Free online CV checks: do they work?

Need someone to check over your CV for you, but you’ve already asked everyone in sight and are running out of options? All over the web, agencies are offering free CV checks. Online CV checkers generally operate by analysing the amount of keywords you use in your CV in a similar way to the electronic filtering systems used by recruiters to eliminate dud CVs. But how helpful are they? Time to find out.


Free online CV checks

Rezscore - list_oklist_oklist_oklist_oklist_wrong “This resume needs some improvement before anybody will be wowed.” Harsh words, Rezscore. The best free CV checker we found, accurately recognising my skills set as well as letting me know how in demand those particular talents are. Also told me off for using the first-person voice from time to time. Loses points, however, for suggesting I should work in UI/UX, which is a far cry from my current profession.

Livecareer - list_oklist_wronglist_wronglist_wronglist_wrong Failed to recognise my contact information or CV summary. Also told me my CV contained spelling mistakes, when I’m pretty sure it didn’t (must be a Brit-American thing). Advice given is unspecific (“Re-order your education”; “There are passive verbs in your resume”) and largely unhelpful, as well as, quite frankly, being vaguely snotty-sounding (can you take offence from a machine?). In its favour, this CV checker does provide a useful checklist to make sure you’ve included all the most important headings in your CV.

CV Wordchecker - list_oklist_oklist_wronglist_wronglist_wrong Rates your CV for “Good words” and “Bad words”. I am transported back to my GCSEs with the disheartening comment of “Not good enough. Use more good CV words”. Points are won for “analysed”, “collaborated” and “enforced”, but lost for “etc.”, “always” and first-person pronouns. I can see the logic behind some of the choices (such as “etc.”), but feel that others have been taken too far out of context.

Resunate - list_oklist_oklist_oklist_oklist_wrong Another success. We’d already written about resonate in a previous article, and decided it was time to pay it a little more attention. Resunate compares you CV to a job description of your choice and checks that it contains the keywords that recruiter will be looking for. I get a (not-too-shabby) score of 7.5, with a couple of useful suggestions for things to improve. Loses points for referring to me as “Enelope”.

The free CV checking systems brought the odd ‘i’ or ‘t’ I hadn’t dotted or crossed to my attention, and may well help your CV get past automated machines. In terms of impressing real human beings, however, common sense is clearly a far better guide, and the advice given in online CV checks should be taken with a large pinch of salt.

 for JobisJob

3 thoughts on “Free online CV checks: do they work?

  1. Gerrit Hall

    Thanks for your great write-up! Writing a resume is a stressful but more important than ever in this complex job market. We’re proud to have assisted nearly a million job seekers, and we credit our success to great feedback such as this article from you and help from our users. We’d love to chat further about why our algorithm thought you should make a switch to UI/UX :)

    Gerrit Hall
    CEO / Co-Founder, RezScore

    1. plabram Post author

      Thanks for your comments, Gerrit; a pleasure to hear from you.

      I imagine this was featured because I listed various IT skills, although in reality I’ve always gone for professions where I am working with stories and people. I like to do a bit of everything, so it doesn’t surprise me that your system was unable to “box” me (sometimes, after all, I am unable to box myself). It does go to show, however, what I think we all already knew: that automated results should (as I am fond of saying) be taken with a pinch of salt and as a supplement to, rather than replacement for, human help.

      Unfortunately, however, I have a feeling your comment that my CV “needs some improvement before anybody will be wowed” was more accurate ;)

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