Free CV Review Online – the “CRO”

Hey, perhaps you’re interested in a free CV review online because you just want to make sure? You want to know that you’ve built your CV ‘proper’ and it’s gonna work?!

Okay, so if that’s what you need, great! It’s a good idea to consider the following points – you’ll find more tools and detail over here, but these are the foundation principles as a quick-check.

I call it the “CRO” – use it you’ll have to eat it!

Here’s Your Free CV Review Online:

Review each point. Compare your CV. Learn. Adapt.

1 Keep it short – 2 pages perhaps? Short is confident. Short is easy to read and absorb. Chop older experience, summarise it.

2 Name it with your sought job title: “Joe Soap – Sales Rep Achieves Targets”. Yes, add some zing! Or just “Jack Soap – Senior Accountant”. Clear focus is important to the reader.

3 Be relevant. Immediately. State clearly at the top what job you fill, what your profession is. State your credibility immediately: years of experience, key qualifications, key outcomes you achieve. The reader must immediately see where you fit in.

4 Under your job history, use an easily recognizable and understandable job title. Give a quick 2 line summary of what you cared for and what outcomes you were responsible for.

5 Don’t include long lists of ‘duties and responsibilities’. Make it 3 or 4 lines only. Concentrate it on critical items only.

6 Be very sure to focus on how you fixed things, what goals you achieved, what problems you solved. “Here was the problem / here’s what I did to solve it / here’s the result we got.” Be specific, include statistics!

7 Eliminate long paragraphs. Chop them down to 2 or 3 lines at the most. These are more easily digestible. Easier to read.

8 Did your CEO, MD or senior manager say: “Joe (you!) does great work, he really made a difference!” Include that quote in the CV! A CV must build trust. This is one way to do it.

9 Have you made any stupid mistakes?? Spelling? Grammar? Do your best to clean things up. It shows something about you.

10 Keep focus on recent work. Start with your latest position.

How did you do on your free CV review online, here at

Still confused, unsure about your CV? This stuff can really make you tear your hair out!! If you’re still struggling, send your CV to me, perhaps we can have a chat about ways to improve?

Also see the dedicated page: CV Check Online for more details on all of the above. Hope this helps!


PS ALSO link with me on Facebook:


CV Advice to Tulani

Tulani was feeling uncertain about his CV. It was typical – starting out with Personal Details, moving on to Education, then some patchy work experience.

Could it be improved? How could he make it a winner?

Here’s what I told him:

Hi Tulani, thanks for your CV. On my website I have 2 CV tests: – you’ll find a lot of help in the tests, discovering what a CV is and should be and how to make it so.

Looking at your CV though, it would be good to focus on what solution you provide – ie. if you’re focusing on IT Support for example, then start out with something like this:

IT Support Technician and Service Agent 

Offering 5 Years’ experience, CompTIA qualifications and IT skills to solve IT network and application problems fast, to keep customers delighted with the service, and to be a reliable, consistent “top performer” for the employer.

Then the rest of the CV should go on to back up that message with the facts.

This approach gets to the point fast. It clearly establishes at the start to the employer/recruiter just what he is ‘all about’ (instead of expecting the reader to read it to try to figure it all out for themselves.)

Also note that the opening is not fluff (empty claims of being ‘hard working’ etc). It’s fact – hard experience, hard qualifications to clearly establish credibility. That comes first. THEN comes the “sell” – ie. hire me because:

“I delight customers … I provide fast service … I’m a top performer.”

Can you make a similar improvement? The tests in the link above – or here: – will help you hone this all further across your entire CV.


Test Your CV #1

Answer the following 20 questions regarding your CV with either a “yes” or “no”. Calculate your score according to the list at the end. You start out with 26 points. The person with the highest score at the end wins! Pass it around your office and amongst your friends.

