CV & career advice

Frequently asked questions regarding your professional curriculum vitae

While many people these days gain the upper hand over competitors with a better quality professional CV, not everybody has taken advantage of this, and some people are still unaware of the benefits, or even just what it involves.

This page hopes to answer some of the most common questions regarding professional CV writing.

Q.Just what is a professional CV?
A.Essentially it is a curriculum vitae that has been written by a professional CV writer, as opposed to a DIY CV.

Q.Can a professional CV give you a job/career advantage?
A.Yes, a well-written professional CV can (and often does) give you a distinct advantage over your competitors.

Q.How can it give you an advantage?
A.A well-written CV can be (and often is) pivotal when it comes to job applications. It is the thing that represents you in the all-important first stage of job applications and is the thing that either will give the employer an impressive first impression of you, or conversely, will be a catalyst for him/her to consign your application to the reject pile. Make no mistake, first impressions certainly count when it comes to CVs and job applications.

Most professional CV writers can improve the wording, spelling, grammar and also make your CV look more presentable. As it happens, most don’t go much beyond this. However, the very best companies and writers do. Indeed, the very best writers usually go on to dramatically strengthen and radically improve the power and effectiveness of your sales message – frequently over and above your competitors.

Q.Is there much of a difference between a professional CV and a DIY CV?
A.Yes and no! There isn’t usually much of a difference between better DIY CVs and lower end professional CV firms’ CVs. However, choose the right company and the difference is like night and day. The best CV companies can (and do), improve pretty much each and every aspect of your CV, and this all adds up to frequently making a huge difference to your job prospects. It is a rather crude analogy, but it is somewhat akin to going for an interview wearing a Savile Row suit as opposed to a tracksuit.

Q.Are all professional CVs the same?
A.No, just as in any sector some companies are far better than others, and consequently some are far more effective in the job market than others.

Q.How do I know which companies are best?
A.This is a good question, because some companies are less than transparent, and some of the things that certain companies offer sometimes amount to little more than marketing gimmicks. At the same time, there are ways and means of sorting out the wheat from the chaff. If you want more information on identifying the better companies then a useful starting point is the ‘missing chapter’ from Paul’s CV book which is in his blog. As it was entered in instalments in chronological order you’ll need to start from the oldest entry and work your way back. It is detailed and comprehensive and you should find it helpful.

Q.Does it matter who the writer is?
A.Most definitely! The consultant’s intelligence, experience and writing talent are hugely influential on just how good (or otherwise) your CV will be. Some writers are highly qualified with exceptional creative skills and work professionally, specialising solely in CVs. Some others, on the other hand, don’t have any qualifications of note, have limited experience and just ‘dabble’ in CVs now and again as a general freelancer. If you don’t know who a company’s writing team consists of before you order then you shouldn’t be surprised if you end up putting your job prospects in the hands of an inexperienced non-specialist freelancer.

Just as not all footballers, singers, athletes, artists, dancers, salesmen, dentists, lawyers, businessmen etc are equal, the same applies to writing in general, as well as specialist forms of writing – and CV writing is most certainly a specialist field.

Q.Are the writing methods important?

Q.Do professional CV writers use the same methods?
A.Most use traditional/standard methods that have been around for a great many years.

Q.Are there exceptions?
A.Yes, we use specially developed, pioneering methods based on sales and marketing principles. These are tried and tested to achieve better results than traditional/standard methodology.

Q.Why don’t other companies use more modern methods?
A.You would have to ask them, but one explanation is that many companies simply are unaware of the alternatives, let alone the significant advantages of more radical methodology. Significantly, even if other professional writers are aware of a better alternative, it doesn’t necessarily mean they would be able to write to those methods. It is much harder to say more with fewer words (as we do) than the easier alternative of writing more passively with no vertical or horizontal space constraints.

If more writers/companies could write the way we do they would already be doing it.

Q.How do you know what to write?
A.We are vastly experienced, and have many years experience helping jobseekers at all levels and across all job sectors. Consequently, we know what we need to help you achieve your job goals, and your consultant can guide you. You are in very safe hands, this shows, and most clients are happy for their consultant to guide them, and make suggestions. At the same time, it is a two-way thing, so if you have any particular instructions, or anything in particular you think we need to know about simply let your consultant know.

Q.What kind of things do you need?
A.Each job is different, so we do take a flexible approach. At the same time, in most cases clients provide their current CV, and details of the job (or job type) that they are targeting, a job specification if they are targeting a specific job, and anything else they consider pertinent.

Q.Do you need anything else?
A.Sometimes, but as mentioned each job is different. Your consultant will assess things for you once you place your order and will let you know if they need anything else.

Q.Do I need to have a CV already?
A.No, while most people already have a CV, not everyone does. In which case we are used to working without one. This is not a problem. Moreover, even if you do have a CV already, we usually rewrite it again from scratch anyway as we find that mere updates are never really enough.

Q.How long does it take?
A.Some companies boast that they can write your “professional” CV in under two hours. However, there is a contradiction in terms here since there is nothing professional about a rush job. If you want anything of quality, it does take time, and there is no getting away from that fact.

We are upfront and honest with clients about this. In addition to this, we have an outstanding reputation internationally, and always have a waiting list. Consequently, timescales may exceed two or more weeks. At the same time, if you have a deadline and need your CV back sooner, then we do have a priority option. Even so, we still advise priority clients to give us enough time to do the job properly, and most priority clients give us around 4-7 working days.

Q.What improvements can you make?
A.This really depends on your current CV. However, in most cases we make many improvements, and on pretty much every front. In addition to the usual improvements that most CV companies make such as improving the grammar/spelling/presentation, we also tend to improve things such as legibility, first impressions, the way your CV stands out and your all-important sales message – which we usually make more focused, targeted and optimised towards your career goals. If that isn’t enough, one of the other main improvements we frequently make is making your CV as a whole a lot more proactive. You should notice a distinct difference, and you should be delighted at the improvements.

Q.How much does it cost?
A.Pretty much by definition you need to pay for a professional CV. As mentioned, the quality and effectiveness of CV companies and writers varies enormously. In general however, you tend to get what you pay for inasmuch as the cheaper companies tend not to be as good as those who charge more. At the same time, just because a service is the most expensive it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best. We are the only company to actually guarantee that your CV will be better than any other firm’s professional CV, and we are by no means the most expensive. In fact, our prices are extremely reasonable and we believe, excellent investments.

Click here for pricing details.

Q.How can I order?
A.You can order directly online or you can call us and we can take your order over the telephone.

Q.How can I pay?
A.You can pay by bank wire, credit/debit card and PayPal.

Q.What if I want changes?
A.Requests for changes are rare. However, if you feel you need changes then that isn’t a problem, just let your consultant know specifically what and he/she can look into it for you as part of our free after sales service.

Q.What if I have other questions?
A.If you have any questions at any point in the process, that is not a problem, simply contact us and we will be happy to answer your queries.