So, you’ve decided to have your CV ‘professionally written’
It’s a big decission, having your CV written professionally can cost you anything between £20 and £1,000+ depending on your experience and level and of course the CV Company involved. It’s sometimes said that you get what you pay for, and in some cases this is exactly the case.
In most cases even though CV Writing companies make their websites sound like they are a big business by using marketing talk like “The UK’s Number one CV Writing company” or “The UK’s best CV Writing company” – it’s all too easy for anyone to make this claim, and it’s alll too easy for people to be fooled by that type of hype.
In the most part the fact is many ‘professional CV writing’ companies are one or two person operations often working out of their homes. That doesn’t by any means, mean that they don’t know what they are doing, but it does mean you need to make sure you check them out properly before handing over you money.
Whilst The CV Writer now promotes teaching people to write their own CV via our Careers Advice Guides, we totally understand that for some people the need for a new CV is more urgent, even more so considering the current Covid-19 crisis and the downturn in the employment market.
Before handing over your hard earned money you first need to take a really close look at the companies you are going to consider handing you money to. You are investing in your Career and you should take that investment seriously.
The CV Writer originally started back in June 2005 as a CV Writing business, so we know the market place. When we first started you could count on one hand the number of actual professional CV Writing companies in the UK. Fast forward 15 years to 2020 and a quick Google search for Professional CV Writers returns you hundreds of results. So now you as the customer have a vast array of companies to choose from. And it’s of the upmost importance that you don’t just pick the one at the top of Google search.
They are normally the one that has paid the most money to be at the top of the search engine. It by no means that they are the best.
Let’s start with Credentials
There are a number of ways that CV writers market themselves, and one of those is by highlighting their credentials. Though there isn’t one specific credential that has more “pull” than another, it’s important for the would-be consumer of CV writing services to familiarise him- or herself to the acronyms and titles that exist.
Below are a few of the terms common used in CV writing adverts. As always, though, it’s important to look at many factors when deciding which CV writing service to choose.
Professional CV Writers
It may sound impressive to work with a “professional” or “senior” CV writer, but, truth be known, this is a moniker that does not necessarily mean much from a credentialing standpoint. Basically, it’s a title that any CV writer could add to a business card or website; that being said, it doesn’t mean that the CV writer is not an incredible professional deserving of your business.
Consequently, if you decide to seriously investigate working with a professional CV writer, look beyond the impressive-sounding designation and ask him or her some pointed questions, such as:
- Where did you obtain your training to be a professional CV writer?
- How long have you been writing CVs and/or resumes?
- Have you ever worked with someone in my field before?
By acting diligently and asking questions, you’ll be able to see if the professional CV writer is, in fact, a person in whose hands you can entrust your confidential information.
Certified Professional Resume Writers (CPRW)
Although the term “resume” is rarely used in the UK, it’s commonly interchanged in the US with the term “CV”. Thus, some CV writers across the UK have begun to obtain CPRW credentials to boost their qualifications.
What you need to know about the CPRW label is that there isn’t one body that provides the CPRW accreditation, nor is there a standard CPRW curriculum that all CPRW designees pass. Consequently, it’s difficult for you as the potential client to know whether or not the CV writer with the CPRW credential is reliable or not based merely on the CPRW designation.
Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARWCC)
There is an international body of professionals – the Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARW) – that has been around for nearly 20 years. And many CPRWs may try to attract clientele by stating their membership in this organisation.
If a CV writer has CPRW credentialing in addition to PARWCC membership, it’s at least probable that he or she is serious about the field. Most people who obtain CPRW designations do so because they want to work in the industry.
Neither of the above are legally required and there are no official qualification bodies in the UK that a professional CV writer needs to pass in order to trade within the UK.
It’s also easy to simply download the Logo’s from Google and slap them on their website. (It’s exactly what we have done here). You can visit the PARWCC website and search their database to make sure they are actually a member.
Career Coaches (CC)
A further acronym – CC – has cropped up in adverts for CV writers. The “CC” designation indicates that the individual has passed a certification to call him- or herself a “career coach.” Ostensibly, being a CC enables the person to help clients more easily forge ahead in their chosen industries.
The big question is whether or not the “CC” title has meaning. Obviously, if you’re only looking for a basic CV, it may hold little weight. However, if you’re searching for someone who can help you with interviewing skills and career assistance, a “CC” might offer an advantage.
Regardless of the credentials any CV writer offers you, always ask to see examples of his or her work. Those speak louder than any designations. Use your head, use your instincts and be prepared.
Now we’ve gotten the professional qualifications out of the way, lets move on to the other things you need to do and ask before you pay for your CV to be written.
Check out the CV Writer’s credentials
Apart from credentials detailed above, Ask about the CV Writer’s experience of writing a CV in your profession. Make sure you know who will be writing your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and that it will not be sent to an unknown person.
Ask what company offers you as a satisfaction guarantee.
Ask how many changes you can make to your CV and whether or not there is a measurement of success. Ignore satisfaction guarantees such as ‘9 out of 10 people get a job’. Your CV is just a CV and it does not replace you. The CV is only used to generate a positive response from your applications.
Pay for an independent CV Assessment beforehand.
Before spending several hundred pounds on a professionally written CV, get your current CV checked first by a different CV specialist. Almost all CV writing companies offer a FREE CV Review service, it’s important for you to remember that they do this in order to be able to upsell you their CV writing service. Free doesn’t always mean independent or indeed an honest assessment of your current CV. The CV Writer does offer an independent CV Review service that you may wish to consider before you submit your CV to a professional writing company.
Be careful of the word ‘FREE’
Many FREE CV review sites add a little bit of small print that allows them to distribute and sell your CV to third parties. Be very careful about this inclusion.
Does the CV writer write for a living?
Check out the CV writer to see how well they write. Do they for instance have published books to their name? Are they a recognised blogger or contributor to magazines and articles?
Ignore claims about being Members of Employment Agency Federations etc.
A CV writer needs to be separate to an employment agency for legal purposes. An agency cannot charge job hunters for services. Also CV writing is not part of any employment agency syllabus so including it is irrelevant.
Make sure you can talk to the person and that you have a point of contact.
It is best that technical information is shared by email to improve accuracy but some questions are better answered over the phone. Avoid companies that do not provode a telephone line for you to contact them on. If you can’t speak directly to your CV writer you can’t adequately judge whether they are the right fit for you.
Ask about turnaround times.
You would expect to get a first draft of your New Look CV within a matter of days, not weeks or hours. It takes time to create a professional CV so bear this in mind if the company you are looking at are promoting unbelievable turnaround times.
Don’t be fooled by pricing based upon your job grade.
Whether you are starting out or the Chief Executive of a Plc, you expect to be treated with the same respect. Some firms like to charge premiums based upon job grade. A flat pricing structure is much more preferable and allows you to choose the level of service that you want. This flat pricing structure may also mean that you get a CV which opens up lots of job opportunities for you allowing you to jump a few job grades as well!
Take your time to select the right company for you and only enlist the help of people you can trust. It is your career and future and these people are working with you to develop and advance your career further. Do get in touch if you want to share any concerns or queries that you may have.