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Does my CV need an upgrade?

If you're asking this question, the answer is probably YES! However, I'll give you a method to check- answer even a single "yes" to the following and you need an upgrade:

  • I updated my CV more than 3 months back

  • My CV is more than 2 pages long

  • My CV is not spell-checked or grammar checked

  • I have included work / life experiences unrelated to the job OR have not explained what I think are relevant experiences but might not be obvious to the reader

  • I have changed email / phone number since I last updated my CV

CV writing is an extremely underrated skill that very few in the job market have mastered. But there's a disproportionate abundance of opportunities awaiting to those skilled in the craft. Frankly, most hiring managers don't get more than 10 seconds to spend on a CV. And even before it reaches the hiring manager, it's screened by a recruiter. So with your CV, you need to be on point on the job you are applying to. Here are my top tips:

The meat is more important than the dressing!

At career events I often find people trying to impress recruiters by gifting them a copy of their CV. Honestly, what are you thinking? Everyone has a smartphone and you are NOT an object to be sold through flyer type CVs. Stop obsessing about the unnecessary details and get to the meat!

The flavour is in the cut...

And speaking about meat - tell people what makes you unique and special to that specific company. My CV as a Data Scientist to Google would look completely different than it would to McKinsey. Getting to craft different CVs for different companies requires you to deeply study and understand the business of that company. Knowing your customer is true for all walks of life, and with your CV the flavour is how you cut the same experience to present to different audiences.

Be bold

In this day and age where career breaks, gaps and sabbaticals are as common as the delays on the London tube, don't be afraid to explain gaps in your CV and bring relevant experiences from a break into the CV. Were you launching a new company? It shows you are entrepreneurial. Had a break for child or elder care? It shows that you are compassionate and unafraid to prioritise what's important in the moment. Employers love these things!

Tell a story

I cannot over-emphasise the importance of story-telling. Human beings are social creatures since caveman days. Story telling is as old as caveman days... with your fact based objective CV writing, you're not helping one of the primary psychological needs we have as humans - you're not giving me a story. Story-telling is the primary art of CV writing, and that one no professional CV writer will do for you, in-spite of charging your several hundreds of dollars. Nor could they because no one can tell your story better than you. Don't be afraid to unleash your creativity.

If you're interested in learning more about how to stand out with your CV, let me know in a comment below or email me: Also, don't forget to get your free copy of my CV checklist on my page.

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