CV questions


Answers to

Common CV Questions

Here are some answers to common questions. If you don’t find your answer here, feel free to contact me.

Q: Why should I hire a professional CV writer, instead of asking a friend or family member?

Anyone can write a CV, however trying to ‘sell’ yourself on paper isn’t that easy when it’s your own CV. You’re very likely to miss out detail that could prove vital to your job application. I’ve been a CV writer since 1995 and I’ve never yet seen a CV that doesn’t need a lot of work. Getting your CV right, and applying for the right job, will give you the best chance of success.

Q:  There are lots of CV writers, why should I choose you?

A: It depends on what you’re looking for. If you have a low budget, some CV writing services offer very cheap rates, but you don’t necessarily get value for money. Quite a few farm out their CVs to writers who are paid peanuts (typically 30% of the price they charge!). I know this for a fact as I have been approached several times to work for such companies. 

So, choose me because:

  • I have over 25 years of experience in writing CVs and Linkedin profiles.
  • I focus on a personal approach, which I’m told is hard to find elsewhere and tends to be lacking in larger companies.
  • I do every CV myself, I don’t ‘farm’ them out, so you’re getting the best value from an experienced writer. 
  • I make sure every client is 100% happy with their work before it’s signed off.  
  • I genuinely care about your CV. Large CV agencies boast about their numbers, but I believe quality far outweighs quantity.  

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

A:  This 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, 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 20-30 years ago, most people relied upon recruitment agencies to find work, so you didn’t always need a CV.  Nowadays, with everything online, in many cases a CV is vital. Even if the job application is online, it really helps to have a CV to refer to, as it will make the application process much quicker and easier. 

Q: How long should my CV be?

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

Q: Can I use one CV for every job application?

A: In a word no! 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.

Q: I want to change direction in my career. Is that possible?

It’s possible, but not easy. You may need to re-train. Even if you have transferrable skills, these might not be enough to be successful. 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 probably not. 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, with literally hundreds of CVs received per job. If yours isn’t a really good fit, you won’t stand a chance.

Q: Can I apply for a job without a CV?

A: It is possible, but it won’t be easy. Having an up-to-date CV ready will make the job application process much quicker, and if you’re short on time, that could make the difference between your success or failure. So, have a good CV ready, then you’re prepared. It’s also good to have a Linkedin profile as over 90% of recruiters rely on it to find candidates.

Q: I don’t have a CV, just a few notes. Is that enough to apply for a job?

A:  In a word no! 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 several 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:  There could be a number of reasons. 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 a reference. Without a CV it could take you days. Time you may not have.

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

A:  A good Linkedin profile is your online CV (as well as a good networking platform) and enables recruiters to find you online and contact you direct. Google says that at least 90% of recruiters rely on Linkedin to find candidates, so if you don’t have an effective Linkedin profile, you’re missing out!


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CV questions