Should You Hire a CV Writer? Are Professional CV Services Worth It?
If you haven’t worked with a CV writer before, we know you might be hesitant to trust a third party with such a personal, important document.
You may be wondering whether investing in writing services is worth it, how the process works and how to choose a qualified writer.
In this post, we address common questions we hear from potential clients who are deciding whether to hire a professional CV writer.
What does a CV writer do?
CV writers are experts who craft professional job application materials that clearly and concisely articulate your work history and accomplishments in a manner that executive recruiters expect.
If you’re having writer's block, not feeling confident in your current CV or simply in a time crunch, having a third-party expert listen to your story, ask relevant questions and write up your career summary can ease the burden of applying for new roles.
The process also doubles as excellent interview preparation!
CV writing is a collaborative process, so you’ll find yourself answering questions similar to those you would be asked in a job interview (without any of the pressure).
Who should use a CV writer?
Professionals of all experience levels can benefit from CV writing services.
Our executive clients recognise that their CV serves as a personal marketing document and are willing to invest in a service that ensures they present themselves in the best possible light.
Even if you’re applying for your first role out of college, you’ll end up with a document that you will be able to leverage throughout your career.
At CV Pilots, many of our clients work in roles that don’t require much writing or simply struggle to explain their accomplishments on paper.
Others are strong writers but choose to work with us because CV writing isn’t an area they have significant experience in (and it can be awkward to write about yourself and your accomplishments in the third person).
What does the process look like?
The CV writing process typically consists of three steps: information gathering, writing and revisions.
1) Information Gathering
Your writer will gather information from you and learn more about your background via a questionnaire, phone call or in-person meeting.
Some CV writers don’t require or provide a phone consultation. However, we have found this to be one of the most valuable components of the process.
Skilled CV writers have strong interviewing skills.
They’ll ask you specific, thought-provoking questions that allow them to articulate your accomplishments as effectively as possible.
If you only communicate with your writer via email, you may miss out on highlighting valuable information that you may not have thought to include yourself!
Your writer will take the information you provide and craft your document, ensuring that it is ATS-friendly and tailored to the types of roles you are targeting in your search.
Because this is the most critical element of the process, you should choose to work with a reputable writer you can trust.
After you receive your document, you will have the opportunity to review it and provide feedback.
When you receive your first draft, it should be strong enough for you to apply for jobs with.
However, you should allow time for two to three rounds of minor revisions before arriving at your perfect document.
During the revision process, an experienced CV writer will play devil’s advocate and push back on your suggestions if they will not truly add value.
While it is ultimately your document, you should work with a writer that you trust has your best interests in mind and will let you know if some of your proposals aren’t best practice.
Once your revisions are complete, you’re ready to start applying!
How do I know if someone is qualified to write my CV?
Before hiring a CV writer, make sure to conduct your research to confirm whether the writer you are considering is qualified.
At a bare minimum, the company you choose to work with should be a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches.
Members are well-versed in CV writing theory and practice, have significant industry experience, and remain up to date with recruitment trends.
You should also choose a writer you can trust:
- Read their reviews and see who they have worked with in the past.
- Read about their background.
- Call them.
- See if you would be comfortable working with them.
Choosing a CV writer is just as important as choosing any other professional to represent you such as a lawyer or accountant.
A writer’s work may very well propel you ahead in your career and open doors for you – or hold you back.
How much should I pay for a professional CV?
You'll be able to find online CV writing services that fit into nearly every budget.
We’ve seen services that charge anywhere from under £50 to over £1,000 for a CV.
While hiring a CV writer can be a sizable investment, a writer’s fee is usually a reflection of his or her professionalism and skill level.
The best CV writers devote a considerable amount of time to:
- Understanding your employment history and career goals via a questionnaire and consultation
- Crafting a truly well-written document
- Working with you to make any changes and edits, if necessary
If a writer is feasibly able to write your CV for less than the price of a one-hour career coaching session, you may want to reconsider.
It’s a known fact that some online CV writing services outsource work internationally to keep costs down.
Before deciding to pay someone to write your CV, consider whether the investment is worth it for you:
If you’re making over £50,000 per year, you’ll invest less than 1% of your annual salary on your CV.
In this case, spending money on a professionally written CV can be well worth it - especially if it leads to your dream job or a promotion.
If you’re making considerably less, you may consider preparing your CV on your own and simply having your final document copy edited.
If you’re a student, you may be able to find the help you need at your university's career centre instead.
Occasionally, CV writers will offer reduced fees for current students or recent graduates, so you may want to reach out to ask whether that could be an option.
Have you written a CV for my industry before?
At CV Pilots, we’ve worked with clients across most sectors.
However, the most important characteristic you should look when hiring a CV writer is their writing and interviewing ability.
No CV writer has worked with clients in every position imaginable - and that’s okay.
CV writing principles and best practices are consistent across industries.
The best CV writers conduct outside research and ask you questions about your role that will fill in any gaps in industry knowledge.
What matters most is whether a writer can help you present yourself in a compelling yet professional matter.
Are there any guarantees?
Because your CV is just one component of the job search process, trustworthy CV writers should not guarantee that you will receive interviews or job offers as a result of using their services.
When you apply for a job, there are many variables that determine whether you will be offered an interview or ultimately be hired:
- Your fit for the role
- Your experience in the area
- Your educational background
- The quality of other applicants
- Your preparation for and performance during the interview
However, you can rest assured that professional CV writers will help you identify and articulate your strongest credentials to recruiters in the best way possible.
About CV Pilots
CV Pilots is an award-winning executive CV writing, career coaching and outplacement firm. Our previous clients include CEOs and senior executives at the world's leading companies.
Here's how we can help you:
CV, Cover Letter and LinkedIn Writing: After a one-hour phone consultation, one of our expert writers will prepare your top-quality personal marketing materials from scratch.
Career Transitions: A powerful combination of our document writing and career coaching services helps position you to secure a new role.
We're a proud member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. All of our writers have studied at top-tier universities and have solid industry experience.