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Don’t Use a Professional CV Writer……

…until you’ve read this post.

Why Use a Professional CV Writing Service

Why should you use a Professional CV Writing Service? Many people, particularly recruiters, will tell you you don’t need to. After all, you would think that the best possible person to write a CV would be the person who knows the subject intimately; i.e yourself! But in many cases that would be completely the wrong answer.

And I’ll tell you why.

There are 2 main reasons actually.

The first is that very few people can be objective enough about their own abilities and achievments to be able to separate those that are relevant for the position being applied for, and those that are not. Most of the CVs I see for review contain a huge amount of totally irrelevant information, and the remaining information that is – or could be – relevant is very poorly-presented and badly-written.

When you consider that most job vacancy advertisements tell the job-seeker EXACTLY what the employer requires, this is absolute lunacy. Nevertheless, these types of CVs continue to dominate the pile of submissions. Small wonder that so many end up in the bin. What a waste of time!

Worse, it is an opportunity missed for the job-seeker.

The second of what I regard as the main reasons that ‘home-grown’ CVs fail to come up to the mark is that the writer is unable to write ‘sales copy’ (see the next point if you don’t know what it is). The whole purpose of a CV is to proactively sell the candidate to the employer or recruiter.  The overwhelming majority of job-seekers are simply unable to do this.

A CV today needs to literally be ‘salesmanship in print’, with every available inch of the CV’s real estate focused on selling the candidate as the ‘hot, new, must-have product’ to solve the employer’s problem or ‘key frustrations’ (you know, the things he asked for in his vacancy ad?). There is no room for poor grammar or spelling mistakes either. Everything counts. If the CV fails to grab the reader in the first 8 – 12 seconds, forget it!

A good Professional CV Writer has the knowledge, expertise and copy-writing (sales and marketing) skills to do both of these things. He or she is a specialist in this area and will catapult you ahead of the ‘also-rans’, which will save you a fortune in lost salary, missed opportunities and time.

It’s exactly the same reason you get a mechanic to service your car (even though you may be able to do  most of it yourself), go to a solicitor to represent you in court, or visit the doctor to sort out your illness or injury.

They are specialists. Experts. Good at what they do. So is a Professional CV Writer. Even better for ex-military applicants if the writer has a military background . . . .

Useful Information for Armed Forces Leavers . . . .

How to Write a Resume That Gets Ignored: Use These 5 Words ...
Ministry of Defence
How to Write a Resume: Examples of What Not to Do - CBS News
How can i convert military experiance into civilian language when ...
Cv encyclopedia topics |
How to make a resume
Curriculum Vitae Standard Format: Office of Academic ...
How to Write a Perfect Resume Objective (Resume Format Part IV)
The traditional transcript and resume are dead - The Washington Post
PCVWS - Professional CV Writing Services

Armed Forces CV Writing – Expert Advice, Tip Series Day 7

7 Items You Should NEVER Include On ANY CV, Military or Civilian – Tip Series, Day 7 . . . .

Welcome back folks  here’s the last of our tips on what you should NEVER include on your CV. Look out for the next series, which will be 10 things you should ALWAYS include. Remember, we’re talking about the CV here, NOT an application form or other application process. I mention this because, increasingly today, companies are conducting their recruitment process via an online form rather than the submission of a CV. Some pundits even suggest that the CV is dead as an interview-winning tool, but it will always have a place, particularly for applications to smaller companies and organisations.

Here is today’s tip, the last in this series:

Never, never, NEVER include details of your present salary, your salary history, or what your current expectations or requirements are.

Got that? It’s worth repeating:

Never, never, NEVER include details of your present salary, your salary history, or what your current expectations or requirements are.

We see perhaps 100 to 150 CV’s per week for either review or rewriting. Approximately 5% of these include such details. You may think that this gives focus to the CV, a “stick in the ground” for a future employer to work to, or to tell them what you will or will not accept. All of these will potentially consign your CV immediately to the circular file, completely disqualifying you from ANY chance of getting an interview. There are a whole raft of reasons for this, all of which, as soon as I mention them will be glaringly obvious.

Firstly, dealing with salary history, it has absolutely no bearing on the future. Conditions change, “going rates” for a particular skill or qualification alter – sometimes considerably, plus of course inflation plays a part, as does the length of time you have been in a particular role. If you’ve had a few different jobs or positions, these numbers, plotted on a chart (even mentally, which is what a reviewer will be doing) may paint a picture you wouldn’t be proud of.

Secondly, and this really covers all of the reasons for not including any salary information whatever, it puts a finite number on what you believe you’re worth.

Absolutely disastrous.

Your number could be wildly optimistic, in which case the potential employer will write you off as a dreamer. The number could be extremely pessimistic, in which case the potential employer will either think you incompetent, or – worse – push his or her luck and try to get you cheaply. Neither scenario is desirable.

