CV Review Services

#1

While there is a wealth of CV review services and CV writing services aimed at the general public, graduate specific websites seem to be sparse. This issue is compounded by the problem that in most cases, differing people who check your CV will give you differing, occassionally contradictory advice (Based on industry, role, and personal preference).

Is there any universally accepted Do’s & Don’t, that are applicable to just graduate CV’s? For example, while part time roles are not relevant for a 30 year old Consultant, they are much more important for a graduate (apologies for stating the obvious). I’ve been reading around, and an excellent bit of advice I’ve picked up is to quantify as much of your C.V as possible. I.e, changing:

“Initiated a number of organisational procedures, which were reflected by an increased number of shop-floor sales”

To:

“Intiated a number of operational directives that resulted in increased sales of circa £3k per month”

Share your advice!

#2

Theres this website offering free CV advice on the phone…and they make a tailormade cv for you…costing 229 quid…the price is very steep…but they state that hr professionals make the cv for you hence…
is it worth it??

#3

it is surely worth making a good looking, eye catching, stunning cv. sometimes talented candidates left behind as their CVs do not tell anything about them. your 230 quid is worth at least 30K a year may be more if you are lucky. but find the cheaper one if you can. good luck

#4

thanks !!

#5

I would never pay £230 quid for a CV. That’s frankly ridiculous. You’d be much better off just asking a few people for opinions and advice.

You can also ask here for advice if you need it. The best person to write a CV really is you!

#6

Good advice Chris, the title of this thread is misleading in all fairness - apologies. This is a thread to share CV advice, as opposed to reccomend actual CV review services.

#7

Paying anyone any amount of money to write your CV for you is totally pointless. It is a waste of money, in particular because there are so many alternative free sources of help and advice for candidates:

  • ‘’‘WikiJob’’’
  • Use our forums to discuss CV problems, generate ideas or even post your CV and let others suggest ways to improve it.
  • Use our [[CV]] and [[example cover letter|covering letter]] articles and CV templates as a guide when writing your CV.
    :
  • ‘’‘University’’’
  • Your university careers office will run seminars on CV’s, or you can book some time to visit a careers adviser for a personal lesson on writing your CV. this is entirely free.
  • Most courses these days have “academic development” modules which explain side-skills to students, such as how to write a CV. Attend these lectures and tutorials.
  • You are also welcome to book time with your Academic Tutor or other tutors to ask their advice on CV’s.
    :
  • ‘’‘Recruitment consultancies’’’
  • Although they are not always the most reputable of sorts (!) recruitment consultants do offer advice and guidance on a candidate’s [[CV]]. They will be able to tell you how to change your CV for the specific industry they are recruiting for too and provide this entire service for free …and they may even help find you a job!
    :
  • ‘’‘Talk to HR’’’
  • Calling up the company you want to apply to and asking how to tailor your CV can be useful, as HR should advise you about the kind of experiences and extracurricular activites they want to see on candidates’ CV’s.
    :
  • ‘’‘Friends and family’’’
  • Everyone you know who has a job will have at one point applied for that job with a CV. This doesn’t make everyone with a jo an expert CV writer, but it does mean you can get free advice from almost anyone.
    :
    Advice on CV’s is plentiful, and should always be free. Take whatever you can get, but when it comes to actually writing your CV remember that it should be an account of ‘’‘your’’’ life by ‘’‘you’’’.

Apart from the cost, it’s unfeasable to think that a random CV writer who churns out hundreds of these things a week, would be any better at writing ‘’‘your’’’ CV than you are. You are the person that knows yourself better than anyone else, that really wants a job and is (or at least should be) prepared to spend a lot of time crafting your application.

Furthermore, if you can’t/can’t be bothered writing your own CV it’s a very serious sign of severe laziness or total stupidity! If you actually can’t write one, then stick to jobs with easy to understand application forms - like Macdonalds or Burger King. If you can’t type a two page document about yourself and your achievements, you probably shouldn’t be applying for a job with in any kind of professional capacity.

