Let me start off by saying that CV writing is a skill, and like any skill it is one that needs to be learned. It is a skill you have to develop yourself, as you’re going to be writing your CV your whole life.

If you’re paying someone to teach you how to write a CV, I think that’s a really good investment because you can take those learnings, but if you’re just paying someone to do it for you, you’re missing a trick. Nobody is going to be able to write your own experience as well as you can.

Let’s face it, the average employee will have at least 5-10 jobs in their lifetime and in getting each job, they will most likely have sent out around 10-20 job applications, i.e. CVs.

Long gone are the days when you could send out the same CV to all 10-20 employers and sit with everything crossed hoping one of them resonates and you get a call.

Perfect solution or not?

The quickest, and what may seem the perfect solution is to pay someone to craft your CV for you. I’m not knocking this as there are some excellent CV writers out there, but how well do they really know you? This CV may get you to interview but is it a CV that tells the prospective employer all about you, or is it one that highlights what you can do for them? The focus these days for CV writing is on the latter. How confident will you be at interview when questioned on your CV? How can you demonstrate how that experience you have in your CV can benefit this new employer?

What if you need to change the CV and you should do for every role you apply for? How competent are you in doing this? Will your writing style echo that of the person who wrote the CV for you?

Many CV writers have a template where they fill in the blanks with your information and I have seen so many of these over the years whilst helping job seekers through a career transition. I once saw a 3-page CV that someone (an executive) paid £2,500 for and there were 3 major spelling errors within it! He said at the time he really didn’t recognise himself in the CV but he was happy with it and that’s what matters.

The UK CV writing market is not regulated in the same way it is in the US. This means, you’ll really need to do your research to find someone with the appropriate writing skills. Ask to see before and after samples of their work, or use personal recommendations before paying out for this service.

7 Reasons why you may choose a CV writing service

  1. Your current CV isn’t getting you to interview
  2. You’re struggling to sell yourself within your CV
  3. You want to present the best version of you and don’t feel you can do this
  4. You don’t understand Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
  5. It’s been many years since you submitted a job application
  6. Your written English is poor, or English isn’t your first language
  7. Everyone else is doing it

I have to say that all of the above, with the exception of number 6, can be learned and in doing so, you develop that skill for life. Number 6 can also be learnt, but this may take a bit longer.

I was reminded of just how many people don’t understand CV writing again recently when helping another job seeker with their CV. When I explained how the structure worked, and gave a list of actions for them to take, they said, “I didn’t realise there was so much work involved in this, I would just have sent the same CV out for lots of jobs”.

Why should an employer invest in you when you haven’t taken the time to invest in them? A deep-down research of the job role, plus all you can learn about the company needs to happen before you think about constructing a CV. This way, when they open up your application, they will have a strong sense that they are your employer of choice. You may have 5 applications all out there, but by following a clear structure, each of the employers will have this same feeling.

Can you elicit this feeling in them if someone has written a CV for you? Something to think about before paying out for a CV writer.

I can teach you this skill and you will have it for life. You will fully understand and appreciate the whole process, and in 2-3 years time, when moving jobs, you will just rinse and repeat.

If you are ready to learn a new skill in CV writing, simply get in touch at coaching@trishmullen.com and we can schedule a session.

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