Finally, you could be disqualifying yourself for the sake of, literally, a few pounds or so. For example, if the employer’s upper limit for the position is 35,000 and you have indicated that your salary target is 35,500 there is a good chance your CV will be discarded. This could be despite the fact that you may be prepared to accept as little as 32,000 in a negotiation process.

Conversely, you may indicate that you will accept 50,000, while the employer has in mind that he’s prepared to pay 60,000 for your particular expertise. This can work against you in two ways. The employer may decide before you even get the chance to get in front of him, that you must be deficient in some way, or may fall short of his expectations, simply because you appear to have undervalued your skills.

Alternatively, he may decide to interview you and potentially save himself 10,000. Now, you may consider this acceptable if it means you get to interview and may therefore get the job. However, you will be forever at a disadvantage in any future salary negotiation, and your reputation in the sector could be damaged for a long time to come.

In summary, you should never put anything on the face of the CV that could potentially disqualify you from interview (sound familiar?). As stated in earlier tips, this completely kills the whole point of the exercise, which is to get you in front of a decision-maker. Remember, it’s not the best candidate that gets the interview, it’s the candidate with the best CV!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this short series of tips, and more importantly it’s helped you clean your CV up! Look out for our next series in a week or two that will help you get all the ESSENTIALS onto your CV. Simply do this, and you will be ahead of 85% of your competition!

Useful Information for Armed Forces Leavers . . . .

royal navy
royal navy
Yahoo! Directory AU & NZ > Resume Services
Help writing a CV tips & advice for job seekers everywhere.mp4 ...
How can i convert military experiance into civilian language when ... Video - Resume Writing for New Graduates
Royal British Legion
LinkedIn: Top 10 Resume Words to Avoid - CBS News
Leaving The Military? CV Advice
Yahoo! India Directory > Resume Services
CV (@CharlieCV) on Twitter
Army FASCLASS Federal Resume

Military CV Writing Service – Expert Advice, Tips Series Day 6

7 Items You Should NEVER Include On Your Ex-Military or Civilian CV – Tip Series, Day 6 . . . .

Congratulations if you’re still with us  at least you’re serious about improving your CV!

Today’s “no  no” is giving reasons for leaving a previous job. Before we go into detail let me assure you that it doesn’t matter what the reason was, or how positive you think it is, the reader will always be able to put a negative spin on it. For that single reason, you should NEVER give a reason for leaving a job on the face of the CV.

One reason, which comes up frequently, is that the candidate left for career advancement reasons (more money, more experience, personal and professional development etc). These all sound like excellent reasons for leaving a job. Indeed, they ARE excellent reasons for leaving a job, but it’s wise to keep those reasons to yourself.

However positive, progressive or forward-thinking you think these reasons may make you appear, a potential employer simply sees that you will just use their company as a stepping stone to greater prospects and opportunity for yourself. What you need to consider is that the employer is looking for a solution to their current problems that they can simply plug-in and forget.

The recruitment process is expensive. Training of new employees is expensive. If you’re only go to stay a few months, or even just a year or two, an employer sees you as a cost to the business. Ideally, you want them to see you as an investment, tirelessly producing a significant return for them.

People often think from a purely selfish or egocentric position. And that includes me and you.

Another reason that comes up from time to time is that the candidate had a “personality clash” with a previous employer. They wave this reason around like a flag, with themselves as the injured party. An employer sees an entirely different scenario. For them (and I respectfully suggest this applies to you and everyone else, actually) there is no such thing as a personality clash. There is simply an inability or reluctance of an employee to fit into their organisation. If you’re stupid enough to put such a reason onto your CV, or worse refer to it in an interview situation, then you might as well sign on at the Job Centre now. You will be unemployed for a long time.

There are also “softer” and less contentious reasons for leaving a job, such as a roofer breaking a leg, for example, thus rendering himself unemployable for a period. Citing this reason may (just) be acceptable on a CV, but if reference to it can be avoided, it is better. Other instances of sickness or disability should certainly not appear on the CV. Again, look at it from the employer’s perspective; is this going to be a recurring problem for them that’s going to cost time and money if they employ you?

Divorce, relocation or emigration, taking a career break, and many other reasons can have negative connotations. Remember, it’s not the way you perceive the situation that counts. It’s the way your potential employer sees it. Admittedly, there are some reasons that really shouldn’t disqualify you, OMIT them anyway. They’re not relevant, and have the potential to rule you out of the running. So why include them?

Hope you’ve found the Tip Series useful so far; look out for more free advice in tomorrows tweet!

Useful Information for Armed Forces Leavers . . . .

professional cv writer for ex-military
professional cv writer for ex-military
Resume Services in the Yahoo! Directory
Career & Job News Work Employment & Salary Trends - Wall ... Video - Your Resume and Personal Brand
Writing Your Curriculum Vitae
Self Description In Interviews
Resume writing services by Kentent
The traditional transcript and resume are dead - The Washington Post
40 Tips For Writing Effective Resumes
How to Write a Perfect Resume Objective (Resume Format Part IV)
Doctoral Resources | Capella EdD Program Information

Professional Military CV Writer Advises….Tips Series, Day 5

7 Items You Should NEVER Include On Your CV (Military Transition or Civvy) – Tip Series, Day 5 . . . .

Today’s tip is another that is highly subjective (there’s that pattern again).

