CV Writer and Resume Writing Services – How to Choose, Which One to Use

Your CV is critically important. So if you’re wanting professional help. Good.

But in choosing a CV writer or CV writing service, you want one who’s going to give you what you need.  A CV writer who will give you a competitive advantage in a cluttered and confusing job market.

So here are some quick guidelines, from me Gerard le Roux, professional CV writer since 2002 (yes, I’ve done a good 20 000 hours) and a Certified Guerrilla Job Search Coach.

CV / Resume Writer – 4 Criteria to Choose One

They must be a salesman. Getting  a job is a sale. You are a product, a service, a business. The employer has a need, you have a solution. You need a salesman to craft the message, to present your value, your features and benefits. Sales must be your curriculum vitae writers main skill.

They must be able to sell visually and with words. In addition to being able to sell – to identify key points, to research, to see the need – they must be skilled in using words powerfully and economically.

Sharp, hard hitting, punchy sentences is what you need. Stringing words together in a way that persuades and is easily readable. A CV or resume writer has to be great with words. And they should be able to display those word in a visual way that’s easy to scan and read.

They must be a knowledgeable advisor. You are unique. You need someone who’ll listen and work with you on your ‘marketing message’. They must act as a strategist for you and your career.

Your CV writer must be someone who will put a positive spin on your experience (not just type the words into a pretty format.) And someone who understands what it is you do and what the market looks for.

Your CV writer must have a big imagination. Why?! Because let’s be real, you may have been in Admin for 20 years. You may not have won any awards. You may have just been ‘reliable Suzie’ in Accounts. And that’s okay!

But even so, your CV needs to stand out. It needs to sell you. It needs to make an impact. It takes imagination from a CV writer to find a way.

You’d better have a CV writing service or a resume writer who has all of the above – otherwise what you may end up with is just a ‘neat’ rehash of your existing CV, there’ll be no value add.

How to Decide on Your CV Writer

Just call your CV writer or service up. Have a chat. Get some insight into how they’d tackle the project. Send them your existing CV and some idea of what jobs you’re looking for, and then before you decide to use them, insist on a phone call to discuss. Make sure you speak to the actual person who’ll be doing the writing.

You’ll quickly see if you’re dealing with an expert, a career strategist … or just a typist. Nothing wrong with a typist, but perhaps you’re looking for more?

If you’re considering using me, Gerard le Roux, give me a call, any time. I’m on +27 (0) 83 744 5454 or e-mail me directly on gerard at jobsearching.co.za. Let’s chat. Service details are here.

Common Resume Writer / CV Service Pitfalls

Here’s a list of things that are common pitfalls with the ‘wrong’ CV writing service.

  • The CV writing is delegated to a junior typist.
  • Your CV is formatted in a ‘cookie cutter’ fashion.
  • The CV writer doesn’t know what questions to ask you.
  • They don’t understand what you do.
  • They work as a kind of sausage machine production line.
  • They don’t have the ‘savvy’ to see what’s important and what’s not in your CV.
  • They put their adverts on your CV. (My pet hate, how dare they?!)
  • Your CV writer may have no concept of “guerrilla” marketing (in a competitive market, this is a key).

There’s no one CV writer who’s perfect. We all have our flaws. But the above points should give you some good ideas for your CV writer choice.

Hope it helps!

 

Professional CV Writing – Is Your CV Working?

Professional CV writing may be your answer. In a tough job market, writing your own CV can be a pain. You may not get it just right. Gerard le Roux is South Africas #1 CV writer – get his personal help here worldwide.

Professional CV Writing: The Secret You Don’t Get Told

They’ll seldom tell you this. Agents especially will often rather leave you to sweat blood in your job hunt … instead of telling you: “Hey, do something about your CV. It’s your first impression. Here’s what to do, and here’s how.”

It’s not because they’re bad. They often just don’t know how to help. So they say nothing.

But the truth is: your CV is likely holding you back.

Your CV or resume may look like a million others. You may look average. You may even look long winded and ‘past your sell-by date.’  So you get little or no response. You’re just not making an impact. It’s just not working.

