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Résumé Health Check

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

Have you been sending out your résumé (also called a CV), applying for position after position with no interviews? It can really start to wear you down and eventually you begin to believe you are unemployable.

But what if I told you it’s your CV that’s the problem?

There are no country-specific formats, there is no such thing as an official ”New Zealand or Canada format” CV. It just needs to be no longer than three pages, contain no colour, no fancy formatting, no photos, no personal information such as marital status and children, no school history and no nonsense.

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY – It needs to be written in a way that can be read in less than half a minute.

You don’t want long, rambling paragraphs – you want short, sharp bite-sized bits of information so the reader can create an accurate mental image of you working at their place.

What do you have to offer employers? Make sure your CV is selling you accurately!

How long is your Résumé?

A good résumé (also called a CV) should be no longer than two to three pages. Any longer and chances are, it won’t get read.

Does it contain references?

There is a lot of conflict in the industry about this issue but in my opinion, submitting a CV with no references is a complete waste of time.

Does it contain colour print, images or fancy borders?

Change it to black and white only. Delete the images and remove all the frills. You don’t want your application to stand out for any reason other than you are the right person for the job. Your CV is about the words, not the decoration.

Is it Easy to Read?

Don’t use weird formatting or crazy fonts. You want your application to be easy to read in less than two minutes – that’s all the time they give you. Use short, clear sentences.

Does it contain spelling and grammar mistakes?

Ask a few people to read through it for you to make sure it’s perfect. You only get one chance to make a good impression and a spelling mistake could destroy yours.

Does it suit the job?

It’s important to tailor your résumé and cover letter to suit the role you are applying for, leaving out irrelevant jobs and highlighting transferable skills.


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