We know at this time of year it can be difficult to get a CV and Applications Advice appointment. Often, they fill up as soon as they are released. We do our best by offering back-to-back appointments trying to help as many of you as possible with your CVs. And we do really love talking to you and helping you – it’s why we do this work....! But if you need some help while waiting for an appointment - it might be worth trying out CV360 for some automated feedback.
What is CV360?
The CV360 is an online tool, which is similar to Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) used by employers to screen CVs. The tool scans your CV and provides some automated feedback on different aspects.
How to access it
As a student or graduate, you can access the CV360 for free by logging into MyProfessionalDevelopment. Find the CV360 from the Career Tools option in the navigation/menu.
How to use it
You need to have a draft CV which you can upload or drag into the program. It's recommended that you use a Word version. It is generally accepted that Word is the safest option to use if you know your CV will be processed through an ATS. The CV360 will process your CV in a few seconds and provide you with a score and feedback on different aspects of your CV. You can re-upload your CV as many times as you like and try to improve your score.
What it's good for
ATS practice run
If you know your CV will be going through an ATS then this is a great practice run. The personalised feedback you receive is coupled with general advice about how ATS programs work. This is great insight if you know this is where your CV is heading. Read this blog for tips on how to tell if your application will go through an ATS.
Presentation and structure
The CV360 is really good on the practical points of a CV. It reviews the document file name, type, and size. It looks at your font size, typeface, use of colour, number of words and text-to-whitespace ratio. It highlights the problems in these areas and makes sensible suggestions on how to fix them.
The content feedback is broadly useful too. The CV360 checks that compulsory sections are included and alerts you to missing optional sections, such as a personal profile. It checks for crucial missing information such as company name and job titles, spots duplicate information, superfluous contact information and highlights things you might have missed, such as a LinkedIn profile. It also checks that items are listed in reverse chronological order and that dates are included.
The CV360 language section can add real value to your CV. It's a great proofreading tool, highlighting spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, capitalisation inconsistencies and repeated phrases. It also reviews your use of action words and personal descriptors and provides a list of some good examples you could include. We think that everyone could benefit from using the CV360 as a final check for these kinds of things.
When it's best to get help from the human experts
Our Careers Advisers would suggest caution when it comes to the CV360's feedback on your skills. First of all, the CV360 doesn't know what you're applying to, so it can't be expected to accurately assess whether you're including the right ones. Secondly, weaving well-targeted skills into your CV can be tricky. To do this skillfully, we recommend you book an appointment to talk to an Adviser to get expert help.
Another area where human advice is better than an algorithm is with the choice of section headings. Advisers can help you 'package' up your experience in a tailored way that is best targeted to the role you're applying for. If you're not already confident with the best way of packaging and presenting your experience with section headings, then the advice from the CV360 can be a bit confusing. In which case, we'd recommend you take the advice you get from it lightly and book an appointment with an Adviser.
A final word of warning is with regards to the 'Builder' tools in MyProfessionalDevelopment. While CV builders and templates can be really useful with visual presentation and formatting, they can create confusing results if you're not sure about the basics. We would recommend that you always start with the advice written specifically for you by University of Bath Advisers in the Application, CV and cover letter guide. Once you are confident with your content then builders, such as Flow CV, can help you put it together.
We hope you find CV360 useful. Don't forget that we have a huge range of resources that cover many different aspects of CVs on MyFuture. Check out our Get Started guide to get exploring. Also check out our recent blog on how to ensure you get the most out of an application advice appointment.
If you get stuck, have questions or are not sure if we can help - do not hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org. Or leave us a message on 01225 386009 and a member of the team will give you a call back.