Company Claims

No professional CV writing company advertises that their services are substandard. On the contrary most state the opposite; I think more than one CV writing service claims to be the UK’s leading CV company – obviously such a claim from several companies is a contradiction in terms. In any case such a claim is rather vague, e.g. ‘leading’ in what respect – the amount of orders, the biggest offices, the most staff?

While it is true that only one CV writing service can be the best/leading service, in reality it is pretty much impossible to verify any such claim, and especially in connection with those firms who make claims but conveniently omit any specifics. This does not mean that some companies do not provide an excellent service; some undoubtedly do. And while some firms do live up to their (sometimes perfectly realistic) claims, less forthright companies, on the other hand do make more spurious claims. So beware.

For example, many companies are honest enough to say that they can boost your job and career prospects, but stop well short of making it sound like a formality that you will land the job of your dreams and a far higher salary. The same can’t always be said elsewhere, and the way some other companies phrase things is less responsible. While some such companies usually avoid overly outlandish claims, some do nevertheless, litter their advertisements with impressive figures that some jobseekers find persuasive; regardless of their accuracy or chances of fulfilment.

Regardless of the claims, no CV company can ever guarantee that you will land your target job, let alone a fantastic, much sought after, highly paid job. Top quality CVs can certainly help increase your odds of landing an interview but you still need to pass the interview to get the job. Moreover, even if you have the best CV in the world, when you get to the interview stage you are really on your own, and at this point it is down to you, not your CV, as to whether or not you get the job.

You should therefore be very suspicious of companies who give the false impression that their CV can guarantee your perfect job. If a company makes one unrealistic claim then the chances are that their other claims cannot be trusted either. Even claims that a CV service can guarantee you interviews should be treated with suspicion. While a good CV can help improve your chances of interview, no CV can give you a cast iron guarantee. This is an impossible claim as there are too many external factors at play. Employers make decisions based upon a variety of factors, not just the state of your CV.

On a related note; some CV writing services make claims along the lines of ‘according to our survey 90% of our clients get a job within 2 weeks’. Again you should treat any such statistics with suspicion. Where do the statistics come from? Most clients do not reply to survey requests and even if they do reply, the overall response rate is normally pretty low. Even if a survey ever took place then instead of the ‘90%’ claim, a more accurate statement would be ‘90% of (the handful of) people who responded to our survey…’

You should also consider this, ‘how many people realistically send off a CV, pass an interview, then get the job all within two weeks?’

Similarly, I have seen some companies make claims related to pay increases, e.g. ‘add £50k to your salary.’ This is an easy claim to make, safe in the knowledge that no one is likely to contest it. After all, most CV companies help people land better paid jobs – that’s what they do – or at least that’s what the better CV companies do. However, it is misleading to quote such figures to jobseekers, and especially since the advertiser doesn’t know the jobseeker’s current salary or the rates offered by their target employer.

More to follow…

Paul Hichens (182 Posts)

Paul Hichens, top UK CV specialist, head of leading firm CV Succeed, and author of the most pioneering CV book in decades, The One Page CV (published by top career sector publishers Pearson Education).


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