Anyone can write a great CV in an hour (I’m sure Fuller CV wouldn’t take longer!) - and save yourself the equivalent of a week’s salary doing so.

Final point - Telephone/online CV review services may have HR professionals ready to write your CV for you, or they may not. There is nothing on these companies’ websites to guarantee there claims and I, for one, am highly sceptical. Anything paid for, including pay to access CV templates on websites can be found elsewhere on the net (for free) and the only thing I can see that is useful about online CV review services, is that they do occassionally offer a free CV checking service (although this is probably a means of pulling in candidates, in order to sell them the CV writing service).

#8
                                                                                                                                                  NAKUL MALHOTRA
                                                                                                          C181, xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, xxxxxxxx, xxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx.
                                                                                                                      E-mail: xxxxxx@nottingham.ac.uk   Mobile: 07xxxxxxxxx

RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE

Summer Analyst, HSBC, India June 2008 - Current
• Working in a small team with four private bankers and am responsible to manage the portfolio of high-net-worth HSBC Premier Clients. Independently working on an intense number crunching WMS Penetration-Stage 3 project.

• Assist in fund research, along with the day-to-day settlements of trade, which includes liaison with fund managers and brokers. First-hand interaction with experts in the world of finance enhanced key financial skills furthermore.

• Monitored cash flows and advised clients on proposed asset allocation (varying from commodities, debt, equity and real estate), fund restructuring; tax, life insurance and pension planning.

Summer Analyst, ABN AMRO, India June 2007 - August 2007
• Shadowed industry experts rotationally around Finance and the Investment Banking division of Mergers & Acquisitions.

• Supported detailed industry research on both private and public companies by gathering data via primary and secondary sources to identify potential investment opportunities. Worked with numbers, statistics, graphs and tables.

• Researched financial information and statistics for senior management i.e. identify synergies and analyze financial risks by utilizing various computational valuation techniques.

ABN-AMRO ‘Reward for Excellence’ 2007: Transferred to the head branch in New Delhi for a 2 week training programme as a result of a unique creative ability combined with excellent team-work and self-reliance skills.

Summer Trainee, Amarnath and Sons, India June 2006 - August 2006
• Aided senior public accountants and auditors while preparing and verifying financial statements of the company.

• Established and maintained close relationships with bank executives, senior auditors, and attorneys, ensuring compliance with all regulatory bodies.

• Monitored accuracy and timely transmittal of monthly financial statements. Worked intensively on spreadsheets, documenting financial errors and missing invoices.

PART-TIME WORK EXPERIENCE

Bartending Steward, ALEA London Clubs International, UK September 2007 - Present
• Exercised team-working skills in a busy service-oriented work environment at this casino.
• Adept and responsible money-handler.
• Dealing with customers in a friendly and professional manner enhanced key interpersonal and communication skills.

Field Representative-Team Leader, The Marketing Machine, UK November 2006 - June 2007
• Traveled around the UK to promote and sell new products such as AXA PPP and Carphone Warehouses’ Talk Talk by pitching sales to convince customers.
• Managing, recruiting and training of new staff improved vital leadership and team-work skills.
• Researching products to shortlist only its quintessential benefits enhanced my ability to investigate products and study it in major detail.

VOLUNTEER WORK

• Active Member of the Student Community Action (SCA) 2007 - Present at the University of Nottingham. Initiated charitable events, camps and projects to help the poor and homeless.

• Committee member of the AIESEC society 2006-2007 at The University of Nottingham, assisted in financing food stalls for the Careers Fair organised by the society.

EDUCATION & QUALIFICATIONS

University of Nottingham, UK 2006 - 2009
BA (Hons) Finance, Accounting and Management

Predicted Degree Result: First
Main modules include Corporate Finance, Management Accounting Decisions, Financial Analysis, Advanced Econometrics, Accounting Theory and Practice, Computational Finance, Financial Management, Financial Accounting, Quantitative Methods, Risk Management Decisions, Advanced Financial Reporting, Accounting Information Systems, Financial Economics, International Finance

Nottingham University Business School Scholarship Winner 2006-07: The only student to be awarded this scholarship in the University’s Business School, as a result of outstanding academic and all round ability.

