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  • FIRST POST
    • illusionek
    • By illusionek 14th Mar 18, 5:51 AM
    • 138Posts
    • 25Thanks
    illusionek
    CV writing services - worth it?
    • #1
    • 14th Mar 18, 5:51 AM
    CV writing services - worth it? 14th Mar 18 at 5:51 AM
    Hello

    I have been trying to change a job now for a while without any luck. I am mid level manager in London if it makes any difference.

    My problem is that I dont get invited to interviews rather than not getting the offer. This makes me think there is an issue with my CV so I submitted recently my CV to various CV evaluation websites and the feedback in general was that my CV is bland and comes across as doer rather than achiever even though I listed many achievements.

    Now I know they all want my money so I understand criticism but I was wondering whether it is even worth considering this type of service and if anyone could recommend one.

    I dont want to spend around £150-£200 to get copy/paste from a standard template. However if this would help me to move on and get better paid job then it would be worth every penny.

    My current CV is pretty standard: Profile, Education, Skills, Role: key responsibilities + key achievements. Also my career history is pretty stable, same field different companies and raising through ranks.
Page 1
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 14th Mar 18, 8:06 AM
    • 5,002 Posts
    • 5,411 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 18, 8:06 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 18, 8:06 AM
    I have my doubt about the value of these services. When I was made redundant, the company employed a specialist company to help with CV writing, interview techniques etc which I did find useful. I signed up with a number of agencies and surprise, surprise, shortly afterwards got e-mails from CV writing companies offering a free assessment of my CV. They all said much what you have been told and offered to put it right - for a price! I declined.
    I think you'd be better off investing 10 quid or so on a book about CV writing, just make sure you get something recent as fashions in CV do change.
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 14th Mar 18, 9:32 AM
    • 1,975 Posts
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    shortcrust
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 18, 9:32 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 18, 9:32 AM
    I'd think if you're clued up you can do better on your own (and perhaps even if you're clueless!). CV evaluation services are never going to come back with a 'perfect, good luck!' result.

    When I've had my employer hat on I just want clear factual info on a CV and I want the skills and experience to match the job spec pretty much exactly. I certainly don't want to read about a load of 'achievements' but perhaps that's just me.

    When I've been job hunting I've never sent an identical CV to the same two employers. It's always tailored it to the job and organisation. If there's a job spec I make sure they can easily pick out every thing they're looking for. If they've listed required skills my CV would mirror that, using the same order.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 14th Mar 18, 11:12 AM
    • 5,002 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 18, 11:12 AM
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 18, 11:12 AM
    The only aspect of the advice given to us when we were made redundant which is of limited value, was to use heavy weight paper of either beige or pale yellow colour to make it stand out from the crowd. Fine if you are actually sending in a paper CV but most want it sent electronically these days.
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 14th Mar 18, 1:40 PM
    • 2,725 Posts
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    ReadingTim
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 18, 1:40 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 18, 1:40 PM
    If you're not even getting offered interviews, it suggests your skills/experience/qualifications are so different to what they're looking for (or quality of other candidates they're looking at) that I don't think any amount of wordsmithing or re-formatting of your CV is really going to help that much.

    In the first instance therefore I'd be considering the sorts of jobs I was applying for, rather than my CV - as long as your CV follows the usual sort of best practise recommendations - no more than 2/3 pages, no spelling mistakes, career gaps, is reasonably relevant etc.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 14th Mar 18, 1:44 PM
    • 2,578 Posts
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    steampowered
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 18, 1:44 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 18, 1:44 PM
    I think for a lot of people CV writing services are worth it.

    A lot of CVs I see are poorly laid out and have spelling mistakes - even CVs submitted by intelligent people who have taken guidance from books or websites about how to write a CV. It is very easy to miss
    a few typos.

    If you are not 100% confident in the quality of your CV, it could be a worthwhile investment just to get someone to look over it and make recommendations. Ideally someone who has some familiarity with the sort of role you are applying for.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 14th Mar 18, 4:12 PM
    • 6,566 Posts
    • 8,531 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    • #7
    • 14th Mar 18, 4:12 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Mar 18, 4:12 PM
    Before you go down the route of getting paid advice, have you considered getting anyone to informally look over your CV for you? Ideally this would be someone who is on the hiring side of the table for similar level / type roles, but even a friend or family member who isn't in that position can help you identify any errors, look at lay out etc.

