Common CV Questions

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: Why should I hire a professional CV writer?

Anyone can write a CV of course, however when it’s your own CV it’s not as easy as you might think. It’s highly likely you will miss out information that could prove vital to your job application. Most CVs I see are either too short, lacking detail, or there is far too much waffle, with detail ‘lost’. In over 25 years as a CV writer, I’ve never yet seen a CV that doesn’t need a lot of work. 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:  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, 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 then. 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.

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’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.

Q: Do I need to write more than one CV?

A: 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.

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. According to research 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!

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 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