  1. Is it longer than 3 pages? …….. (It’s a “fast food” market – be quick, be sharp, not long winded or verbose – no-one’s going to read it all.)
  2. Do you have a front page with only “CV of Your Name” in large letters on it? …….. (Leave grand entrances for Diva’s. It’s a waste of space and time.)
  3. Have you named your CV – that you send as an e-mail attachment – something like CV2003.doc? …….. (Imagine instead something like this, mine – “G le Roux – WOW! CV Writer.doc”. More compelling? You bet.)
  4. Have you included comments about your health, or family? …….. (Is this info really going to help the reader make a decision to hire you? No. In most cases it’s just not relevant. It shouldn’t occupy prime space on your CV.)
  5. Do you write your CV anew for each application? …….. (Edit it. Adapt it. Tailor it to meet the needs of the potential employer/position.)
  6. Have you included an “Objective” section which clearly states what job you’re looking for? …….. (Show you have some focus, energy and determination to take a particular direction OR you otherwise may come across weak and directionless.)
  7. Is your “Objective” section longer than 3 or 4 lines? …….. (Make it snappy. It stands more chance of being read and absorbed.)
  8. Have you given your Matric as much space on the page as your Degree/Diploma? …….. (Does it deserve as much space? NO! Give more prominence to your more relevant, recent, and heavy-weight qualifications.)
  9. Do you have more than 5 points in your “Duties” section? …….. (There’s actually no rule here but just don’t go on and on and on. Spend some time summarising what you did. More than a few points won’t be ready by many.)
  10. Have you listed any of your achievements anywhere? …….. (Achievements give the reader reason to think you’re not just a “bum on a seat”, but that you actually make a difference.)
  11. Have you listed fewer achievements than you have duties? …….. (They shouldn’t get lost in the crowd.)
  12. Have you placed your “Achievements” section toward the end of your CV? …….. (Like on the last page? Forget it. If you’ve accomplished good things, then say so. Employers want you to be a success for them too.)
  13. Are there any paragraphs longer than 4 lines anywhere in your CV? …….. (They simply won’t be read.)
  14. Have you stated specifically, anywhere in your CV how you benefit an employer? …….. (Or do you leave it to them to figure it out? Say it. State it. Make a personal commitment. Make your intentions clear. Say what benefit you’re likely to be.)
  15. Have you included positive quotes from referees regarding your past work performance? …….. (If you haven’t, why not? It’ll make your story more credible – unless you have lousy references, of course.)
  16. Have you had your CV format and spelling checked by someone other than yourself? …….. (Don’t assume you’re a word processing wizard – get someone who knows business documents, MS Word, or whatever package you use, and how to correctly align things.)
  17. Have you given more than 1/2 a page of space to jobs you did more than 10 years ago? …….. (Summarise! Older experience will rarely help you land your next job. If they want details they can ask.)
  18. Have you used industry buzzwords and jargon to impress the reader? …….. (Don’t. Keep it simple, easy to read. Don’t assume the reader knows all your technical jargon.)
  19. Have you made any spelling mistakes? …….. (They can make you look foolish.)
  20. Does your covering letter basically say “Here’s my CV for the position you advertised?” …….. (There’s so much more you can do to make the reader turn EAGERLY to you CV.)

Calculate your score – if you answered:

1. Yes. Minus 1 point for every page more than 3
2. Yes. Minus 1 point
3. Yes. Minus 1 point
4. Yes. Minus 1 point
5. No. Minus 2 points
6. No. Minus 1 point
7. Yes. Minus 1 point
8. Yes. Minus 1 point
9. Yes. Minus 2 points
10. No. Minus 2 points
11. Yes. Minus 1 point
12. Yes. Minus 1 point
13. Yes. Minus 1 point for each
14. No. Minus 2 points
15. No. Minus 1 point
16. No. Minus 1 point
17. Yes. Minus 1 point
18. Yes. Minus 1 point
19. Yes. Minus 1 point for each
20. Yes. Minus 2 points

So how did you do?

26 points – WOW!

20-25 points – Your CV is above average but there could be some crucial errors.

15-19 points – You’ve definitely made some crucial errors that could really set you back.

10-14 points – Unless you have very special, in-demand expertise you are unlikely to get response.

5-9 points – Your CV is hurting your chances of getting a job badly.

0-4 points – Don’t send your CV out!

Less than 0 – Look on the bright side – things can only get better!

[Copyright 2003 © Gerard le Roux, The Job-Search Clinic and]

Please note: This test is a general guide, not a rule-book! It’s also just a list of some of the ways on which your CV will be judged by employers.


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