Should You Hire a CV Writer?

writing-a-cv

The CV is one of the most important documents you will ever have – it tells the story of you, as a person and as a professional. It sells your abilities and your experience but not in a boastful way. It paints a picture of you that you give to employers to show why they would want to hire you. But should you write it yourself or employ a CV writing service? We spoke to one of the leading CV writing services in the UK, Purple CV, to find out why hiring someone like them can often be the first step of a successful job search.

Using a Professional

Unless you are a professional writer in some form, then writing the perfect CV is something probably best done by an expert. While having a professionally written CV is no guarantee to getting the job, it does help and often an expert in CV writing can use phrases that will catch the employer’s attention in a way that a non-professional might not, as well as avoiding the cliches that recruiters are tired of seeing.

A professionally written CV will also help show your abilities and experience in ways that you may not have considered. The job of the CV writer is to paint a picture of you and the very wording of the CV can give you an edge over others who have a less well-written document.

A CV writer will also have good knowledge about trends. When you do something for a living, you gain insights into that industry that others don’t and this applies to CV writing. Current hiring practises is one area that they will have a reasonable knowledge of, so getting help with your CV from an professional can help give you that edge in the process.

Getting the Right CV Writer

However, the important part in using a CV writing service is getting the right person. There are lots of people out there who claim to be CV writing experts and any one of them can write you a CV. But if you don’t get a top quality professional, the document may be no different o what you yourself could have written.

One way to choose a CV writer is to look at someone who has plenty of experience. Look for customer testimonials or examples of their work. If someone says they have qualifications in CV writing, then ask to see details. The industry here in the UK isn’t regulated as it is in the US but any professional should be willing to give out details of what makes them an expert.

The Process

Usually writing the CV will involve a series of conversations, a little like an interview. The CV writer may take a copy of a CV you have written yourself to use as a basis for the new document as well as any supporting documentation. You will need to allow a little time to talk with them so they can get to know what you can do and showcase this correctly on the CV.

Some CV writers offer additional services such as interview coaching which you may want to consider. But don’t pick someone just for extras – the most important part of the process is that you get the perfect CV for the job you want. You can find more advice from the Purple CV by checking out their Facebook page, but the key thing to take away is, if you do your research and find the right company to help you with your CV, you could find it gives you a better chance of getting the job you want than if try and go it alone.

Make sure your CV does not hit the waste basket

With a huge amount of candidates competing for limited job vacancies and usually only around 2% of applicants actually securing an interview, it is crucial to make sure you avoid common CV mistakes that get your application no further than the waste basket!

First impressions count, so if your CV is too long or poorly formatted, you can be pretty sure it won’t even get a read. Try to make sure it stands out from the crowd with a professional format, fitting to the role you are applying for. For example, if you were applying for a hands on creative role, it might be appropriate to have a CV that also has an element of creativity, if you’re applying for role in a professional service such as Law or Finance, probably not so much.

It is amazing just how often extremely common CV mistakes are made, they tend to include over sharing, not tailoring the CV to the role and simply not appearing professional.

And, don’t forget, if a recruiter can’t contact you, you won’t be getting an invitation to the interview party! It seems simple, and obvious, but you would be amazed at just how many CVs go out with either old contact details or no contact details at all! Don’t let yours be one of them.

Want a Better Job? Go On Holiday

It may sound a crazy idea that going on holiday could lead to you finding a better job but there is method in the apparent madness. Because what we discuss here isn’t just a week in Spain on the beach but a holiday with a purpose. It might be a charity challenge, a volunteering project or even a series of trips during a gap year to do different things around the world. But all of these can lead to you getting a better job and also be more employable.

The Gap Year

More and more students are coming around to the benefits of a gap year while studying at college or university. A gap year that is well used can add significantly to a resume when the right kinds of trips and holidays are listed. According to the founder of the website GapYear.com, the gap year is about demonstrating focus, showcasing abilities and finding a life path that will lead them to both financial and emotional happiness.