This when in fact, your CV could be getting “WOWs.” Sending a razor sharp message. Shining the light on the “brilliant YOU” (you have one, you are unique, let’s put it on show). It should be landing you more interviews, more job offers.

Your CV – Which of these 7 Do You Say “That’s Me” To?

  • Your CV is outdated, it’s stale, you’re not proud to send it out.
  • You just want personal, specialist CV help. You have better things to do.
  • You’re too busy for the agony of writing it yourself?
  • You have a unique situation requiring a more innovative approach?
  • You’re just not getting your message across with a ‘cookie-cutter’, ‘typical’, ‘average’, ‘template’ type CV approach?
  • You’re having trouble putting your ‘brilliance’ into words.
  • You need to discuss your CV with a specialist, someone who’s done their “10 000” hours – or maybe “20 000” in career and CV matters. (Re. 10 000 hours, Google Malcolm Gladwell).

If you need help, I’m here for you. I’ve done 20 000 hours writing resumes and recruiting people for major corporations. I analyse every word of your CV. I write every word. And I’ve been doing it for 10 years, since 2002.

You get my personal help.

Call me, e-mail me: Ph +27 0 83 744 5454 or gerard [at] jobsearching.co.za

(Our first step in engaging is a quick personal discussion about your CV and how I can make a difference.)

If CV Writing  is a Problem, Then This is How I Can Help

You need more job interviews and more job offers. You just want it to happen, you NEED it to happen. Fast. But what are you doing differently to get that different result? Are you willing to be bolder?

Having your CV writing and online presence done by a professional often is a great help. You cut a lot of the frustration out. And you end up with a more professional document that gets better, quicker results for you.

The thing is, your current Curriculum Vitae or CV is probably boring :-(. It’s not giving you the promotional ‘punch’ you deserve. And you’re not alone. The fact is … most CVs are boring.

But really … your CV and online profile is your first impression. It can be a powerful, hard-hitting document that bashes down doors of opportunity for you. Or it can make you look really average – perhaps with a long, drawn out job hunt the direct result.

Here’s why my CV writing service may be a good choice for you:

I write Curriculum Vitae’s for Managing Directors, Professionals, CEO’s, and Engineers from all sorts of backgrounds – so I’m confident I can help you too. Here’s a quick look at my profile:

  • I have a background in corporate recruiting (for Old Mutual, Shell, Caltex, Deloitte and more), am a student of advertising copywriting and sales (these are critical skills in the CV writing process.)
  • My job hunting and CV advice has been published on Career Junction, PNet, and IOL. And in Financial Mail, Business Day, The Star Workplace, The Argus Job Shop and I’ve been interviewed on SAfm, 702 Talk Radio and 567 Cape Talk, and Radio 2000.
  • I make a living writing CVs that sell. I don’t delegate the work. I don’t use a one size-fits-all template. I work with you personally to get your CV just right (ie give you the competitive edge, make you look really good, help you make an impact with employers, and ultimately get the job.) Read testimonials to the right here ==>>
  • And I guarantee my work: I will work on your CV until it gets results for you. And if after 6 weeks of using your new CV there’s no significant increase in job interviews (unlikely!) I’ll put you on my Job Search FAST TRACK program, free. See Job Search FAST TRACK for more on that.

Curriculum Vitae / Resume Writing Service Details

Here’s what you’ll get when you enlist me to write your CV:

  • My service offers you a strategic CV – where we go deeply into your background, skills and achievements in order to present the very best information to help take your career forward.
  • I’ll sort through pages and pages of your past experience, reference letters, testimonials, job descriptions, personality profiles and performance appraisals and deciding what could be used to make a big impression in your CV.
  • I’ll distill all that information into 2 or 3 power packed pages that represent the best of you – the content most likely to get favorable attention and response.
  • And if you request it, I’ll do a review of your online presence – for eg. revamping your LinkedIn profile, or setting up your own dedicated web page, showcasing who you are and what you stand for.

