Common CV Questions

If you’re looking for a new job, no doubt you will have many questions. Also, I’m often asked the same sort of questions. So here are some answers to help you. If I haven’t answered your question, feel free to contact me.

Q: Is it worth hiring a professional CV writer?

The simple answer is yes absolutely. Writing or updating your own CV (or asking a friend or family to do it) isn’t as easy as you might think and will most likely lead to losing out on job opportunities. Many CV clients have done exactly that. Most CVs I see are either too short, lacking detail, or there is far too much waffle, with detail ‘lost’ within it. I’ve been a CV writer for over 25 years, and have never yet seen a CV that doesn’t need a lot of work. Anyone can write a CV of course, but detail, and emphasis of your strengths and career achievements are key. Getting your CV right, followed by applying for the right job, will give you the best chance of success.

Q:  I don’t have many/any qualifications. Does that matter?

A:  The answer isn’t straightforward – it depends on the job you’re applying for. Many roles don’t ask for qualifications.  However, if you are considering applying for a job that does require qualifications, my advice is to think twice before you apply, or contact the company in question for their advice.

Q:  I’ve never had a CV. Where do I start?

A:  If you started your career more than 30 years ago, the job hunting process was different. Most people relied upon a recruitment agency to find work, so you didn’t necessarily need a CV.  When applying for a job nowadays, you will need one. Even if its an online application and you don’t actually need a CV, having one to refer to will make your application much quicker and easier.

How long should my CV be?

A CV should be about 2 pages long. Shorter than than probably means you don’t have any detail. Longer means you’ve probably added too much waffle. If you have a complex or long career history, it’s possible that your CV will be more than 2 pages.

Do I need to write more than one CV?

Absolutely! In fact, you should use a tailored version of your ‘master’ CV every time you apply for a job. Ensure that you tailor the CV to the role, not to the industry.

I want to change direction in my career. Is that easy?

It’s possible, but not necessarily easy. You may need to re-train. You may have transferrable skills, but these might not be enough. Try to look for work in an industry you have experience in first.

Q:  I’ve got an old CV. Can I use this to apply for jobs?

A:  The quick answer is no! Chances are you haven’t updated your old CV in the last few years, or longer. Experience tells me that old CVs don’t result in interviews. By all means send it to me for a free review

In today’s job market it’s so important to have a CV that’s up-to-date and highlights all your skills and achievements. Competition is huge and there will be literally hundreds of CVs received per job. If yours isn’t a really good fit, you won’t stand a chance.

You can by all means use an old CV, however experience tells me it probably won’t result in an interview. You can email it to me to review free!

Can I apply for a job without a CV?

Most jobs you apply for will require a CV. It’s good to have one ready, then you’re prepared.

Q: I don’t have a CV. Can I just write down a few notes to apply for a job?

A:  I’ve heard cases where this has happened! Don’t do it! As I’ve said above, with hundreds of people potentially applying for a job, you will need a really good, focussed CV to have a chance of invitation to interview. A professional CV writer will spend hours writing a really good CV, requiring a lot of concentration.

Q:  I’ve sent my CV off to jobs but I’m not getting any replies. What am I doing wrong?

A:  Firstly, never use the same CV twice when applying for a job, unless the jobs are very similar. Each job requires a CV that’s tailored to the role. If your CV isn’t resulting in interviews, let me review it for you to highlight where you might be going wrong. If you’re using an old CV that you’ve just added some notes to update it, chances are that it isn’t detailed enough to ‘sell you’.

Q:  Some ‘experts’ say you don’t need a CV to apply for a job! 

A:  In my opinion you DO need a good CV. Even if you don’t need a document CV, having a good CV to refer to when applying for a job, makes the process much quicker and easier. Some application forms are online, and again you can use the information in your CV as reference. Without anything it could take you hours or even days!

Q:  Is it a good idea to have a good Linkedin profile too and why?

A:  A good Linkedin profile acts as your online CV and enables recruiters to find you online and contact you direct. It’s up to you whether you’re interested or not. According to online research around 90% of recruiters rely on Linkedin to find candidates, so if you’re not using Linkedin, you’re missing out! If you show you’re available on Linkedin, recruitment agencies may find and contact you direct, but be wary. Some are good, some are not! If your current Linkedin profile doesn’t work for you, I also offer a Linkedin profile writing service. 

Q:  What is the Social Share service?

A:  My other business is SJE Marketing, helping small businesses with their marketing and social media. My network of contacts is around 40,000 across all media – Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Social share means I will share your availability (excluding personal data) throughout my network, to give you the best chance of being successful in your job search.

Do you have a question I haven’t answered? Call me! Or message me here