Free CV Advice is great, but does it actually improve your CV?
Free CV Advice has never been more available.
A free CV template or looking through CV examples can help you get started. The various lists of 'Top CV Tips' you will have undoubtedly seen will help you to improve it further and the second opinions you receive from people you respect or professionals familiar with reviewing CVs can be really useful. You will come across many people who are more than happy to generously offer their personal insight to those who may be writing a CV. It is kind, thoughtful and is great to have.
However, a lot of the free CV advice you will see is limited in two crucial ways.
1.) There isn't enough detail about how to actually apply it when you write a CV
The advice may make sense, but does it offer you enough insight about how to actually apply it? What does 'do your research' really mean in practice and when you are instructed to 'tailor your CV to every application' how effective are you at doing it?
You may have read through a 'Top 100 CV Writing Tips of all Time' list, understood each and every point made and agreed with them all fully. But none of them will actually improve a CV simply by being read. That doesn’t happen until you then action the advice.
How well are you able do that? Have the tips you’ve read provided the depth of insight to do it well enough to actually improve your CV and increase the impact it will make as it flashes across someone's desk amongst a pile of others? Is the free CV advice you have received just a nice gesture or has it actually made your CV better in a meaningful way? A meaningful improvement isn’t just getting the basic elements right or correcting possible errors. You want to make a CV the best that you possibly can, not just a bit better than it was before. It's far too important for that.
Related Article: Don't forget how valuable a CV is; 8 reminders why
2.) It is CV advice that you (and everybody else) has seen numerous times before
The free CV advice you tend see or are given is often fairly generic and similar to lots of other advice that is out there. If you are seeing lots of similar CV tips over and over, so is everybody else. They can be a good starting point, but if everyone else is seeing the same as you then those tips will at best help you keep up with the field and avoid you having a poor CV, not set you apart at the top.
When it comes to a CV, just keeping up with everyone else isn’t actually much help. To avoid missing out on opportunities you need a CV that is better then the others around it; a CV that is better than the often repeated top tips you will have seen all too many times before. You need to be delving deeper and going further than that if you want a CV that is good enough to be in the top few that are seen. That is how you will actually improve your chances of securing interviews and opening up job opportunities.
So what should you do?
So how can you take the free CV advice you are given and actually use it effectively to improve your CV?
In a series of articles, My CV Guide will take you through some of the most popular CV tips that you will have no doubt heard before, exploring each one deeply enough for you to actually apply the advice and improve your CV in a meaningful way.
All the articles in the series will be published on the My CV Guide blog where you can also find other articles providing free CV writing advice. Alternatively, if you are looking for in-depth CV writing support and would like to have a CV professionally written or reviewed for you, then take a look at our CV Consultation and CV Review services.