Australia is a popular choice for a gap year – it is similar enough to Britain in some ways yet offers completely different experiences. Travelling around the country is a great thing to do but the gap year isn’t all about sunshine and beaches. It may mean getting involved with a conservation project that later involves moving to another location.

Another option for the gap year is to pick up real life skills that will complement academic studies and put the student ahead in the job application stakes. For those wanting to work with kids, for example, working as an Au Pair is an option. Or volunteering with an inner city project helping disadvantaged kids gives a glimpse at a different set of issues.

Short Breaks

Even a shorter break of a week or two can be turned into something beneficial with charity challenges being top of the list. These are organised events that raise money for a charity through undertaking a challenge. One of the most popular is climbing Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. Other challenges could be to trek through the Grand Canyon or to climb to the base camp of Mount Everest. These challenges can be life changing, giving people a great self of accomplishment and self-confidence as well as looking impressive on a resume.

Another option for a short break is a volunteering trip. This offers the chance to work on a project that you are passionate about and always looks impressive when interviewing for a job. For example, working with the wildlife conservation community in South Africa or in the giant panda conversation project in Chengdu, China are great examples. Volunteer teaching assignments in places such as the Amazon or other parts of Brazil are a very fulfilling way of giving something back to a community and having an amazing experience. There are even companies who offer special packages just like a normal holiday that include working on a project while you are in country so you know you will be travelling and working with a legitimate organisation.

Whatever you choose, and wherever you go, with a bit of forethought and planning you could make sure that your excursion is not only the trip of a lifetime, but also something that will enhance your CV and make you a much more desirable candidate when you come back and start looking for a job.

What Do You Need to Get Started?

getting-started

Looking for a job can yield different experiences with different types of people. Some enjoy the chase, and applying for as many jobs as possible, whereas others may feel a little perplexed as to why they’re not receiving any feedback from their job applications.

Where a person resides can also affect as to how the job-hunting experience goes as does your access to transportation, but regardless of your position, there are a few tips that can ensure you put yourself in the best position possible when it comes to getting hired.

Take Your Time Creating Your CV

It goes without saying that the creation of a CV can be more than a little monotonous, but once it’s created it’s one of the main tools you will be using to get yourself in front of prospective employers. A CV should describe your roles without too much filler. A good idea is to highlight each position held and list some of your key responsibilities for each role.

You should also ensure that all grammar used is correct, and that the overall feel of the CV is a professional one.

Get Your Social Networks in Order

Social networking has recently become a primary way of assessing potential employees, as such, it makes sense to ensure that there is nothing being posted that could put you in a bad light.

Social networks should be viewed as an extension of your CV, and employers will use the information they find to help them build a profile of you and how suitable you are for the role. Ensuring that you only post ‘suitable’ posts ensures that prospective employers aren’t given the wrong impression of you.

It can also help to post a few links that relate to the industry you wish to work in. Not only does this mean that your social network could be found by prospective companies, but it also shows that you have a genuine interest in the brand.

Consider Showcasing Your Work

Depending on the sector you work in, the online world can allow you to build relationships with a number of businesses across the UK. This can be done by simply building an online portfolio via one of the more popular blogging platforms, and what’s more there are plenty of free options, so the only thing you need to invest is time.

There are many different platforms where you can host a portfolio or blog. WordPress allows for both self-hosted and free sites, while Blogger offers something a little more informal. Both platforms have a number of templates, and there are plenty of other options to choose from depending on your preferences.

A simple photography blog can help a professional photographer showcase their work with the click of a button, whereas a site curating any writing work and blog posts you have created in relation to the sector you would like to work in also yields similar results.

Those looking for a job will no doubt testify how difficult it can be, but many find that they get a lot from the experience if they inject the right level of enthusiasm. Of course, there can be disappointment along the way, but having the right mind-set and knowing your worth could see you reaping the benefits before you know it.