Written by Philip E. J. Sulter, PhD Candidate (School of Arts, Languages and Cultures) and Student Partner Intern
The Careers Service offers lots of opportunities for students to improve, refine and develop their CVs. Now, with the newly developed CareerSet CV checker available for all students, another resource has been added to enhance the student experience. Below, you will find all you need to know about this new careers tool, as well as some helpful pointers on CV writing.
What does a good CV look like?
When written correctly, a CV demonstrates your relevant skills and suitability for a given role. It should be detailed with active language, uniformly formatted in a reverse chronological order, and specific to you. Constructing a CV is often thought of as daunting, especially when considering that each individual CV should be tailored towards a specific job. This is where many people come unstuck. Having to rework the same document for each application is frustrating, but it also gives you an opportunity to hone your CV writing and ensure that you relate your skills to those required by a specific role.
So, what does the CV checker do?
While it certainly cannot write your CV for you, the CV checker is programmed to pinpoint areas for improvement in your document. All you need to do is upload your document in a PDF format via the ScoreMyCV option, and let the metrics work their magic. The evaluation process takes no more than a few seconds, after which you will be presented with an overview page which gives your document a mark out of 100. The score is itself measured against top recruiter and hiring manager criteria, and represents the overall impact of your CV. But that’s not all…
Easy to navigate and highly accurate, the software evaluates your CV in its totality, and scores each part of its construction out of 10. From formal aspects, such as length and the use of weak verbs, to more conceptual adjustments, like qualitative impact and consistency – each component of your CV is analysed. By scoring each element of your CV out of 10, the software allows you to get into the nitty gritty of your document. This close focus on multiple aspects of your document lets you fashion better building blocks on which to construct the entire CV. This is where another piece of the software comes in.
Along with a list of action verbs to improve the beginnings of bullet points and a selection of sample CV lines to modify your tone, the checker offers a line-by-line- analysis of your CV. This useful tool lets you move methodically through the suggested adjustments and correct them as you go. And with the option to upload your document multiple times, you will watch your overall score increase with each version. Being able to upload your CV repeatedly lets you tangibly measure your progress, and it also cements positive habits in your CV writing.
But can it help you tailor your CV?
As well as offering general CV advice, the checker can assist in tailoring your CV. With the Target Your CV option available on the site’s homepage, you can upload a job description in conjunction with your CV. The programme then scans your document for keywords and provides you with a Relevancy Score out of 100. Like the checker, the targeting process can be done multiple times and with various job descriptions.
Wait, isn’t this just the same as seeing a Student Partner Intern?
No, but it is a step in the right direction. While we at the Careers Service can equip you with the tools to construct a CV, the checker provides you with the opportunity to refine and develop these skills as often as you need. Writing a CV is a skill, and one which requires a great deal of practice, trial and error, and perseverance. The checker allows you to develop this highly specific skill on your own terms and in your own time.
Check out CareerSet to get started. Good luck!