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CV Checklist

When was the last time you reviewed your CV (aka resume)? Now’s the perfect time to do a full review!

Layout tips

  • Length. Differs depending on where you are with your career journey:
    • Still in school / college / uni: 1 pager. Education before Work Experience.
    • Early career: 1 pager
    • More than 3 years experience: It is no more than two pages
    • Senior roles and executives. No more than three pages
  • Layout:
    • 1 column if you want it to have a greater chance of being automatically imported by software
    • Page margins at least 1cm all round
  • If you’re a designer – make sure your CV stands out!
  • Hold it out at arm’s length: does it have a pleasing and professional appearance?
  • There should be no long paragraphs more than 5 lines long. If there are any, they should be separated into smaller paragraphs or you should use bullets.
  • Is it easy and clear to read?
  • Not too much white space at the end? This suggests that you’ve run out of things to say about yourself!
  • Is the most important information on the first page of the CV?
  • Is everything neatly aligned?
  • DO NOT bold words in sentences.

Structure and style checks

  • Make sure there is a clear structure with appropriate headings and logical development
  • Leave at least a line gap between sections. Normally education before work experience for a student CV.
  • Use bullets for lists
  • Are you using larger fonts for subheadings? eg. 14 points
  • Make sure that your headings are not underlined
  • Use bold or italic to draw eye to key points

Spelling and grammar checks

  • Have you used a spell checker?
  • Is capitalisation used correctly? (BSc and not Bsc, Capitals used for names of roads – 10 Acacia Avenue, etc.)
  • Have you also proofread it thoroughly? A spell checker won’t pick up the difference between form and from!
  • Check the grammar and punctuation carefully

Personal Details section

  • Your name (not the words Curriculum Vitae) is in a bold format at the top of the page
  • Email address (sensible and businesslike one!)
  • mobile number
  • inkscroll scroll link
  • Linkedin profile link

Personal Profile section

  • It is no longer than 3 sentences?
  • Is it short, punchy, strategic, highlighting your current situation and outlining your
  • future career plans?

Career History section (if graduate use ‘Work Experience’)

  • State job title
  • State company name
  • Start start month and year as well as end month and year (right align this on the page)
  • State key responsibilities
  • State achievements and outcomes
  • Quantify where possible eg. team size, financial value
  • State new skills gained

Education, Qualifications and Awards section

  • Start with the latest course / qualification / award first
  • State institution name
  • State full course name
  • Include start and end dates
  • Where applicable state pass grade/mark/degree classification
  • If you’re a recent graduate, include your modules and dissertation project (which may need an explanation)
  • For awards, how far did you get? State winner, finalist, runner up, shortlisted

Skills and Languages section

  • Languages and competency? (basic, conversational, fluent)
  • List of software applications used and competency
  • Driving licence? Is is clean (no endorsement points)?

Pro-Bono Roles section (optional)

  • Start with the latest pro-bono role first
  • State full role
  • State institution name

Final check-through

  • Spelling and grammer has been double checked
  • Confirm that there are no gaps in your history
  • PDF the CV and print it out to review it
  • Is everything aligned correctly?
  • Check that all hyperlinks work in PDF
  • Give your PDF CV to someone else to review – if putting it online for all to review, don’t forget to redact your private info.