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  • CV writing recommendations?
  • asbrooks
    Full Member

    can anyone recommend me a CV writing service?

    I haven’t updated my CV for 10 years or so. I’m at that age where I could fill 5 pages of A4 and I’m struggling to get it down to 2 pages.

    Not looking at anything specific jobwise at the moment so would like to keep the CV as broad as possible to upload to sites like CV library & linkedin etc.


    Full Member

    I work for a senior recruitment firm. If you ask 10 people for their views you’ll get 10 conflicting answers. What’s your field?

    name and contact details at top.

    short paragraph on summarising yourself.

    employment section.
    Each section aim for 2 bullet points describing the scope of role and responsibilities. Next 4-5 bullet points on what you achieved in the role. revenue growth? Team capability building and stabilisation? process and or system improvement?

    Reduce the bullet points of earlier roles, gradually.

    Education section

    then interests, systems skills, extra curricular achievements.

    If you have been in interim roles a lot I would bunch together skills under a number of different roles.

    Full Member

    Write it yourself. You’re providing an example of your work.

    This persistent “two pages” myth is just that. Though, five is excessive.

    Talk about what you achieved, a CV is a sales document. “Worked on a team whose responsibility was… ” no-one cares, you could’ve been their tea boy.

    There have been several lengthy STW threads asking the same question, the advice hasn’t changed much. Have a look back.

    Full Member

    Was going to write what @slowboydickie wrote, follow that and you’ll not go far wrong.

    ’s point on it being a sales document is also bang on.
    I’d try and keep it to 3 pages max, but that’s not a hard and fast rule.
    I’d also avoid CV writers, I’ve seen to many bang average CV’s produced by them to suggest spending money that way.

    Full Member

    I often have to read CVs. I’m really not interested in a ‘personal statement’ – everyone says the same thing and it tells me nothing meaningful.

    I’m after key skills and experience, so make that your headline. You should be able to tell me what you can do there and then so no need to duplicate that in your employment history run down.

    I’ll be looking for any gaps in that and any evidence of changing positions frequently – if that’s on your CV, be ‘creative’ and make yourself look more stable by omitting a few of the changes.

    Remember, it’s all about the key skills, be prepared to edit the CV for different roles, bringing any relevant skills and experience to the top of the list – as the role you’re applying for dictates.

    Good luck.

    Full Member

    I’d also avoid CV writers, I’ve seen to many bang average CV’s produced by them to suggest spending money that way.

    As someone who has been intermittently involved in recruitment over the years, the issue I had with a ghost-written CV is that they were usually very obviously written by a CV-writing company. Even if it’s not directly related to the role, I want to see that someone has an attention to detail and can string a sentence together.

    Because, if you don’t care sufficiently to produce a quality document to promote yourself, what’s the rest of your work output going to look like? If it’s not your forte, get someone to proof read it. Peer-review is a day-to-day part of my job, anything going out beyond our team will go through at least one other before it goes out; palming off work, less so.

    We also used to play “identify the version of Word from the template” too. (-: Honestly though I didn’t mind that so much, it was just a bit of an in-joke. You’re using tools at your disposal, there’s little point in reinventing the wheel.

    Full Member

    Also, this.

    If you ask 10 people for their views you’ll get 10 conflicting answers.

    Never a truer word. There are broadly acknowledged conventions like “reverse chronological order,” but there’s no One True Way to write a CV because ultimately you’re at the mercy of whoever is reading it and you don’t have a crystal ball. It might land on the desk of someone who bins it because they have a pathological hatred of Times New Roman.

    Free Member

    Excellent post @slowboydickie agree with all that (as a hiring manager)

    Full Member

    I’m really not interested in a ‘personal statement’

    No one says ‘I’m basically in it for the money and intend to do as little as possible once I’ve settled in’.

    Free Member

    When I was job hunting I had a long CV. I found it helpful. I would often tailor the one I sent to the job emphasising certain aspects I thought important.

    Write it out in full and then cut it back as needed.

    I removed a lot. No references, do people still do that? No address, just a phone and email. No personal bit at the top if there was a covering letter. Otherwise it was relevant – skills and what I wanted. Not a load of waffle about being a team player etc.

    Full Member

    Ok, understood.!

    Thanks for the replies all, so I now need to get myself in the right place and put that imposter syndrome to one side while I rewrite the blooming thing.

    Full Member

    No references, do people still do that?

    I always had “references available on request.” But yeah, there’s little reason to specify that I don’t think. It’s probably a box-ticking exercise these days anyway, you could likely get away with writing an otherwise entirely fictional CV so long as your job title and employment dates for your most recent job were correct. I doubt anyone is going to be asking me for my GCSE certificates from 30 years ago.

    Full Member

    I doubt anyone is going to be asking me for my GCSE certificates from 30 years ago.

    Plus given they are all paper record based, long since shredded with all the mergers of exam boards, you could just create new certificates with 23 A stars if you wanted.

    Most HR people probably wouldn’t even recognise the names of exam boards from the 70s/80s.

    Full Member

    As for references most companies only allow staff to give factual references now which just say Person X was employed as Y from Date A to Date B.

    Full Member

    Don’t forget to include any voluntary work you do, associations (especially professional ones) that you belong to, and relevant training courses.

    If you’re struggling to edit it down to a sensible length I wouldn’t include any outside interests unless they were relevant to the job or showed some skills such as leadership (e.g. Scout leader or charity trustee).

    I can’t see the point of including referees – in most instances referees are only relevant once a job offer is made – as they take up unnecessary space.

    Also IME/IMO I would keep the format fairly simple and don’t use photos of yourself, other images (was once sent a CV with an image of an old sailing ship model that the applicant had apparently made), or fancy themes which Word seems to offer you when it looks like you are writing a CV.

    Also agree with posts above about not including a personal statement which IME are fairly generic.

    Focus on achievements and use adverbs where appropriate e.g. successfully launched… and quantify achievements where possible.

    Remember the main objective of a CV is to get you to the interview stage.

    Full Member

    All of that. ☝

    Full Member

    Be careful what additional personal info you put on it and don’t put any more than absolutely necessary. Don’t put DOB and address for example, especially true if you are going to “advertise” yourself as looking for work. Just an email address and or contact phone number will do. No need for dates that you attended university etc either. A lot of organisations will anonymise a CV anyway.

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