A CV is one of the most difficult documents you’ll have to write in your professional career. Blowing your own trumpet about your skills, experiences, capabilities, personality, education, work history, achievements and personal details isn’t always easy.
In the career clinics we provide we often come across CVs that have been written by a CV writing service. They always look good but they are often lacking detail, especially when it comes to project management. So considering the price that some of these services charge, is there any real value in having it done?>>Arras People: Latest Vacancies
I took a look at some companies (who I won’t mention by name) who provide CV writing services the costs to do so, and what you get for your buck.
The cheapest company I found offer CV’s for £25 for anyone with under 3 years experience, this then goes up to £45 for anything over 3 years.
On the surface this seems like a good price, but they start to add extras. They strongly suggest that you have a Linkedin page written as employers WILL look you up on the platform… £30. Have it written in under 24 hours £20, get 10 copies printed on “quality paper” £15.
But that will just get you a generic copy. To have all of the above written for a niche market £175!
I also looked at a more expensive option they had 3 packages available £99, £199 or a whopping £399! The only difference is who is writing the CV and cover letter. The cheapest option is being written by a “seasoned” writer and the most expensive by the founder of the company.
What you need to ask is “as a project manager will they provide me with the CV I need to secure an interview, and ultimately get the job”. Here’s why I’m skeptical:
The writer may not have knowledge from your industry
In relation to specific project management CVs, as mentioned above, there is often a level of detail missing – and this is the fundamental problem I have with a CV Writing Service.
How can a CV Writer, who doesn’t have a background in project management be sure that they’re highlighting all the key areas they need to in order to attract the employer’s attention?
CV writers do a great job of detailing the project itself. Unfortunately, they provide a lack of detail about HOW they performed their role, WHAT project management processes, tools, techniques they used, nothing to highlight their detailed experience in key areas.
There’s an old saying “Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime.”
This is certainly true in this case, project management is a profession in which a large percentage are contractors meaning they’ll be applying for jobs at least every 6 months. At some point it will become unsustainable to have to pay £100 for every job you apply for. Learning to write a CV yourself will have far more benefit in the long run.
I should mention that some of these services do offer rewrites but they are often time limit to no more than 6 months after the initial CV has been completed.
The writers don’t know you personally
Whilst a CV is a professional document it is important to get your personality into what has been written. If you’re passionate about something then make sure the reader knows that. Only you can provide insights and extra little details into why you were successful and why you love doing what you do. This becomes especially important when writing a Linkedin profile.
We often find professionally written CVs don’t do this and one CV looks, reads and feels exactly the same as the one before it. You’ll be surprised just how many CVs in our database are pretty much exactly the same – all written by the same CV writing service, similar experiences all written with the same adjectives and verbs.
Unless you lie, your experience is still your experience
CVs are all about you, your skills and your experience. Having a CV that looks good and is easy to read is great and important. But what is more important to the employer is your experience and skills. Even a £1000 CV won’t get you a job you don’t have the right experience for.
When writing a CV, the first thing you need to do is prioritise your most relevant experience to the job you are applying for. And if you’re not sure you’re right for the role, contact the employer beforehand.
Get advice rather than a writer
There are loads of industry specific materials out there that are able to advise you on the best way to write a CV. If you can follow this advice and write the CV yourself you will stand apart from all those who have gone to a writing service.
Doing your own CV will help you think about your experience and skills which in turn will help prepare you for any interview questions that relate to your CV experience.
If you need any more help we also offer 1-2-1 project management career clinics. We don’t offer CV writing services though.