Should you use a professional CV writing service?

  |  Peter Hvass

Irrespective of the industry, competition for jobs is normally intense. With the average position attracting tens, or even hundreds of applicants, there is a need for your CV to stand out, and to ensure that it makes a short list for further consideration by a recruiter. In such circumstances, a number of candidates will turn to the services of a professional CV writing service like The CV Centre™ UK, in order to get their documents – often a CV, cover letter and even a LinkedIn profile - prepared for them.

However, there are people who regard this as either unethical or a waste of money. They argue that getting somebody else to write your CV for you is a bit like getting somebody to write your college application. After all, this train of thought goes, nobody knows your experience and skills better than you, and a third party will never be able to capture your unique abilities and selling points to an employer. There is also the cost angle. Why pay somebody else good money for CV writing when you could write  one yourself?

Presumably these same people are happy to fix their own cars when they break down, or are prepared to self-diagnose rather than pay for a doctor when they get sick? Or perhaps cut their own hair?

We often turn to a professional when things need to be fixed. Most people will need the services of a plumber or electrician at some stage in their lives, because they lack the skill to fix the pipes or electrics themselves. Equally they might employ an accountant or a lawyer, because they have professional knowledge and skills that they lack. There is nothing wrong with this. It simply recognises the fact that there are professionals who have more expertise in a particular area than you. Nobody can be an expert in everything. A banker may not know anything about IT, or a baker about marketing.

It is the same with writing a CV. Even if your English is top-notch, and your grammar and spelling faultless, it does not mean you can write a professional, job-winning CV. A CV is not just a potted history of what you have done and a list of your accomplishments, it is a vital marketing and personal professional branding tool.

The average hiring manager, faced with a deluge of CVs for every role, will literally spend less than 30 seconds making an initial scan of all the documents submitted by candidates. That review is designed to quickly weed out all the CVs that do not make the grade. Expect your CV to be cut at this stage if there are spelling and grammar errors, poorly formatted, missing vital information, too long (or too brief), or just plain boring.

A professional CV writer will know what employers are looking for, both in terms of content  and format, and how to showcase your skills, experience and achievements in a the best light. Make no mistake. The best CV in the world is not, in itself, going to get you a job. However, it will help get you an interview which means you have a chance of getting that job.

There is also the matter of applicant tracking systems to contend with - if you're a search engine optimization expert then you might be able to handle this aspect of writing your CV adequately yourself... that simply does not stand for the majority of us though. Having an expert CV writer keyword optimise your CV for ATS in line with your current career goals or particular job openings you wish to apply for can be a real game changer for many.

Of course, you might be confident enough in your own abilities to just do it yourself. That is fine, if you think your CV is good enough to pass the 30 second test. But if you find yourself not getting any interviews, or even hearing back from employers after making an application, then perhaps your documents aren’t as good as you thought?

Which, of course, comes back to the issue of cost. Whilst using a professional CV writing service comes at a cost, it is mostly a modest one, and often a small investment to make when considering the potential reward in the form of a job you want, or need.