Key features include:

  • An analysis of performance appraisals and personality or psychological profiles – with a view to including information that adds credibility to your profile.
  • Every word on the page is carefully considered and every sentence re-written to simplify and ensure a ‘punchy’ easily scanable read that makes an impact.
  • In addition to that, I’ll identify any negative situations in your career and with you decide on a strategy to minimize the possible damage in perception these situations can create if not handled with care.
  • We’ll also delve a little into what surrounds your professional life – your interests and personal achievements – these can often provide a freshness and interest to a sometimes dry document.
  • Something else I spend a lot of time on is to come up with a clear, powerful value statement. This kind of statement provides a short, sharp, effective insight into your skill and value and importantly the benefit you provide. It conveys focus and clarity of thought on your part to a reader.
  • I do background research, for example into companies you’ve worked for (who’s trusted you before?), or companies you want to work for (what do they value most?) and of course into technical terminology (to keep it simple).
  • A key consideration is to be concise and to the point. This requires extensive work on my end to be brief but to still convey depth of experience and value.
  • You also have access to me to help guide you in your job hunt – regarding cover letters (I’ll edit yours or even write it), what works in the job market, how to answer tough interview questions, what to expect and how to deal with the many challenges the market presents.

CV & Resume Writing Fees

I don’t offer a cheap service here – there are enough other services offering that. I work with people who are serious about their careers and who want the best help available.

The fee is based on your level of earnings and seniority. The more the earnings and seniority, the more complex the task and the higher the fee. For international / US Dollar or Euro rates please apply the daily South African Rand exchange rate.

Identify your level and the corresponding fee here [No VAT is applicable.]:

  • Level 1 (If your gross salary is less than R9 999 pm): R675.00*
  • Level 2 (gross salary is between R10 000 to R19 999 pm): R750.00*
  • Level 3 (gross salary is between R20 000 to R29 999 pm): R975.00
  • Level 4 (gross salary is between R30 000 to R39 999 pm): R1 100.00
  • Level 5 (gross salary is between R40 000 to R49 999 pm): R1 300.00
  • Level 6 (gross salary is R50 000 pm and above): R1 500.00
  • LinkedIn.com Profile: Revamp – R350.00 / New – R500.00
  • Webpage setup at about.me: R500.00
* NOTE: Level 1 and 2 services have been suspended (as of April 2012) due to high demand. You may however pay at a higher level to retain my services. [Call/e-mail me if you’re uncertain.]
  • Additional versions of a CV are R350.00 each (eg. if your primary focus is for an Engineer position but you’re also interested in a Sales role then you’ll need an additional sales version).
  • Updates are R350.00 each (previous clients only).Whatever your level – you’ve got me using all my job market, corporate, marketing and copy writing knowledge to help you. And I’ll work on it until you’re happy.

Order Your New CV Here

Follow these instructions: Simply send an e-mail to me at gerard@jobsearching.co.za.

And in the e-mail please supply the following:

  1. Your name and contact details (phone/email/mobile).
  2. Please attach your old CV so I have some background info.
  3. Indicate your current position and company if applicable.
  4. Please also state the kind of job titles you’re going to be applying for.

Then wait for my contact – I try to be quick.

Please note that due to high demand and because I design and write your CV myself, I cannot offer a same-day service. When I make contact we will discuss your time constraints and I’ll discuss the time slots I have available. Currently delivery is running at around 7 working days.

Contact me now as per instructions above – or read on to get a deeper insight into what makes a great CV.

Writing Your Own CV is a Tough Job

You’ve probably spent many hours on it. Somehow, writing your CV (and getting it right) is just one of those really awkward, difficult things to do. You agonise over the details:

  • “What do I include?” “What do I exclude?” “Is it too long or too short?”
  • “How can I convey my true value as a person?”
  • “What’s the right format?”
  • “How can I sell myself without sounding arrogant?”

Or you may just be saying, “I don’t have time for this!!”

It can be confusing and time consuming.

Mike is perhaps a typical example:

He decided to find a new job. So he made a few calls in answer to adverts and all he heard was “send your CV”. In a hurry he sat down in his lunch break to quickly update his CV – and he got stuck! He seemed to go around in circles – not knowing quite how to phrase things, or how to present himself so he would stand out. He ended up shelving it. And 3 months down the line, it was the same all over again.

