How To Save A Failing CV

Your CV is your first point of contact with any employer – if you’re failing to land those all-important first interviews, it’s probably down to your CV.

Whether it’s too long, too outdated, or simply not highlighting your relevant core skills and experience, a CV that fails to land interviews is a CV that is putting your ambitions on hold.

In a job market that is evolving faster than ever before, having an up-to-date, relevant CV is essential to landing those dream jobs. Here’s how you can save a failing CV and finally land those key interviews:


Review your Target Jobs

If you’ve got plenty of work experience, a solid educational background, and a great track record of stable employment – why aren’t you landing the jobs you want? The answer could be simple: the skills and experience listed on your CV don’t match the skills and experience these jobs are asking for.

Have a look at your recent job applications and compare the skills listed on your CV to the skills and experience being asked for in the job descriptions you have been applying to. If they don’t match as well as you thought, then you aren’t optimising your CV to highlight the correct level expertise. Do some thorough research to identify the critical skills in your industry that are missing from your CV.

Ask Recruiters for Feedback

One of the easiest ways to discover your professional weak spots is by asking for recruiter feedback. Feedback will allow you to understand where you went wrong during the application process, how you can improve, and if there are any missing skills or work experience on your CV.

To request feedback, simply send a friendly email to your recruiter following a job rejection, thanking them for their time and asking for some feedback about your candidacy. Most companies will be familiar with this type of request, so don’t feel embarrassed to ask.

Feedback is a great way of knowing whether you’re on the wrong track with your job search – i.e., you have too many skill gaps in your CV – or whether you’re qualified, but the competition is simply tough. Feedback will enable you to know whether you should work on acquiring more skills or simply make some amendments to your CV.

Fill Gaps in your CV

If you don’t update your CV regularly, your CV might be missing relevant information and key skills, which can lead to you missing out on job opportunities. It’s vital to upgrade your CV every few months to reflect the evolving successes of your current employment and keep your skills up to date.

Also, make sure to highlight your most relevant core skills and make them prominent features of your CV. You can also optimise your core skills with timeframes: for example, citing “Adobe Photoshop (6+ Years)” under your core skills is more attractive than writing simply “Photoshop” – it informs the recruiter of your advanced experience.

Upskill with courses

If you’re missing a couple of key skills for your desired job profile, taking an online course can be a cost-effective and time-efficient way to get your professional profile where you want it. Whether you use an online course website like Udemy, or something more specific to your profession, the internet is abundant with helpful learning resources to help you upskill and upgrade your CV.

You can also take online courses to be more confident in modern office technology: apps such as Notion, Zoom, and Slack are the future of the modern office, so being fluent and confident with these technologies shows a potential employer that you’re willing to evolve your skillset to reflect the modern workplace.

Keep Your CV Under 2 Pages

The sweet spot for a CV is 2 pages in length – any shorter implies inexperience, while any longer will simply overwhelm the recruiter, leaving them with nothing memorable about your candidacy (except perhaps the impression of poor editing skills and an inability to optimise a CV.)

Recruiters are most interested in your last three years of paid employment, so it’s not necessary to list every job you’ve ever had on your CV. You should apply the following metric when tailoring your CV for a particular job: “Will including this information enhance my candidacy?” If the answer is no, leave it out and focus on the aspects of your CV most important for the job in question.

So, if you want to fix a failing CV, the key is to continue upgrading and updating both your CV and your skillset. With an abundance of learning resources online, it’s easier than ever to evolve your skills and land your dream job.

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How To Save A Failing CV


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