La Martiniere for Boys, India

Indian School Certificate Examinations (Grade 12) - 91.5% 2004 - 2006
Main Modules include English, Commerce, Accountancy, Economics and Business Mathematics.

Indian Council of Secondary Education (Grade 10) - 78.2% 2002 - 2004
Main Modules include English, Science, Hindi, Social Studies, Computer Science and Mathematics.

La Martiniere for Boys Outstanding Academic Achievement Award 2006: Student with the highest overall percentage in our Business school in the Indian School Certificate Examinations.

POSITIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY

• Equal Opportunities Officer at the University of Nottingham’s Students Union 2007-2008 where I assisted in promoting events such as “Anti-Racism”, “One World Week” and “Black History Month”. Organising such projects improved my team working and organisational skills.

• Captain of the Kolkata Punjab Club badminton and table tennis team where I lead my teams to win the Saturday Club Tournament 2005-2006.

• Senior Team Captain of the football, table tennis and badminton teams, La Martiniere for Boys, India from 2004 - 2006.

• Finance, Accounting and Management Course Representative for the academic year 2007-2008 where I had to represent views of course mates, identify student issues and needs, attend staff-student committee meetings.

• Social Secretary of the Entrepreneurship Society at the University of Nottingham’s Business School 2007- Present in which we invited guest entrepreneurs and funded these expenses through challenging trade games undertaken by us in our society meetings

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

• Nottingham University Business School’s Employer Programme Certificate 2007-2008: I have been awarded this certificate due to a high level of employer engagement and career planning.
• Attended Insight Days conducted by E&Y and Morgan Stanley in the year 2007-2008.
• Languages: Fluent in English, Hindi, Bengali and Punjabi.
• IT Skills: Experienced working with the Microsoft Office Suite of Products (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Access).
• Interests: Sports, Music, Reading, Passion for the world of finance and meeting new people.

References available on request

#9

I am keen to get into IBD (M&A):-

PLEASE OFFER ADVISE/TIPS/HELP on the basis of:-

  1. Technical Aspect- eg. ’ what were my responsibilities ’ in Work Ex… the way I have put it across…
  2. Format
  3. Grammatical Errors
  4. Missing bits
  5. Lack of/ No need of/Too much of…
  6. Positions of responsibility…add/ subtract
    Any other advice…
#10

I work in recruitment in the graduate market and agree largely with Redsuperted. There are so many ways that you can ascertain free information on CV building that paying someone else seem to be very frivolous, and will not guarentee any results whatsoever because for a graduate job you will still have to undergo a thorough interview process. Keep the money instead for interview expenses!

The only area of discrepancy here for me is advocating your careers service. Certainly speak to the officer who works there, but don’t take their advice as gospel. I see so many CV’s that are written clearly on the back of advice from these people and whilst I am sure a number of them are clued up, some certainly are not! Through questioning the graduates that we deal with I often find that information has been omitted from a CV that I would consider to be important (work experience whilst at uni) and less useful information included such as a whole paragraph on communication skills or what your favourite TV programme is.

In terms of going for graduate jobs and what to put where, I feel that this is the best order in most circumstances:

Name/Personal Details
Opening Profile
Education (in chronological order with degree first)
Work Experience (in chronological order, most recent first)
Achievements (captain of sports team, fundraising, debating society)
Hobbies
References

If you have graduated and worked full-time for 12 months plus, then I would put work exp before education.

#11

…get as much advice as possible from your careers service, recruitment websites and recruitment consultancies - all of which offer this for free. It is so important to get your CV right as many employers may only give a CV 30 seconds before deciding to proceed with that candidate. You need to spend time making your CV relevant and easy to read.

#12

Hello everyone,

First off, well done ‘’‘Reg’’’ - this CV services thread is proving very interesting and has successfully drawn in the recruiters themselves - it’ll be good to get some input from you guys on CV’s too.

