Should You Hire a CV Writer? Are Professional CV Services Worth It?
If you haven’t worked with a CV writer before, you may be hesitant to trust a third party with preparing such a personal, important document on your behalf.
You may be wondering whether investing in CV writing services is worth it, how the process works and how to choose a qualified writer.
Even if you don’t end up working with us, this article will help you choose the best writer for you.
- Do professional CV writers really help?
- Why should I use a professional CV writer?
- How much does it cost to hire a CV writer?
- How do I know if a CV writer is qualified?
- How can I find a good CV writer for my industry?
- What can I expect during the CV writing process?
- Are CV writing services worth the money?
- Should CV writing services offer a 60-day interview guarantee?
- What are common industry practices I should watch out for?
- Should I use a professional CV writer near me?
1. Do professional CV writers really help?
If you are not confident in your current CV, experiencing writer's block or simply in a time crunch, a professional CV writer will listen to your story, ask relevant questions and craft your document in a manner that appeals to executive recruiters.
CV writers prepare job application materials that clearly and concisely articulate your work history and accomplishments, not only easing the burden of applying for new roles but also improving your chances of securing interviews.
In addition to preparing your CV, professional CV writers will help you:
• Understand your value-add to differentiate you from similar applicants
One of the main advantages of working with a CV writer is that they will pinpoint exactly how you add value to an organisation from a third-party perspective.
Instead of preparing a CV that simply outlines your day-to-day responsibilities (and reads like a job description), CV writers prepare an achievement-driven document that helps you stand out by asking detailed questions to tease out your skills and examples of your contributions.
Your writer will also identify key metrics and accomplishments that you may not have thought to incorporate on your own.
• Present your experience from the strongest angle possible
Executive CV writers tailor your documents to present your experience in a manner that strongly positions you for your target roles.
Even if you are looking to make a significant career change, an expert CV writer will highlight relevant transferable skills that demonstrate your ability to succeed in your target role to recruiters.
• Prepare for interviews
The CV writing process doubles as excellent interview preparation, as a thorough consultation will require you to reflect on your experiences, explain your day-to-day responsibilities and identify specific examples of how you made an impact on the job.
During your consultation, your CV writer will ask questions similar to those you might encounter during a job interview (without any of the pressure).
By going through this process, you will be more prepared to deliver specific interview responses.
2. Why should I use a professional CV writer?
Consider using a CV writer if you have a hard time outlining your achievements on paper, have never prepared a CV before, don’t have sufficient time to dedicate to the writing process or aren’t familiar with the recruiting environment.
Our clients – who range from executives to recent graduates – understand 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.
The top 4 reasons that clients choose to work with a CV writer include:
• “I’m good at what I do, but I have a difficult time explaining it on paper”
Many clients don’t do much writing on a day-to-day basis or struggle to concisely summarise the breadth of their accomplishments on paper (plus it can feel awkward to write about yourself and your achievements in the third person).
CV writers provide clarity and direction, leveraging their expert interviewing skills and writing ability to craft stronger documents than clients could prepare on their own.
• “I have been with the same company/ran my own business for 10 years and never needed a CV”
Clients who built their careers at a single company or ran their own businesses often don’t have a CV, as they were promoted internally or never needed one.
CV writers are comfortable crafting a strong document even when starting from the ground up.
• “I don’t have time to write a CV”
When recruiters approach busy executives regarding a specific opportunity that requires them to quickly submit a CV, they often can’t carve out time to write it themselves at the last minute.
CV writers prepare well-written documents while drastically cutting down the amount of time the client would need to put into doing so on their own.
• “I’m not familiar with what recruiters expect to see”
Even clients who consider themselves to be strong writers sometimes recognise that CV writing isn’t a writing style they have significant exposure to.
Professional CV writers are experts on CV writing conventions, have a strong understanding of the recruiting environment and remain up to date with industry trends and recruiter expectations.
3. How much does it cost to hire a CV writer?
The fees for hiring a CV writing service can range from under £50 to over £1,000. While you can find online CV writing services that fit into nearly every budget, a writer’s fee is usually a reflection of his or her professionalism and skill level.
Hiring premium CV writing services can be a sizable investment, and while you can find much more inexpensive options on websites such as Fiverr, consider whether the quality of service you receive will align with your expectations.
The highest-rated CV writers devote a considerable amount of time to:
- Understanding your employment history and career goals via a questionnaire and consultation
- Crafting an accomplishment-driven, well-written document
- Working with you to make any changes and edits, if necessary
4. How do I know if a CV writer is qualified?
Most legitimate and credible CV writing services are a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARWCC) or National Résumé Writers' Association (NRWA). Before hiring a CV writer, confirm that the writer or company you are considering is qualified.
Members of these organisations are well-versed in CV writing theory and practice, have significant industry experience and remain up to date on recruitment trends. However, you will find that quality can still vary significantly from writer to writer.
CV Pilots is a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches.
Most importantly, always conduct your due diligence and choose a writer you can trust by:
- Reading their reviews
- Reviewing their CV samples
- Learning about their background
- Scheduling a call to ask any questions you have
Based on your research, you’ll be equipped to gauge whether you’ll feel comfortable trusting a given CV writing company with such an important piece of your job search.
Remember that 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.
5. How can I find a good CV writer for my industry?
Core CV writing principles and best practices are consistent across industries, and professional CV writers are familiar with sector-specific nuances. The best CV writers also conduct outside research and ask you questions about your role to fill in any gaps in industry knowledge.
The most important characteristics you should look for when hiring a CV writer are their writing skills and interviewing ability. Remember that no CV writer has worked with clients in every position imaginable - and that’s okay.
