Careers Advice

Perfecting your CV: The ScotGrad checklist

Employers can get hundreds of applications for roles they advertise, so it’s vital that your CV is strong from start to finish. To make sure you stand out from the crowd and you’re ticking all the boxes, we’ve created this handy CV checklist.

Published: 24/04/2017

1.    Structure and style

To ensure your CV doesn’t end up in the bin, keep it short and to the point. Try to keep it to no more than two sides of A4 paper.

Put your most relevant experience up the top and list education and work experience chronologically (most recent first!).

Don’t feel like you have to include everything; keep it relevant and edit accordingly!

2.    Relevant experience

It’s important to tailor your CV to each role you apply for.  Think about the skills which are most relevant to the role (what the employer will be looking for) and link your experience to those attributes.

It’s not all about work experience or academic success. Highlight transferable skills such as research or presentation abilities, or experience gained through extra-curricular activities, studying abroad or volunteering. 

3.    Spell check

You have spent time identifying the placement you want, researching the company and crafting your application, but that effort may be wasted if your CV is riddled with spelling and grammar errors. Spend time double and triple checking your application to minimise avoidable downfalls.

You can use an online spell-checker, or ask a friend or careers adviser to have a look.  If you’ve got time, go back to your CV the next day – a fresh pair of eyes always work wonders.

4.    Personal details

To avoid missing out on an interview opportunity, make sure you include an up-to-date phone number and email address. Remember, it’s vital that any details given paint you in a professional light, so if your email still reads, or your voicemail message is a hilarious private joke, then now is the time to change it.

Once you’ve checked out our guide to LinkedIn, consider including a URL to your profile so employers can find out more about you.  

5.    References

While offering references at the initial application stage used to be common practice, experts now suggest these details should not be included on your CV. According to Guardian Jobs, employers are only likely to ask for references once you’ve impressed at the interview stage.

However we would still recommend adding your reference details into your ScotGrad application, so they are easily accessed later on in the process. References can be previous employers, a tutor or a careers advisor.

 ScotGrad CV Checklist

(Right click to download)