Employing recruiters as CV writers (continued)

Significantly, if you get to see CVs written by many recruiters, and you also get to read their own CVs
(as I do when they apply to work for us), you would soon realise certain facts – very significant and noticeable facts.

Firstly, a lot of recruiters CVs are very different from each other. And they all come in all sorts, shapes and sizes. This is very revealing as it shows that recruiters don’t even agree amongst themselves on what constitutes a good CV.

Significantly, the very fact that many recruiters CVs vary puts into question the perception that recruiters can walk the walk as well as talk the talk when it comes to CVs. If recruiters had done the research, and really did know as much as they say they do, then they would know what works best, and then write to the same (best) formula. However, the reality is quite the opposite. There is no consensus. Nothing like it in fact. From what I have seen a lot of recruiter CV methodology is all haphazard, higgledy-piggledy, and based on confused outdated myths. And this just begs the question why?

Secondly, the vast majority of recruiters clearly are not writers. And if you ever read some of their own CVs you would see this for yourself.

The impression I get is that a lot of CV companies seem to think that just because once upon a time someone worked in recruitment then (a) they automatically know about the best way to write CVs, and (b), they are a talented writer.

If other CV companies want to believe that, then that is their prerogative. My view, on the other hand (and based on receiving many applications from recruiters over the years) is that recruiters tend not to know as much as they claim they do about CVs, and I’m yet to receive an application from a recruiter who subsequently went on to pass our test (so that should tell you about their writing skills).

Another significant point is that recruiters are frequently just the middlemen, they don’t usually give you the job. It is real employers who are the decision-makers and decide who gets the job.

Significantly, another important observation is that many recruiters just haven’t researched what real employers are looking for, and as surprising as this sounds, a lot of the advice they give candidates is out of sync with what real employers are looking for.

All in all, my view is that if other companies want to employ recruiters, then that is their prerogative. Personally, I’ve nothing against individual recruiters, and anyone is welcome to apply. However, when I do receive an application from a recruiter I never hold my breath…

Next blog entry: What I look for…

Paul Hichens (201 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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