If you want an audience, put on a CV clinic

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Where there's a CV clinic, there's a queue

In difficult times and in happy times, students everywhere flock to attend workshops and clinics devoted to improving their CVs. In careers services and at careers fairs, queues form when there’s a bit of CV checking going on. Online, on careers sites like gradireland.com, the pages with CV hints and tips receive loads of visitors. And in bookshops, helpful tomes on the perfect CV fly off the shelves.

This is despite the fact that many employers, and all large employers, don’t actually want or need a CV as the relentless move to online application systems gathers pace. So is this obsession with CVs a comfort blanket for anxious students? A mystical belief that if they improve their CV, doors will open?

Well, yes and no. It’s possible to sail through working life without ever needing a CV (lucky you) but there are several important reasons why everybody should have one.

Firstly, the process of compiling a CV is a simple, helpful way to get the facts and achievements of your life down on paper so you can complete application forms more easily and prepare for interviews. Secondly, if you’re applying for smaller, specialist or local organisations, then you will usually need one. Finally, if advertised jobs dry up, you’ll need to undertake a networking or creative job-hunting strategy where you try and meet people who may be able to help you or suggest who else to see.

And one eternal truth to leave you with – a rubbish CV is a complete waste of time and, believe me, it’s very easy to spot. I think it’s time you booked an appointment….

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