NEVER include your Marital Status.

As with the earlier very subjective matters discussed in this series, the issue of marital status should not make a difference; indeed it’s legislated against.

Unfortunately though, hirers or recruiters are (allegedly) members of the human race. And forget the supposed neutrality and objectiveness of artificial intelligence scanning your CV; it’s programmed by humans. Humans have inbuilt subconscious prejudices. For example, consider these deprerssingly common scenarios:

  • A married female may be regarded as more emotionally stable than her single counterpart.
  • The likelihood or otherwise of pregnancy and maternity leave may also feature here, particularly when an employer needs to choose between otherwise equal candidates. If one is “of child-bearing age” (whatever that means today), is she more or less likely to get hired?
  • A more senior, single male, may be perceived as potentially homosexual (in and of itself discriminatory), or even as a threat to an insecure single female employer.

No need to elaborate further really. Enough has already been said about subjectivity and subjective prejudice earlier in the series. Another word for subjectivity in this context, by the way, is perception. Suffice to repeat that it is unwise to include any information or characteristics that are not relevant to the job or that can potentially weaken or undermine the probability of the CV securing an interview for you.

Look out for the next free tip in tomorrows tweet! It’s a blinder for a Saturday, when you have time to think and ponder a little!

Hope you’re finding these tips useful – don’t forget to leave a comment if you feel there are arguments for or against, or if you simply want to ‘vent your spleen’!

Have a great weekend.

Useful Information for Armed Forces Leavers . . . .

professional cv
professional cv
Career Advice on Resumes/Curriculum Vitas
Royal Navy Website
Soldier Magazine
Leaving The Military? CV Advice
Guide to Writing Resumes CVs And Cover Letters
Why do tanks have these? - Yahoo! Answers
How To Write A Cover Letter That Gets Attention
4 Apps and Sites to Take Your Resume from OK to Outstanding ...
.cv encyclopedia topics |

Expert Military CV Writing Help – Tips Series, Day 4

7 Items You Should NEVER Include On Your Military (or Civilian) CV – Tip Series, Day 4 . . . .

Yesterday’s tip, and the previous two, should have given you plenty of food for thought. You will have seen a pattern emerging, i.e. that including anything of a subjective nature on the face of your CV is career suicide. Today’s tip is a little more straightforward, and that is:

NEVER include the date the CV was prepared, or worse – today’s date!

The reasons are simple.

Many people, when constructing their CV, do so on a “work” computer that automatically includes a path to the file (for example C:/Documents/Personal/CV2011) in the document footer, which often “helpfully” includes the date the document was prepared. It’s so commonplace that we don’t even notice it. However, if your job search takes a while (and it can, if you don’t get a good professional CV written ), the reader will immediately be able to determine how long you may have been out of work. This can obviously affect what they consider to be your suitability for the role applied for, and may disqualify you. So make sure you leave it out, or clear it from the footer before sending.

(Incidentally, it’s always a good idea to put page numbers into the footer or header, in case the pages get separated. For this reason, you should always put your name and a simple descriptor there too, e.g. Stephen Thompson, CV Writer Page 1 of 3.)

If, as we’ve seen on some CV’s, today’s date is included then other issues may come into play. If the date is a live data field (i.e. it inserts the current date when the CV is printed or saved), then again if the job search takes any length of time there will be an ever-increasing gap between your last employment and the date of the CV. If the date is inserted manually the same process will occur, but will need to be physically changed at each save.

The worst case scenario is even more dire. In an agency environment, it would be possible for differently dated versions of the same CV to be present on their database, which may confuse recruiters and employers. Anything which requires brainwork, particularly on the part of a third-party, could result in deselection.

A useful device which can cover quite a wide gap from the end of your most recent position, is to include the word “Present” in the “to” part of the dates span. For example, “March 2011 to Present”. While not suggesting for a second that you should lie in your CV, there is absolutely no point in including prejudicial information. Be selective in what you ‘disclose’. The objective is to get the interview; you can explain any gaps or other issues that come up once you get through the door.

There you are; a simple tip that will improve or enhance the likelihood of your being selected for interview!

Look out for the next free tip tomorrow . . .

Useful Information for Armed Forces Leavers . . . .

professional cv writer
professional cv writer
Resume Writing - Old Dominion University
Civvy Jobs
Yahoo! India Directory > Resume Services
How do I write in my military experience on a resume? - Yahoo! Answers
Royal Navy Website
Ministry of Defence
How do you convert a military resume to a civilian resume ...
Reinvent your resume at any age - CBS News
Yahoo! Directory AU & NZ > Resume Services
The traditional transcript and resume are dead - The Washington Post