At CV Pilots, we have worked successfully with C-suite executives across most sectors including:
- Finance & Investment Banking
- Management Consulting
- Sales & Marketing
- Property & Real Estate
- IT & Tech
- Oil & Gas
- Travel & Hospitality
- Project Management
6. What can I expect during the CV writing process?
Once you select a service and place your order, the CV writing process typically consists of the following steps: information gathering, writing and revisions.
Step 1) Your writer gathers background information
Your writer will gather information from you and learn more about your background via a questionnaire, phone call or in-person meeting.
We find the phone consultation to be one of the most valuable components of the CV writing process, as it allows us to get a comprehensive understanding of each client’s career and aspirations.
Skilled CV writers have strong interviewing skills and ask specific, thought-provoking questions, enabling them to convey your accomplishments as effectively as possible.
However, many CV writers don’t provide the option of having a phone consultation. If you only communicate with your writer via email, you may miss out on the opportunity to highlight valuable information that you didn’t think to provide in writing!
Step 2) Your writer prepares the draft of your CV
Your writer will craft your document based on your consultation and information you provided, ensuring that it is ATS-friendly and tailored to the 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.
Step 3) You provide feedback, and your writer completes any revisions
After you receive your document, you will have the opportunity to review it and provide feedback.
When you receive your first draft, it should already be strong enough for you to use for applications. You should also allow time for two to three rounds of minor revisions before arriving at your perfect document.
Do your best to find a writer that has your best interests in mind and will let you know if some of your proposals aren’t best practices. 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.
Once your revisions are complete, you’re ready to start applying for new roles!
7. Are CV writing services worth the money?
Yes! Hiring a CV writer can be a worthwhile investment – especially if it leads to a dream job or a promotion. Many previous clients continue to work with their CV writers as they progress throughout their careers, attesting to the value they received from the service.
However, if a CV writing service is too cost prohibitive, you may consider preparing your CV on your own and having your final document professionally edited instead.
Before deciding to pay someone to write your CV, consider whether the investment is worth it for you:
• C-Suite Leaders and Executives
If you are earning anywhere over £60,000 per year, you will likely 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.
• Early- to Mid-Career Professionals
Many previous clients looking to progress in their careers found that hiring a CV writer helped them secure interviews for more senior-level positions.
• Students and Recent Graduates
As a student, you may be able to find the help you need at your school’s career centre.
Occasionally, executive CV writers offer reduced fees for current students or recent graduates, so you may want to inquire whether that could be an option.
If you are applying for a master’s program or MBA, working with a CV writer will also ensure you put your best foot forward.
8. Should CV writers offer a 60-day interview guarantee?
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, several variables determine whether you will be offered an interview and ultimately be hired that are entirely out of the writer’s control, such as:
- Your fit for the role and experience
- Your educational background and licenses/qualifications
- The quality of other applicants
- Your networking strategy and effort put into the job search
- Your preparation for and performance during the interview
We firmly believe in presenting a fact-based and accurate narrative of your work experience and promise to help you identify and articulate your credentials to recruiters in the strongest way possible. However, we will not manipulate the facts to help you land an interview.
If you decide to work with a CV writing company that offers interview guarantees, we encourage you to read their terms closely, as many only offer a free rewrite (not a money-back guarantee).
9. What are common industry practices I should watch out for?
When selecting a CV writing service, watch out for two undesirable practices that result in a frustrating experience and poor results for clients: outsourcing and ghostwriting.
The saying “you get what you pay for” tends to hold true in the CV writing industry.
• Outsourcing Internationally
Many online CV writing services outsource work internationally (often to non-native English speakers) to keep costs down.
When you break down the fee you are paying for your CV on an hourly basis, does it align with what you would expect to pay a reputable professional services firm?
It takes time to prepare a well-written CV (the end-to-end process takes us around a full working day). If a company’s hourly rate seems too good to be true, there is probably a reason behind it.
Many CV writers who claim to operate as individuals outsource their writing.
Because of the time-consuming nature of CV writing, it is often unfeasible for one person to handle all of the writing and day-to-day business administration while running a profitable operation – unless they charge accordingly.
At CV Pilots, we invest significant time to hire and train exceptional writers who work with our clients one-on-one throughout the writing process.
By being transparent about our writing process and building a top-quality team, we are able to ensure a consistent client experience and pair clients with writers who have experience writing for their industries.
10. Should I use a professional CV writer near me?
Because most CV writing services work remotely and offer virtual consultations instead of in-person appointments, you do not necessarily need to find a service that is based near you. When selecting a CV writer, we recommend prioritising fit and expertise over their physical location.
Once you have your application materials ready to go, you can consider partnering with a local or sector-specific recruitment firm.
We hope this article helped you better understand the nuances of the CV writing industry and gave you the tools you need to select the best writer to work with you.
If you are interested in learning more about our services, please schedule a complimentary initial call with our founder to discuss your experience and requirements in more detail.
We look forward to hearing from you!
About CV Pilots
CV Pilots is an award-winning executive CV writing firm and a proud member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. Our previous clients include CEOs and senior executives at the world's leading companies.
As a professional services firm, we take your reputation seriously. We are committed to delivering writing excellence and superior service while operating with integrity and discretion. Recruitment firms we partner with also trust us to consistently deliver quality documents for their clients.
Our writers have studied at top-tier universities and have strong writing backgrounds coupled with industry experience.
Here's how we can help you:
CV, Cover Letter and LinkedIn Writing Services: If you are looking for end-to-end support, hire one of our professional CV writers to rewrite your documents from the ground up.
Executive CV Template Downloads: If you plan to prepare your own CV, consider using one of our classic, ATS-friendly CV templates for Microsoft Word.