Cv writing services

Chrisps303Chrisps303 Settling In NicelyPosts: 33Registered
I have been considering using a professional cv writing company as no matter how much i try i feel my attempts are letting me down.
Has anybody used this service or could give me any advice as to if its worth it or any companies you may have used.
Thanks in advance

Comments

  • NpsNps Experienced Mentor Posts: 782Registered
    I wrote my first ever CV last week (my current and only proper job was via an application form). I had no idea where to start as I expect things go in and out of CV fashion. I spent a day googling formats and recommendations etc before I even started it. Bearing in mind I had no accounting experience to add to it, I've been very pleased to hear back that my CV alone has got me several interviews (and it really is nothing special). I just used a basic template from one of the job agencies (I think it was Monster.co.uk, and I just removed their headers/footers etc.). The format isn't pretty at all, it's very bland in fact.

    I think half the battle is a clear format, and most importantly, 100% correct spelling/grammar etc.

    Is it the formats you are worried about, or how to phrase your evidence to give it the most oomph? Either way, I personally wouldn't want to pay someone to do it as I expect it is quite pricey for something that you can do yourself. I admit I do have a slight advantage in that I am used to doing competency based appraisals so have developed a skill in making mundane examples sound far more impressive than they are. I've also read 100's of application forms when recruiting for my old job so I have a rough idea of what makes you stand out and what gets your application put in the reject pile straight away.

    I can send you the format I used, I can even send you my CV if you like (with some details blanked out of course). Or feel free to send me yours and I'll give you an unbiased opinion.
  • Chrisps303Chrisps303 Settling In Nicely Posts: 33Registered
    Thanks for the reply.
    I did the same, found an example online and then just put in my information.
    I have been sending this cv and a covering letter for the last 2 years and i haven't even managed to get an interview.
    I have no accounting experience but have been working in an administrative type job for the last 9 years and thought that might help. My gcse results are next to pointless as i really wasn't interested in school all those years ago hence why i am now self studying with aat at 36.
    I just think its my cv letting me down.

    Thanks for the offer to review my cv, i may take you up on that offer.
  • NpsNps Experienced Mentor Posts: 782Registered
    Things I have learnt this week.....

    Self studying - highlight this, employers are very impressed by it. I know I've secured at least one interview because of it as they kept on and on about it in the interview. It shows motivation and self-discipline, so say this.

    Admin skills - do not underestimate their value. 9 years in an admin role! You should be able to sell yourself in so many ways with this. I've even had one employer slightly amend the job description and increase the salary on offer just to persuade me to go to an interview with him, purely on the back of my admin skills. They are nothing special, I just sold them well.

    Poor GCSE results - so make this into a positive. You know you wasted an opportunity, so here you are 20 years later righting that wrong and showing the world that you can achieve qualifications. That speaks volumes about you as a person now, not the person you were 20 years ago. I'd employ someone like that.

    Sage home study - I was told this was pointless as Sage certification is worth nothing. Rubbish! 2 of the jobs I have interviews for will involve using Sage, and just by having a Sage qualification on my CV has made me eligible for them. Without them on my CV, I wouldn't have got those interviews.

    Move to Milton Keynes! - I've been job searching for a week, and have been blown away by the number of interested employers/interviews. Every single day, new jobs are being added to the sites I use. There is certainly no shortage of entry level jobs here (or above entry level jobs for that matter), and the lack of actual accounting experience is not putting off employers. It's only from reading forums like this that I realise that Milton Keynes must be bucking the trend of the rest of the country.

    The Job Centre website - this was recommended to me and I initially dismissed it as I assumed it was for people who were unemployed and wouldn't feature specialist jobs. How wrong I was. I think I have secured every one of my interviews via that site. It is basically a portal for pretty much every recruitment agency in the area, and I even discovered several online agencies via it too. It was really useful for collating a list of agencies in the area as Google searches only showed me about half of them (Milton Keynes is quite large and spread out so it's not just a case of walking down a High Street to find the agencies).

    Don't believe everything recruitment agencies tell you!