Like Mike, many get stuck trying to deal with stuff like this:

  • They’ve got a lot of diverse experience/expertise and if they include it all their CV will go to something like 10 pages or more. Or they may be totally new to the job market.
  • They’ve had 3 jobs in the last 2 years.
  • They’ve had 40 years work experience.
  • They’re changing career and need to break into a new field.

Getting it right is complicated! Frustrating. Difficult. And you can add the problems of getting the word processing, spelling, and grammar right. Also the understanding of how a Curriculum Vitae gets read and the psychology of the reader.

So sometimes it’s the best choice to get professional help. It can be a turning point in your search for a better job. Your CV can literally bash down doors of opportunity OR just get you lost in the crowd.

CV Writing Benefits I Promise to Help You Get

  • Your CV will be concise, clear – not cluttered with too much information.
  • Your CV will sell you as a ‘brand’ – someone who delivers a specific benefit.
  • Your CV will be ‘different’ – more professional and crafted to grab attention.
  • Your CV will reflect a little of who you are – why you’re special.
  • Your CV will be easy to read, easy to scan and after just half a page the reader will know what you can deliver and why you’re a great candidate.
  • Your CV will smooth the way for better more focussed interviews. Yes, here’s a often forgotten fact: all the way through the hiring process your CV paves the way before you. It sets the tone. It can mean the difference between being treated positively and being treated as “just another candidate.”

Ok. That’s it. See the ordering instructions above to take it further or just contact me directly: gerard@jobsearching.co.za

Professional CV Writing WARNINGS!
If you’re considering a professional CV writing service then here are just a few additional considerations for you to think on – I’ll call them “CV Health Warnings.”

CV Writing Testimonials
What others have said about my CV writing services.

CV Writing Tests
Check the status of your existing CV.

BIG Job Hunting Mistake – you can’t buy your way past “hard”

I got an e-mail from a client, a great guy. I wrote his CV/resume, which he then sent to another expert for assessment. Kindly he sent me the response, which as you can imagine, was not complimentary (“and for just GBP60 I can fix it for you.”)

Here’s my response, I’m posting it to help other job hunters who are falling into the same trap:

Hi “X” – I don’t have time for this. I’m not offended, because I’ve seen too many CV/resumes and experts’ work over my 10 years. Any CV/resume can be “shredded”. Even one you may pay USD2 000 for. I know, I’ve seen them.

I’m only sad to see that you’re falling into a trap of thinking that there’s a magic fix out there. There isn’t. There’s no “one magic way” to present your CV that will mesmerize every employer and recruiter.

Chasing every ‘expert’ opinion will leave you uncertain, it will make you unsure of yourself, it will make you hesitate and you’ll end up chasing your tail. Not everyone will like your CV, no matter who writes it, no matter what you pay. That’s just a fact.

Your only job now is got get yourself in front of employers. In any challenge there’s the easy part and the hard part. There’s no way to quick fix the hard part. Getting yourself in front of employers – by any means – is the only thing that will help take you forward now.

You’ve hit the hard part. Going back to fix your CV – again – is going back to the easy part, leaving the hard part undone. Getting yet another qualification is also seldom the problem.

Fill your diary. Draw a 10 km circle around where you live. Make a list of potential clients in that area. Make it your mission to contact every one on your list. Fill your diary. Set up 20 appointments for the next 2 weeks. Even if it’s just with ex colleagues, ex managers, friends with connections, etc. There’s a high likelihood somebody somewhere will refer you to someone they know who will turn out to be your next employer. Fill your diary.

Or … you can get your CV fiddled with, again, either by you or by another expert.

If you choose the hard part rather, I’m here for you.

But, hey, maybe I’m wrong?  Comments are open.

New: Coaching Programme for Job Hunters – Your Ideas on the Name Please?

Your thoughts please: almost done setting up a new job search coaching programme. So, is “Bash-Down-Door Coaching for Job Hunters” a good name? Other ideas?

The programme is a simplified presentation of of my book “Job Search FAST TRACK – DYNAMITE for Job Hunters” which is too long and overwhelming. It has 6 main modules, each quick, easy to apply and will give job hunters ‘bash-down-door’ power in the job market (that will have employer’s utterly “wowed”.)

It features:
1) 6 hard-core innovative tools that will help job hunters get more job interviews, more job offers, more often. Guaranteed. (You won’t have seen these anywhere before.)

