant job descriptions
  4. Forgetting relevant non-work-related experiences
  5. Too much or not enough information 

Poor choice of fonts, design and formatting

 
An excellent first impression is crucial, even with your CV. So if your CV looks busy and messy at first glance, that’s usually not a good sign. Use a modern font and design to make it visually appealing, and leave enough white space to keep it readable. Additionally, aim for a CV that’s around one page long, concise and formatted correctly. Using bullet points and brief phrases throughout helps make it easy on the eyes and simple for recruiters or hiring managers to read.
 
Misspelled words and grammatical errors
 
Misspelled words and grammatical errors are easily noticeable on your CV. It’s imperative to eliminate these types of errors. After all, if you let these simple mistakes slip, it may send a message to employers that you lack the right attention to detail in your work.
 
Irrelevant job descriptions
 
Another critique you may encounter if someone reviews your CV is that the content is irrelevant job descriptions. It’s essential to focus your CV on the skills and experiences that best qualify you for the job.
 
Forgetting relevant non-work-related experiences
 
It’s critical for job seekers to include any relevant non-work-related experiences on their CV. For example, incorporate volunteer hours, certification training and internships you’ve completed if they show specific skills or experiences that can contribute to your next job.
 
Too much or not enough information
 

Often, when writing a CV, less is more. After all, the average recruiter spends about six to seven seconds looking at your CV. Keeping it short and concise will allow recruiters to assess the most important information quickly. For example, it’s not necessary to include your marital status, nationality or other personal information. On the other hand, you don’t want to submit a blank sheet of paper. Write thorough, brief bullet points with enough action words to display your work history and experiences accurately. Using bullet points for your skills section is a good way to make your CV easy to read. For example, you can list your skills using action verbs in bullet points, such as:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving
  • Written communication skills
  • Management


CV critique checklist: don’t forget these key elements

Although not all of the following are completely necessary, some of the most common elements of a CV include: 

  • Contact information
  • Personal statement
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Soft skills and hard skills
  • Certifications and memberships
  • Hobbies, activities or extracurriculars
  • Achievements

FAQ: can a CV critique improve your CV?

Q: Should you have someone critique your cover letter along with your CV?

It’s always best to submit a cover letter along with your CV. Before you submit your cover letter, you can have someone review it to make sure there are no spelling mistakes or formatting issues. Having another person proofread and critique your cover letter and CV is a great way to improve your job applications.

Q: What are the most common CV mistakes?

Some of the most common CV writing mistakes include spelling errors, grammar mistakes, poor formatting, leaving off important information, and writing too much for each section. 

Q: Should I have someone else critique my CV?

While you don’t have to send your CV to someone else for review, it’s always a good idea to. After all, it’s easy to breeze past simple mistakes if you’re the one who made them.

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