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CV Writing

Frequently Asked Questions

Your CV is an important document so it’s worth the effort to get it right. Once you start your CV, many questions will come to mind. This FAQ is designed to answer some of the general questions that people have when writing their CV. More detailed answers are provided within the FREE to register CV builder. Start Your CV

And the Answers ...

What is the correct number of pages for a CV?
This often will depend on the job for which you are applying and your level of work experience. One or two pages is normally more than enough to cater for most. Also two pages are the maximum employers expect to see. Back.
Do I need to send a cover letter?
Yes, employers do expect to see a cover letter with all CV’s. Also the cover letter gives you a great opportunity to include a paragraph or two telling them why you are perfect for the job. Back.
How much time should I allow to write my CV?
This very much depends on you and your experience, however most people should allow anything between half an hour to 2 hours. Back.
What are the main sections that need to go on my CV?
Contact information, profile, career history, skills, education, qualifications, interests, personal and references. Please note that not all the sections are applicable to all CV’s. Back.
Should I include references?
Only if the employer has asked for them. It is acceptable to include “references available on request” on the CV. It is also acceptable to include references in your cover letter. Back.
I have gaps in my work history, what should I do?
You shouldn’t where possible leave gaps even if you spent time out of employment - think about what you were doing during that time and pick out aspects that might be used to highlight your suitability. Back.
Do I still include my education even though it was a while ago?
Your experience in the work place and any training courses will probably be of more interest to an employer than academic qualifications. You could choose to leave out this section. Back.
When I send my CV by email should I use the word or PDF version?
The preferred format to use with email is the PDF as the file size is small but gives the same quality presentation whoever opens it. Unfortunately the presentation of the word version is dependent on the settings of the recipient’s computer. However we normally recommend attaching both the word and pdf versions to make sure. As far as printing your CV is concerned, PDF is often better. Back.
What is a CV or Curriculum Vitae?
A curriculum vitæ is a written and chronological description of your work experience, educational background, and skills. It normally covers around 2 pages of A4 paper. The word resume is used especially in the United States and in English Canada; the Latin term curriculum vitæ (often abbreviated CV) is instead used in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, French Canada and some Commonwealth countries, as well as in the academic fields in North America, and in many languages other than English. In some regions (e.g. Australia and India) CV and resume are used interchangeably. Back.
What is the number one reason for CV’s being rejected?
There are a number of reasons, however bad spelling & grammar would come near the top of the list. The simplest way to avoid submitting a CV containing these types of mistakes is to ask someone else to read over it – a fresh look from someone else is usually helps. Back.
Do I have to include hobbies & interests?
Not required however interests listed on a CV are often discussed at the beginning of an interview as a soft introduction to the real questions especially if they are unusual or suggest transferable skills. Back.
What information do I put in the contact details section?
The following are the common inclusions; Your name, postal address, e-mail address and telephone number. Telephone numbers are useful so you can be contacted outside of working hours. Back.
Can you tell me the most common CV mistakes?
Poor CV layout - Respondents cited poor layout as one of the most commonly occurring errors made by candidates when composing their CV. Uniformity, clarity and flow of information are pertinent when you bear in mind that an employer only needs to look at a CV for a few seconds.

Not explaining gaps in work history - People who leave gaps in their work history leave employers with no alternative but to question why they have done so. By explaining that you spent time travelling or had a career break, you will eliminate the need for this.

Spelling and grammatical errors - Over 60% of the recruitment consultants surveyed regularly encountered this type of error. The simplest way to avoid submitting a CV containing these types of mistakes is to ask someone else to read over it – a fresh look from someone else is usually all it takes.

Not tailoring to a specific role: - Tailored CVs generate a much more positive response from employers than those which are mass-mailed in a standard format to a large volume of recipients. It may be more time-consuming to adapt your CV every time you apply for a job, but you will increase your chances of success if you can illustrate precisely how your skills and experience match the requirements of the role. Back.
Some companies offer a free CV, should I use them?
This is of course your choice but always remember you usually get what you pay for. Some companies use the “free CV” method as a hook to a get you to use their service and buy the full price offering. Often the “free CV” is totally unsuitable for serious job applications as for example the CV is covered with their company watermark and you are unable to print / save / edit. Also the CV itself is totally different to their chargeable version.Back
I’m thinking about doing my own CV. Is it a good idea?
The objective of your CV is to get the interview so don’t gamble with your career, get expert help. Writing a CV on your own is not a simple as it seems. One major problem is knowing who to trust or which documents (articles, books, web etc) to read before starting your CV. One Google search of the term “write my CV” gives about 5,440,000 matches! has done the legwork for you with our easy to use CV builder giving you access to the most relevant information. We believe that professionally formatted CV will dramatically improve your chances of being interviewed and reduce the length of time you spend looking for a job. Back
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