2) A free add-on support group where job hunters can get support with their 6 tools and get ongoing encouragement from fellow job hunters and from me. Hey, job hunting is hard!

3) The option of dedicated personal help from me.

I’ll be adding a “career direction” coaching programme next.

But for now: “Bash-Down-Door Coaching” – good name?

Free eCourse

Free Job Search Course Offer

Get my guides: “12 Breakthrough Job Search Secrets” and “Job Search Quick Fixes” by entering your details below. “Quick Fixes” contains a selection of my best “guerrilla” style  ideas to improve your CV, cover letters and job interviews.

You get it free. Now. Fill in your details here – then check your e-mail inbox:

 

OR, just send an email direct to me at 12jssATgetresponse.com (written ‘funny’ to avoid spam, replace “AT” with @ when sending) and I’ll send the course material to you immediately.

 

 

One of my Favourite Things – and yes, it has a job hunting angle.

So yesterday I came across this quote:

“He who rejects change is the architect of decay.” – Harold Wilson

I, for one, reject change. It’s nice when things are comfy. Predictable. No stress that comes from not knowing – fur sure – “what the heck’s gonna happen now?!”

But as you also know, life has this way of jabbing one in the eye if there’s no forward movement.

So if you’re feeling a bit jaded or stale – perhaps in your job, or your job hunt – then here’s what you need to do. And as it happens it’s one of my favorite things to do.

Yes, so the idea is to get a brand new hard-cover exercise book (R8.99 at PnP) (can you hear it “crack” as you open it?) Then you carry it with you wherever you go. And you collect your thoughts.

  • If you’re job hunting, you collect ideas about what difference you make in your present/past company (with a view to transferring your findings to your CV.)
  • If you’re unhappy in your job you collect ideas on what you would really like to be doing, and some ideas of how you can get closer to doing that. Maybe take a course. Read a book.
  • If you’ve just come out of a job interview – you can jot down what you felt went well, and some ideas on what questions you battled with, and how you can improve.
  • While you’re traveling around, or surfing the ‘net, you can jot down the names of companies that look exciting to work for, and your ideas on how your skills could be valuable to them.

Here’s what I find with this exercise:

I always get excited by what I think of. I go to a coffee shop. I sit down. Sit back. Think of a topic. And within 20 minutes I always have a sense of possibility and a few practical ideas of how to move an idea forward. I love it.

And ideas occur to me all the time when I have my book close. It’s like a direct (wireless!) connection to my brain. And it pokes* my creative brain to come up with fresh ideas.

[* poke vb an action of tapping and/or softly jabbing another person using a finger, stick, or similar object to gain their attention, relieve boredom or just to be annoying.]

So although change is tough, and if we don’t do it we’re the “architects” of our own “decay”, it can be exciting. And this little exercise can help – inspiring us to do new things and come up with new ideas.

Pictures of my current black book below here (I have a pile of old ones on the shelf).

One of the many idea collectors.
One of the many idea collectors.
Mind map mayhem!
Mind map mayhem!
Zoe's been busy in my book!
Zoe's been busy here too!

A Telesales Story (I’m Not Proud of) With a Critical Job Search Lesson

Do you get telesales calls? I got one the other day, and they chose the wrong day.

Here’s what happened. I’m not proud.

[phone rings]

Me: Hello

Telesales Guy: I’m looking for Mr G le Roux

[Ok, like 3 seconds into the call and he’s already in trouble.]

Me: Yes (but in a tone that’s already showing impatience)

Telesales Guy: Good day Mr le Roux, how are you?

[That’s me, over the edge. Why, why, why do the sales people at CellC, Mastercard, etc who do this professionally, think that asking anyone how they are is going to go down well? Or is it just grumpy me?? ‘Cause when he’s calling me “Mister” (no-one does that usually) and when it’s followed up by “how are you?” it’s like a huge button gets switched off in me. I get irritable. Impatient. Impolite. Un-christian (I will try to improve.)]

Me: Look let’s just get to the point here, what do you want from me? Why do you ask how are you? Can’t you just get to the point? What are you selling?