    I agree with the recommendation to tailor the CV to the specific role you are applying for. Make sure that your relevant experience and skills are easy to find and navigate - those are the most important things on your CV, so focus on them.
    • StevenB12
    • By StevenB12 14th Mar 18, 4:23 PM
    • 100 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    StevenB12
    • #8
    • 14th Mar 18, 4:23 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Mar 18, 4:23 PM
    Before I got my first job I was lucky enough to have a C.V writing class as part of a program (it was just a very short half a day free coarse that was running at the time).

    They did C.V writing etc as such..., they would give you a template of how they best thought a C.V should be written out, how to categorize things etc. I found it helpful at the time and to this day still use the same template etc but obviously over the years I have done my own writing on it and tweaking. If it's there and you can get it at a reasonable price etc then it may be worth it..., but see if they can send you what it will look like first before you buy, or just use general online browsing, find a one you like and then try to work off that.
    • illusionek
    • By illusionek 14th Mar 18, 4:57 PM
    • 138 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    illusionek
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 18, 4:57 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 18, 4:57 PM
    Many thanks for all your comments. I am at a loss why I am not getting any interviews. I know for fact I am not aiming out of my league and salary wise I am within reason for my skills and experience.

    In my current role I recruited few people into my team and all CVs I have seen follow similar format to mine. I never got any negative feedback on my CV and on couple occasions I have been told my CV is impressive yet I struggle to get interviews. I dont really believe in value CV writing services bring but have no better ideas. Clearly the issue must be with CV if I dont get calls for interview?

    I live in London and dont work in niche sector so it doesnt get easier than that.

    Absolutely hate job hunting!!
    • ceegee
    • By ceegee 14th Mar 18, 8:28 PM
    • 817 Posts
    • 510 Thanks
    ceegee
    I don't know how old you are, but I have applied for so very many jobs, for which I am qualified, yet I don't get invited for interviews either. I am 62 and I know that age discrimination abounds. Are you an older person?
    "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow........"
    • ssparks2003
    • By ssparks2003 14th Mar 18, 9:26 PM
    • 371 Posts
    • 505 Thanks
    ssparks2003
    I see little use in a CV writing service, ultimately the require you to tell them what you have done, what you have achieved, what skills you have. They just tidy up the wording and add buzz words. You are better off buying a couple of decent cv writing books and spending some time re-writing your cv than wasting money on someone charging through the nose for a poor job.
    • illusionek
    • By illusionek 15th Mar 18, 5:52 AM
    • 138 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    illusionek
    I am in early 30s so doubt very much it is because of my age. I will have another go on my CV then but I have been updating it so many times so not sure what else I can change there.

    Many thanks all for your advise!
    • ceegee
    • By ceegee 15th Mar 18, 8:27 AM
    • 817 Posts
    • 510 Thanks
    ceegee
    I have been told that frequently CVs are initially scanned by machine, rather than by a person, and that if the CV does not contain words relevant to the position applied for then they are automatically "binned" and won't make it to human hands/eyes. Great, isn't........to be judged by a machine instead of a person. What a way to treat people, it's totally dehumanising and so wrong,IMO. I wish you all the best in your job search.
    "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow........"
    • Nathaniel Essex
    • By Nathaniel Essex 15th Mar 18, 1:27 PM
    • 105 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Nathaniel Essex
    My friend paid £hundreds for his CV and I took his format. Happy to share it with you.

    I noticed a difference but only when I changed it. I had to spend a lot of time tweaking it and the less I had on the page the better the responses were. It's more about the format first more than the content I find.

    I am a middle manager in professional services and noticed that most of my job opportunities don't come from applying directly but through recruiters. I don't feel internal recruitment teams do a good enough job scanning through CV's. For example, I applied to work for an accountancy firm directly and got a generic reply a few weeks later saying my application was not successful. A recruiter got in touch with me regarding the same position and not only did they interview me straight away, they were practically begging for me to join.
    • keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    • By keepcalmandstayoutofdebt 15th Mar 18, 9:14 PM
    • 3,234 Posts
    • 1,697 Thanks
    keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    Many thanks for all your comments. I am at a loss why I am not getting any interviews. I know for fact I am not aiming out of my league and salary wise I am within reason for my skills and experience.

