I can’t speak for every CV company out there, because how they conduct their business is really their own affair. However, one thing I can say is that over the years we have received a great many applications from people who say they have experience writing for other professional CV companies. And I’ve no reason to doubt these claims. There are a lot of CV companies out there, and these must employ someone!
When we receive applications from certain other “professional CV writers” (and I deliberately use quotation marks here), one thing a lot of them have in common is that they are frequently accompanied by claims that X% of their clients go on to find work (sometimes in a very short timescale). As mentioned elsewhere in my blog, I’m not a fan of statistics – as they can easily be (and usually are) manipulated. Regardless of my own personal suspicions about statistics, I’m happy to give everyone who applies a chance, so my stock response is usually to tell them up front something along the lines of that is all well and good, but I usually find that the proof is in the pudding.
I then go on to tell them about our test, and then ask if they would like to take the test.
The mere word ‘test’ seems to scare off a sizeable proportion of applicants. Yes, I am aware that other companies don’t test their candidates, but we only take on the very best writers, and if he/she is confident in his/her own ability then my view is that they should not be afraid to take the test.
As it happens, many people still do take a test, although only a very small proportion of these show any promise in it. More about the test later.