Hello to ‘’‘Owen G’’’ - thanks for that input. I think your points are very valid. Whilst careers offices do offer a lot of CV based services, their input can be quite off the mark, although this does depend on the careers office/adviser in question. Candidates should bear in mind that whilst everyone’s advice is useful, when it comes down to it careers advisers have less experience of tailoring CV’s to employers needs than recruitment consultants do. Having said that - recruitment consultants don’t always get it right either and the advice recruitment consultants give varies too, from agency to agency and consultant to consultant.

One question for you Owen - lots of graduates these days have a year or two (or three) off after graduating and do a series of low level jobs to pay for various trips and travelling. You mentioned putting work experience above education if you’ve been out of uni for over 12-months - my question is, if you’ve done several different jobs, how many should you put on? If you put down six different bar jobs it seems a it pointless. If you put one down and are truthful, they’ll be long gaps in time.

‘’‘GraduateRB’’’ - “it is important to get your CV right” …I’m sure you guys can give some better input than that…come on lads!

#13

Hi

Here’s my advice on CV’s:

‘’‘Do’s’’’

• Insert a ‘Career Objective’ at the beginning of your CV. This is a short statement
outlining what you want to do. This can be tailored to a specific opportunity, helps give your CV focus and is replacing the cover letter in modern job applications.

• Include the final year modules from your degree. Your degree is almost certainly the most relevant thing you have done. Your final year modules indicate your areas of expertise and are likely to add credence to your application. Equally, include a skills section that is relevant to your degree.

• Use spell check. We have worked with some clients that will not even consider a CV with a spelling mistake as this shows poor attention to detail. Also check the grammar and get someone else to read through your CV to look for errors and suggest corrections.

• Think about presentation, layout and format. Remember that your CV is your first impression. A poorly presented CV is like turning up to an interview in jeans and a t-shirt! Don’t overcrowd your CV. White space makes your document easier for the reader. Your CV should project a professional image. Does your CV do that? Think about the font that you use. Colours should be kept to a minimum and photographs are unnecessary. Use bold typeface to emphasise key areas.

• List your most recent job/qualifications first. A prospective employer is far more interested in your degree and industrial placement than your GCSEs and your paper round!

• Include all relevant information. If you don’t list your A level grades it is likely that an employer will assume they are bad. This happened to one candidate we were dealing with and when asked it turned out he had three A’s! Also leave out less important personal information such as place of birth or marital status.

• If you have limited work experience highlight awards or prizes from University, sports/ society captainships, or positions of responsibility that you have had.

‘’‘Do nots’’’

• Don’t write a seven or a one page CV. Anything over two pages is excessive; one page looks like you have little to say.

• Don’t write long paragraphs. Keep it short and simple and use bullet points.

• Don’t use the same cover letter for every application. A cover letter should be a brief note saying why you are suitable for the specific role that you are applying for.

• Don’t write two paragraphs on your Saturday job in retail (unless you are going for a retail management scheme) or your love of horse riding. You only have two pages to sell yourself. Keep things like this short and focus on other positives.

• Don’t write about features, write about benefits. Instead of simply saying that you have done something, state the reason why it might benefit an employer.

#14

“lots of graduates these days have a year or two (or three) off after graduating and do a series of low level jobs to pay for various trips and travelling. You mentioned putting work experience above education if you’ve been out of uni for over 12-months - my question is, if you’ve done several different jobs, how many should you put on? If you put down six different bar jobs it seems a it pointless. If you put one down and are truthful, they’ll be long gaps in time”.

Red, this is a good question. Firstly, I would personally weigh up which of the subjects (academia vs work exp) is more pertinent to the employer. For most of the viewers of this forum I would guess that they are going for a graduate level position and suggest that the companies they are applying to will be more interested in the degree than lets say 6 months of experience on a construction site to pay for travelling. Your phrase ‘low level’ jobs suggests that the candidates in question were not doing this job because they felt it was what they wanted to do!

