I see many students who feel that their CV is not good enough; that something is missing. I’m often asked, ‘should I keep this in, should I take this out?’ so I am here to tell you that only you hold the answer to this question. To help you figure this out, let’s through the CV writing process with a new perspective.


It’s subjective… What might be impressive to one person will not be to another. Some employers value academic strengths and achievements. Other employers are more interested in breadth of life experience or other personal qualities. They’re all different. Try a bit of investigating to figure out these nuances. Peruse the job description, the website, try Glassdoor. There are so many avenues!

You might perceive the CV as a personal advertisement that is supposed to showcase how wonderful you are. However, this resembles a US resume more than a UK CV. Applying for jobs in the UK is more about demonstrating how well-matched you are to the role. Therefore, a CV may look perfect to one employer but not another. Remember, it’s in the employer’s best interests to find someone qualified to solve their problems; not everyone else’s.

Employers are human… They won’t necessarily want to work with someone who is all round perfect. They might prefer to work with someone who learns from experience.

On these lines, one employer might like your bartending job from last year, but another might skip over it. Still, these things are not usually a deal breaker. The important thing is to make sure each of your experiences are adding value to your CV. If you're not sure whether to keep one in, see if you can draw out any skills that you haven’t covered already. If this isn’t possible, make sure it is not replacing any experiences that can. If you’re still unsure and your CV is within two pages, then what is the harm of keeping it in? If you have shown the employer that you meet their criteria, they probably won’t throw your CV in the bin. Your goal is to make this clear.

Seeking perfection can slow you down… Even if you have an excellent CV, due to this endemic of competition, you’re bound to face rejection. So, instead of worrying about what font or colours you’re using, apply, apply, apply with tailored CVs. This will raise your chances of getting something.

For some, the CV can be closely tied to feelings of self-worth and this results in much stress and uncertainty. Feeling like your CV should be perfect is too much pressure for anyone. If this is you, keep in mind that the CV does not have to represent you; only a version of you.

Finally, even the most impressive applicants experience rejection check out this CV of failures.

To help you create the best version possible, make the most of My Future. Check out this webinar on Writing Effective CVs and explore the CV Guide. If your CV anxieties stem from pandemic disruptions, we have a range of useful Covid-related blogs such as Skills to thrive in a post COVID world of work and How to sound positive in your applications when 2020 has been pretty rubbish so far… and more!


Posted in: Advice, Applications, Careers Resources


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