Contractors’ Questions: Do you get what you pay for with CV writers?

Contractor’s Question: Do us returning contractors get what we pay for with CV rewriters?

Having read that now is a good time to look for work, I’m tempted to put out the feelers.

But the professional and independent CV rewriter I reached out to on Linked-In charges £999. Yes, almost a GRAND for a CV refresh. This service includes a long phone call apparently, which sounds arduous.

I’m equally dubious of ‘free’ CV review sites too; am I right to be suspicious of both, or do you get what you pay for with CVs, and so £999 is actually ok?

Expert’s Answer: The CV writing services industry is like any other industry – you get some good, some bad and a lot of mediocrity.

In terms of price, that’s an easy one to tackle. A good CV writer should be highly qualified and very knowledgeable, not only about CVs, careers and recruitment, but also about the professional backgrounds of their clients.

We don't work for the NMW...

But CV reviewers don’t work for minimum wage. Not too different from contractors, they charge a daily rate. And that’s particularly the case, where the CV writer is independent, as you say yours is.

Then consider, a CV takes about a day to write, and that includes the long phone call you mention. In addition, think of the sort of person you would want working on your CV.

Further considerations

Also, factor in what tradespersons get paid nowadays. Given that I was quoted £600 for a day’s work to remove moss from my roof, you aren’t going to get much for a couple of hundred quid!

Furthermore, I would recommend working with someone who understands the contracting market, and perhaps has a grasp of the IR35 considerations when compiling a CV.

In terms of the long phone call, a good CV writing service will indeed involve a thorough fact-find. Ultimately, the CV writer needs to know all about your objectives, personal brand, value proposition, strengths, skills, track record and experience. Without this, you are just buying a CV editing service.

The good, the bad and the dubious

Penultimately, I agree with you -- some of the ‘free’ CV review sites are a bit dubious. Anything that gives you a score without benchmarking against a vacancy is probably lacking in scientific efficacy.

But if you get to have a chat with your CV reviewer, then that may be useful. A fair conclusion would be to suggest that a good CV writer should be creating a CV that’s a lot more effective than a home-made CV. Like every other industry though, there’s the good, the bad and the darn right ugly!

Finally, it may interest you to know that we offer a free 1-2-1 CV appraisal to all readers of ContractorUK, so we would be happy to have a chat with you. Here’s the link to take advantage of this offer. Good luck!

The expert was Matt Craven, founder of The CV & Interview Advisors.

ContractorUK has partnered with the UK's leading authority on contractor CVs to provide a FREE review of your CV and LinkedIn profile. Contact The CV & Interview Advisors and one of their team will get back to you to discuss if your CV and LinkedIn profile matches up with industry best practice.

Wednesday 19th Apr 2023
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Written by Matt Craven

Matt is the Founder of The CV & Interview Advisors and Incredibly Linked. He is considered to be a thought-leader in Personal Branding and is regularly engaged as a public speaker to deliver advice and guidance to global audiences on all things related to CV authoring, career advancement, LinkedIn, personal branding and thought leadership.
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