    You really need to get someone to give you honest feedback on your CV if you've been applying for 2 years with no luck. Have the local recruitment agencies not helped you with it?
  • stevefstevef Well-Known CarmarthenPosts: 258Registered
    The danger in using a pre prepared cv is that you end up with a document which says why you should be appointed to a generic finance post. The trouble is, you are not applying for a generic post, you are applying for a specific post. Your cv needs to show why you should be appointed to that one specific post, what makes you a perfect fit for that vacancy.

    If you are an employer and have somehow managed to whisk up a business case to indicate you need a new member of staff, I can assure you that after reading through 20 plus generic cv's that all say the same or similar thing, you begin to loose the will to live. Then you come across a cv which may not look very glossy or read like a professional testimonial, but clearly shows that the author is the right person for the job you have advertised, you have your first short listed candidate.

    A lot of jobs these days, particularly those advertised by larger employers and the public sector will come wth a job description and a person specification. My advice is to read those documents carefully and personalise your cv to clearly show the employer how your experience shows that you can fulfill the duties advertised and how you match the person specification. I know when you are applying for shedfuls of jobs that this is a pain, but I can assure you personalising your cv for each post is worth it. The specifications we send out clearly lists the qualities of the person we are looking for and show if the quality is essential or desirable. I know this sounds brutal, and it is, at the first sift, applications that do not clearly demonstrate all the essential qualities are rejected (no second chance. no re read to see if we can second guess or read between the lines) and those that clearly show the highest number of desirable qualities (so that we have at least six) go to the next sift. But at the risk of sounding like I am going on, I can not emphasise enough "clearly demonstrates for the job applied for".
  • Chrisps303Chrisps303 Settling In Nicely Posts: 33Registered
    Thanks for the replies and advice, i shall have a rewrite of my cv this weekend and see how i fair.
  • NpsNps Experienced Mentor Posts: 782Registered
    Steve makes a very good point about adapting your CV to each job advert, but at this level, I found it was very unusual to find an employer who actually wrote a detailed job advert. Most were very generic and gave no indication as to the kind of person they were after. Very often, the company name is not even disclosed so you can't even research them until they've indicated an interest in your CV. I'll happily admit that I used the same CV for each job advert as there was next to no scope to tailor each one to the specific vacancy. Of course this only applies to agency jobs, direct applications give you much more scope to hit their specific criteria.
  • coojeecoojee Experienced Mentor Posts: 794Registered
    Nps1976 wrote: »
    Steve makes a very good point about adapting your CV to each job advert, but at this level, I found it was very unusual to find an employer who actually wrote a detailed job advert. Most were very generic and gave no indication as to the kind of person they were after. Very often, the company name is not even disclosed so you can't even research them until they've indicated an interest in your CV. I'll happily admit that I used the same CV for each job advert as there was next to no scope to tailor each one to the specific vacancy. Of course this only applies to agency jobs, direct applications give you much more scope to hit their specific criteria.

    I agree. I'd also like to add, make sure you have a really good covering letter. Say more than just, here's my CV in application for job XYZ. Say something like, I've done this, that and the other and that's why I think I'd be suited to this job or something else just to show that you've given it some thought and you're not just bunging a CV in the post to them and to all 100 other job advertisers.
  • emurattyemuratty Feels At Home Posts: 66Registered
    I would definitely agree about the covering letter. Employers get inundated with applications and you need to give them a reason to look at your cv.

    I advertised a basic level part time admin job recently and in a few days I had well over a hundred applications and had to pull the ad early. I had asked for a covering letter in my ad so the first thing I did was discount anyone who hadn't included one. Then I discounted those with a one or two sentence email as that isn't a covering letter. Next I discounted those with spelling mistakes or typos - this was an admin job after all. Only then did I look at cvs. I shortlisted based those people whose skills met what I had asked for in my ad, after all I had lots of applications to choose from so I could pick the best 5 or 6 to interview.

    So my advice would be to make sure you have a great covering letter, but not too long, making sure you highlight the relevant skills needed for the job you're applying for, and why you want to work for them. Make sure your cv is up to scratch with no unexplained gaps in employment etc. You can also ask for feedback when you don't get shortlisted, you might not get it but it doesn't hurt to ask. Always ask for feedback after an interview. You might not like the feedback you get, but it will help you next time.

    Good luck
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