Telesales Guy: Um, just a few minutes to introduce to you CellC’s offer – that you’ve been specially selected for – which features a free phone, 100 sms’s …

Me (interrupting): No thanks. I already have several contracts. Thanks anyway. (A bit of the christian in me is starting to feel bad at being rude, “he’s just doing his job” etc.)

Lesson 1

One has to do with the scripts Telesales people use. Do they really work? To me they just invite rejection. And I feel for the people who have to use them. I think it probably invites burn-out and high staff turnover.

Lesson 2

But the second is more important (to job hunters). It’s about how you present yourself in your CV and in interviews. Here’s the thing. What irritated me about the telesales call? It wasn’t the call. I can take a call. I can say no or yes. No problem so far.

Here’s what it was: they guy didn’t get to the point. He wanted to have an irrelevant, meaningless conversation first. My wife complains I don’t talk to her enough. And now I must talk to this guy?

I’m actually a willing consumer. A buyer. But I’m only interested in stuff that’s relevant to my life. Just like employers are only interested in things that are going to help them in some way.

And that’s the key. Relevance. So, in your job hunt are you:

Getting to the point – can you quickly and clearly convey what you want to say?

and …

Are you making a relevant offer – are you making the employer an offer – “I’ll give you this certain benefit/advantage/solution if you give me Rx per month.”

Here’s how the Telesales guy could have done better, I think, at least with me.

  1. Assumed it was Mr le Roux instead of having to first confirm (wasted time and flagged the call as a telesales call in my mind).
  2. Not asked “how are you?”
  3. He should immediately have made his offer:
  4. “Mr le Roux, I want to give you or someone in your family a free cell phone, 100 sms free, 100 free talk minutes on the cheapest contract possible. Should I keep talking?”

Much better. Dont’cha think?

It’s worth brainstorming a little around this point as it relates to your job hunt.

Are you getting to the point in your CV – or do you start out with all sorts of irrelevant details? Do you anywhere at all actually come out and say what you’re offering – in interviews, and in your CV and covering letter?

Need some help with this? Check this 5 point test/guideline out on this page: http://www.wowcv.net/cv-success-tests/cv-test-5-steps/ – it’s focussed on a CV but it applies to your entire ‘personal marketing’ or job hunting campaign too.

Hope this helps a little.

Leave your comments – see the “Leaver your comments” link at the top of this post just under the title.

Including Testimonial Extracts in Your CV – Why, How?

Your CV exists to influence. You may not like the concept of ‘selling’ yourself.

But actually if you do a good job of selling yourself, you’re helping everybody. You’re giving them what they need. Then the decision is theirs to buy or not. To hire or not. To call in you in for an interview or not.

Bury all your talent and expertise in 13 pages of detail – and all you’re doing is making things hard for the reader. And for yourself – you’re not doing yourself justice.

So here’s another tactic to ramp up the power of influence in your CV by maybe 10x. It’s a well known and well used tactic by the best advertisers. It’s the power of a testimonial. It’s someone who worked with you, or a Manager, or a Client, saying:

“Hey, Bob here was great, he really came through for us” or,

“John was outstanding in bringing in new business – in his first year with us he was 2nd on the list of Achievers of the Year” or,

“Angie really was a reliable, dedicated PA. With her in charge of the office I had nothing to worry about”, or

“Michael kept our accounts in outstanding shape. He frequently was commended by our Auditors for his attention to details and timeous submissions.”

Why would one want to hide that stuff away? It has strong power to ‘influence’ – to twist the arm of the employer, or to make you stand out in a sea of other applicants.

But how to include it? There are any number of ways.

  • You can inset a little text box in the CV with little quotes like the above.
  • You can add them in at the end of the CV.
  • You can include them as an ‘end off’ to each position listed on the CV.

When I write CVs – which I do a lot (see details of my service here) – I try to include these sort of extracts all the time. But I choose them carefully – with a strategic eye. They have to help you create the right impression.

WARNING! Sometimes a poorly chosen quote, although positive, may not be heavy-weight enough to position you correctly. Like using a quote that says you’re “reliable and steady” may not do the job for you when pitching for a high energy sales job.

If you’d like help with your CV, call me, mail me or go here for more info.