CV Writers – How to Find a Winner

So, you’re looking for CV writers… okay, great. But there’s some stuff you need to be aware of. I’m going to help you here to find a winner. Real quick.

First, you may not be looking for advice, you just want someone good to write your resume or CV…?

Okay, so call me personally. Call me now if you like. I’m a CV writer. And I’m on +27 83 744 54 54. Or email me, I’m at

(Warning: not everyone can afford my services – I charge between ZAR1000 / USD85 and up to ZAR4000 / USD300 depending on what you need and who you are – and not everyone needs the more strategic level services I provide. Just so you know!)

Back to “CV writers”. Here’s what you should look for if you’re looking to use a resume writer / CV writer.

What are You Really Looking For in CV Writers?

Yep, what are you actually looking for? There are 2 possibilities:

1) Do you just need someone to type up a regular CV neatly? So that it looks nice ‘n tidy? 

Where to find  CV writers to fill this need: look at your Google “cv writers” search results. Choose any of the results on page 1 that appear to be a company offering these services. For example, look at “The CV Centre” or “CV Professionals” or similar.

What you get: what you get when you use these companies is a kind of formulaic approach for your CV. And that’s great, because it’ll be a kind of proven process with some quality control, where you’ll get an okay result. The resume will be tidy, well presented.

(So many CVs I see my clients sending me could truly do with these sort of services, they take ugly, outdated documents to nice ‘n tidy, neat lookin’! Great!)

The negatives: you end up with a CV that looks like many others. And often you don’t get to explain what you need to the actual CV writers, you don’t get much customization.

2) Do you need a more personal, more strategic approach?

What I mean by this is:

a) can you pick up the phone and speak to the actual person who’s going to be writing your CV? Y’know, to explain, clarify, to get a sense of what their approach is, to figure out if they have the ‘smarts’ to understand you and explain what you do.

b) is the approach ‘strategic’, i.e. is the approach to uncover what you’re looking for, to discuss the ‘brand YOU’ (see Tom Peters on this), to figure out the new focus and what may make an impact with the reader (the future employer), to articulate your message, to find fresh, novel ways of presenting the info so that the right things stand out, so that the CV is interesting, compelling?

If, in looking for CV writers, you’re looking for someone to take this more personal approach, then here’s how to find them.

Where to find  CV writers to fill this need: again, look at your Google search results. Step #1 is to look for anyone of the listings that put their personal name out there – that shows personal commitment; and step #2 is to see whether you can call them personally – you may have to look for their contact details on their website.

What to do then? Call them. Have a chat. See whether they sound like they can handle your project. Ask these CV writers what their approach is? Do they sound like they can understand what you do?

Ask questions like:

  • “I’m an accountant [or insert your profession here], what’s your approach when writing a CV for accountants?”
  • “What are your guiding principles when writing a CV?”
  • “How do you adapt a resume for the international market?”
  • “What are the mistakes accountants often make in their CV?”

So, questions like this will soon uncover whether the CV writers you reach, actually have the skills to help you.

What you get: if you get someone knowledgeable and skilled, you’ll have found something special. You’ll be able, hopefully, to discuss your needs and really get something customized. You may even be able to send them a sample of what you’d like your CV to look like and get something similar. You should get something fresh out at the end of the process. And that’s great!

The negatives: if you’re dealing with an individual, there may be some service quality lapses! Getting the CV may take a while. The person may be in great demand. So you may need patience. It may also be more expensive. But it’s worth it. You’ll get a CV that is not just a ‘cookie-cutter’, ‘nice ‘n tidy’ document. But something that can make a major difference (think more interviews, more job offers!)

Critical Skills CV Writers Need to Have – Look for Them!

CV writing sounds simple enough. Gather the data. Pop it into a template, voila! It’s done! Easy?! Um, not so fast!

Actually (good) CV writers need a bunch of pretty complex skills. Here’s a list:

Copywriting – the ability to write well, to write words that sell you, to write in way that persuades and compels, to write words that, in just a short phrase, captures who you are, what you do. They make it sound great! It’s easy to grasp. Simple to understand.

Graphic design – they need to know how to make the CV or resume good looking. Do they introduce simple graphic elements that transform the CV from a plain looking, bland, black and white document to something more innovative and visually interesting?

Word processing – knowing how to use Microsoft Word ‘like a boss’ is pretty important. Making sure things align, are spaced optimally, that proper / best practice techniques are used. Seeing that your CV is not built using proper techniques, will make readers think less of you. Your reputation is at stake. Your CV writer needs these skills.

Recruiting and HR – understanding the mind of the recruiter and what goes on in HR’s head are important facets of good CV writers. The CV must talk to their needs and mindset. Understanding the pressures these key people are under, what’s demanded from them, what they need, the impossible challenges they sometimes face – having this knowledge is a key to a good CV writer.

Technical knowledge – having a good, broad knowledge of business, technology and other business disciplines is very important. One of the main things I find I have to do for my clients is to simplify! They provide me with a 2 page job description! Eek! My job is to simplify it so that in just a few seconds the reader really “gets” what they do. You can’t do that without a lot of experience and technical knowledge.

Enough already?! And I haven’t even mentioned grammar, spelling or CREATIVITY – finding ways to make an impact, innovating, pushing the boundaries a little in order to make you stand out, or to deal with some risk, like that time you got fired after 3 months!

So, when talking to CV writers, you want to look for the above stuff! Interrogate them!

Hope this helps you!

If you’d like, call me to discuss what you need: I’m on +27 (South Africa) 83 744 5454, I have clients worldwide. Or email me on Or on Skype: gerardlr.

Also, check out my services:


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