Are CV Writing Services worth the money?
The simple answer to this is that it depends entirely upon the service you choose.
At its best, a professional CV writing service can help you to achieve a dramatic difference to your future career prospects. However, there are loads of so call professionals who provide a service that is worse than useless.
As you will have discovered, not all CV writing services are equal. There is no doubt that it appears to be a really difficult and daunting task to tell the difference. But does it really need to be?
Top tips for choosing a CV Writer:
Anybody who is offering to write your CV in minutes or provide you with a first class CV for under £50 can be discounted straight away. It’s just not possible. Either they are not earning a living, or alternatively they may be sub-contracting to typists to whom they are paying a minimal wage.
At the other end of the spectrum there are firms who may charge upwards of £500 for a CV. You might be wise to ask for a breakdown of their charges. If it is based upon an hourly rate, you need to know what that rate is. You also need to know how long they would they expect to spend on your CV. That way you can get some idea of how they are justifying their charges. When I hear of people charging astronomical sums I have to wonder, just how good can a CV be?
In between these two extremes you are left with a whole raft of firms who are mostly offering similar services. Many of these are run by entrepreneurs who are using CV writing as a vehicle for making money. Their skill is not in CV writing but in selling the product. Here are some ways you can form a judgement of what they have to offer just by looking at the site
- Proper presentation is essential in a CV and this should be reflected in their Website
- Make sure that everything is included in the price and that there are no hidden extras
- Beware of sites requiring your details before they will provide you with information
- No UK professional bodies for CV writing exist, so ?memberships? have no relevance
- Sites carrying multiple advertisements may not be CV writers at all, but vehicles for advertising
- They should be registered under the Data Protection Act so you can be sure of their integrity
Once you have evaluated the site, it is time to get on the telephone. Don’t be afraid to ask everything that you want to know, but remember you will probably be talking to a salesman whose skill lies in selling the service.
Here are some questions you might like to ask:
Ask if your CV will be sent out to a third party? If so who are they, do they work exclusively for the one firm, or do they work for others as well? Ask if you can speak to the consultant before you go ahead, that is the only way you can make a judgement of who they are and the quality of advice they are giving.
Remember that if the CV is being written by a sub-contractor then not all of the value will be in the actual CV writing. The firm will be taking a commission first.
How much opportunity will they give for your input and feedback. Most services offer a conference up front but this is really only an information-gathering exercise and not a proper conference at all. You need to be able to communicate with your consultant during, or after they have written the CV. This is very important, otherwise how can you be sure that you will be satisfied with the end result?
Probably the very best way of making a judgement is to send your CV for a free assessment. Often this service will be used to generate sales leads and will give rise to a telephone call designed to sign you up for the full service. Be very circumspect in your judgement and use the opportunity to evaluate the level of service they are offering.