Speaking honestly from my recruiter perspective, if it was to be as long as three years of low level jobs interspersed with pockets of travel I would in fact worry about the ‘stickability’ of that person and whether a career in the corporate sector was really for them. With reference to having a number of short-term jobs (and I now refer to both undergraduate and post-graduate jobs) in bars I would simply narrow it down on the CV like this example:

‘Oct 05-July 08,
Worked part-time during university in a variety of bars to support my income, I had to demonstrate xxx skills and responsibilities’.

This would keep it brief but also account for the time period.

#15

Hey cheers for the replies, could someone please give me some tips on my CV too!! Thank You!

#16

referring back to my previous post. so much info posted here doesnt not seem like to give much help to you as compared to paid service :slight_smile: It might not help as the posts are just advice. The serivice mainly alters your CV content and puts extra information which still is tailored to your goals.

It seems to me you want someone to alter your cv? probably you have seen someone’s altered CV by those organisations? they make a bit of difference, anyway, I saw someone’s cv altered/edited and it looked eye catching afterwards.

try to get as much as possible from this forum. One of the recruitment guys might even want to personally review and edit your CV to some extend. I am a student like you and my cv is alike yours, sometimes I ran out of words and ideas to edit my cv each time my circumstances change. At these times, you need someone to give you a hand by not only advising but also by making changes in your CV.

Reviewing your CV, I personally do not recommend you any paid CV services. Ovengill and GradRec… 's posts are really useful in reshaping your CV. Good Luck.

#17

Londonbloke - would you / have you paid £100’s for a CV? …don’t you think this is excessive for two sides of A4 - with no guarantee of a job (even a good CV won’t help you at interview!).

I have experience of recruitment and journalism. I’ll write CV’s for £49.99!!

#18

I would not. I was offered this sort of service by a recruitment company for the latter price you mentioned above. They said, they would proceed with my application if I use their service for £49.99. I did not.

Can you tell us, what would you change/amend in Nahulmalhotra’s CV if you are paid the above price for the service?

#19

Please Redsuperted could i be honoured…on a serious note …i could do with some specific comments on my cv rather than general advice which i am aware of…as i have applied this advice to the max i could and have tried to make most use of it in my cv!!
what does my cv lack then?

#20

Alright then nakulmalhotra :slight_smile:

First of all - your CV should be a two pages long - not more, not less. This seems longer, although I could be wrong.

I think this is a pretty good CV. You have all the right sections, you have some good work experience and I haven’t found any grammatical/spelling errors… although there still may be some there so keep checking!

As Reg suggested in his initial post I think you should quantify more. You’ve told us what you do and what you have done but not always what great successes you’ve achieved, or how your work has improve you as a person (given you more skills, for example). You want to impress - so sell yourself by telling us about personal and team achievements. These can be things like passing exams or doing well in internal training or achieving targets/making the company a lot of cash… setting up a new way of doing things, etc. For example you put ‘’ “Worked intensively on spreadsheets, documenting financial errors and missing invoices”.’’ …which tells me that you have worked on spreadsheets, but doesn’t “sell” you. But if you told me that you improved your performance on various IT packages and were now able to do specific things such as …[whatever you can do]… it actually lets me know you can do the things I want a new employee to do. You need to tick the boxes in a recruiter’s head.

The same goes for you “Part-time experience” section. You say you “exercised team working skills” but that doesn’t really mean anything. You should quantify - put down an example - make the recruiter go “wow!”

Here’s a way of looking at this - a recruiter is a bit like someone who wants to buy a car, only they want to hire a person. If you read an advert for a car that said: “Car for sale, with music system”, you wouldn’t be too impressed. But if the advert said “Car for sale, with 14 multi-disk CD changer, MP3 adaptor, GPS navigation and gold plated facia” …you’d start getting excited.

The bullet points under your job titles are a good idea. These bullet points should also be brief - you certainly don’t want to write more than you have. Concise and focussed points that market you as a candidate are much better than points which waffle. Remember that HR read 100’s of CV’s a day. They get bored easily…

Have you made many applications using your CV yet? What has the response been like?