    I dont really believe in value CV writing services bring but have no better ideas. Clearly the issue must be with CV if I dont get calls for interview?

    Absolutely hate job hunting!!
    Originally posted by illusionek
    It's the mass amount of people applying for work.

    I've been for an interview today in my home county and they remarked when they last looked 4 months ago they had a really disappointing turn out and this time it is different. Job has only been up 24 hours and apparently they have had so many applications already. And ironically this is with the employer I submit my CV at 10pm at night who then gets back to me 10am next day offering interview - can you see how mad it is out there!! Anyway that took away the misery of last week's straight three rejections, even though I feel realistically today is a no, it's pretty good to know what I'm up against and nice to feel wanted is way I look at it.

    A lot of it is also employers wanting immediate starts so I'd try not to take the knock backs so hard.
    "If you are caught in a rainstorm, once you accept that you'll receive a soaking, the only thing left to do is enjoy the walk"
    • TyreLever
    • By TyreLever 17th Mar 18, 6:45 AM
    • 197 Posts
    • 90 Thanks
    TyreLever
    Has anyone here actually paid for a CV writing service? If so send that CV to a couple of other CV writing services and see if they say "your CV is outstanding, there is little we could do to improve it".
    Sometimes my advice may not be great, but I'm not perfect and I do try my best. Please take this into account.
    • Ja7188
    • By Ja7188 17th Mar 18, 10:58 AM
    • 171 Posts
    • 177 Thanks
    Ja7188
    I have been told that frequently CVs are initially scanned by machine, rather than by a person, and that if the CV does not contain words relevant to the position applied for then they are automatically "binned" and won't make it to human hands/eyes. Great, isn't........to be judged by a machine instead of a person. What a way to treat people, it's totally dehumanising and so wrong,IMO. I wish you all the best in your job search.
    Originally posted by ceegee
    Yes - I believe most companies, especially larger ones, use this type of system to sift through the volume of applications they receive, most of which are probably completely unsuited to the roles. Apparently these systems are available for free...!

    Has anyone who has had their CV written professionally seen an increase in interview invites afterwards?
    • illusionek
    • By illusionek 18th Mar 18, 11:55 AM
    • 138 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    illusionek
    I have been doing some research following my post and all your comments. I did not appreciate before impact of AST screening on my chances of getting interview. I have completely reformatted my CV as previously I had some tables to improve formatting which apparently dont work well with AST.

    I thought I share it in case it was useful for anyone else.
    • macman
    • By macman 18th Mar 18, 12:17 PM
    • 41,920 Posts
    • 17,396 Thanks
    macman
    I am in early 30s so doubt very much it is because of my age. I will have another go on my CV then but I have been updating it so many times so not sure what else I can change there.

    Many thanks all for your advise!
    Originally posted by illusionek
    I would simply get your CV professionally proof read and laid out, no need to spend hundreds on a so-called CV writing service. Is English perhaps not your first language? I make that comment because there are a number of spelling mistakes and grammatical quirks in your posts, albeit small ones.
    If an employer has many CV's to process, they need an initial way to thin them down, and may reject yours out of hand for this reason.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 18th Mar 18, 2:15 PM
    • 3,158 Posts
    • 6,271 Thanks
    Smodlet
    Is English perhaps not your first language? I make that comment because there are a number of spelling mistakes and grammatical quirks in your posts, albeit small ones.
    If an employer has many CV's to process, they need an initial way to thin them down, and may reject yours out of hand for this reason.
    Originally posted by macman

    I noticed that too, macman. OP, you might benefit from learning how we use articles in English as you frequently omit them. This signals that English is not your first language and that you are probably Eastern European; am I correct?

    If you can stand it, I strongly recommend you read some English classics; whatever you think of Jane Austen, her use of language is beautiful. Avoid Shakespeare; his English is not English most employers can understand.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
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