CVs, PDFs and References CVs, PDFs and References
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Posts 1 to 10 of 16
  1. #1

    Should post faster


    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    179

    Default CVs, PDFs and References

    Amazingly the forum search didn't throw anything up for this - possibly a minimum keyword length issue? :|

    Bit of catharsis more than anything, this one.

    Been freelancing for about 2 years, but recently decided I needed to get back into contracting. This prompted a re-write of my 20 year old, 12 page Word CV that highlighted all my previous roles with a full skill list against each (which has been very successful contrary to what you'd think). Had a bit of time, so I decided to use InDesign to freshen it up; its now 3 concise pages, with only a small selection of my roles highlighted written in a non-chronological STAR format. The rest of my roles are still there but in a simple list format with no details surrounding them.

    Sent it out to agents a week ago - had mostly positive feedback and landed a few interviews for quite interesting roles (with at least a £200 per day increase in rate based on what I was on 2 years ago), which surely means it can't be too bad.

    Of the 50 or so agents I've spoken to in the last few weeks, one said he wasn't sure what my job title is (I can fill a fairly wide range of roles and the CV highlights one of each of them). I think he was edging towards asking me to customise it for the role, but I shut him down before he got there.

    Another was absolutely adamant that he needed it in Word format. After asking "Why?" and him fumbling around with reasons about 4 times, he finally settled on "Clients can't open PDFs because security". I just told him I'd rather not work with a client that can't open PDFs in 2018 I'm well aware that some agents alter CVs, and that some legacy ATS systems don't always work well with PDF, but that's a risk I'm willing to take. Anyone else use a PDF CV these days?

    Another (whom I think is a reputable agency) asked me to complete a technical test, then provide 2 references before they would even submit me for the role (which did seem genuine - got the company name and confirmed they're advertising for the role on linkedin and on their site). Although I normally refuse to do technical tests, I decided to complete it as I was a bit bored that day, and scored much better than I expected. I then told the agent I'd give them references once they'd secured me an interview and an offer. They gave me some nonsense about the client being new and that they promised they would provide all this to them up-front. I actually believed them, but I also know it's a dodgy agency practice to farm leads and I don't want my previous clients being necessarily bothered unless I've got an offer on the table. Imagine how chuffed your references would be if they were contacted for every single job you applied for?

    Just wish I could get consistent work freelancing - wouldn't have to worry about all this CV and agent malarky!

  2. #2

    Prof Cunning @ Oxford Uni

    WTFH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    17,936

    Default

    Many agents (including reputable ones) like to format CVs so that it has their logo on it, their contact details at the bottom, and to remove your contact details, so the client needs to go back through them to get in touch with you initially.

    If it's a big concern to you, ask the agent to send you back a copy with their bits added so you can decide.
    Moderation means Moderation
    Strong and Stable Moderation

    Get Moderation Done - Unleash Moderator Potential

  3. #3

    Should post faster


    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    179

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WTFH View Post
    Many agents (including reputable ones) like to format CVs so that it has their logo on it, their contact details at the bottom, and to remove your contact details, so the client needs to go back through them to get in touch with you initially.

    If it's a big concern to you, ask the agent to send you back a copy with their bits added so you can decide.
    Oh yeah, I know this - I've never asked them for a modified version, but will do from now on - this one guy in particular seemed very shady, didn't know how to answer the simple question. I've seen copies of my CV where the agent has rewritten sections before now - so I'm quite weary.

    If an agent introduces me to a client and the client contacts me directly, I will of course talk to them - but I'll make sure the job goes through the agency as it's only fair. I wouldn't have known about it otherwise, and if I did, I doubt I'd have gotten in to speak to the right person. Agents have their uses and I appreciate them

  4. #4

    Super poster

    ladymuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,698

    Default

    I've never bothered putting my marketing material into PDF format. Considering people scrape whole profiles off LinkedIn and pass them off as their own, I figure I have no control over it once I've let it enter the devil's database.

    I will tweak for a role though as I've done lots of different stuff so if a particular phrase/job title is still accurate but more amenable to the end client then I am going to use it.

  5. #5

    Should post faster


    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    179

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ladymuck View Post
    I've never bothered putting my marketing material into PDF format. Considering people scrape whole profiles off LinkedIn and pass them off as their own, I figure I have no control over it once I've let it enter the devil's database.

    I will tweak for a role though as I've done lots of different stuff so if a particular phrase/job title is still accurate but more amenable to the end client then I am going to use it.
    Now its a lot shorter, I'm considering tweaking it for each engagement - I could probably do with 3 distinct CVs.

    Whether you consider yourself a business or not, it's still a CV! My "marketing material" is different - branding, website, leaflets, mail shots etc. I do try to distinguish it from a run of the mill CV by writing it differently and clearly using the word "client" and "engagement" - I've had agents tell me not to do that before now as it might put some clients off, but I like to be completely unambiguous and tbh... I'd rather not work for clients that look at me as a temp employee as it causes me no end of headaches.

    The main reason I want to keep it in PDF is formatting - Word was driving me nuts; anything more complex than a standard list format and you might as well chuck it in the recycle bin - at least PDFs retain their formatting.

  6. #6

    Super poster

    ladymuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,698

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Spikeh View Post
    Whether you consider yourself a business or not, it's still a CV!
    I know, hence the

  7. #7

    Should post faster


    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    179

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ladymuck View Post
    I know, hence the
    Sorry, I can be too serious for my own good at times

  8. #8

    Super poster

    ladymuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,698

    Default

    you did post in Light Relief so I'm surprised at how sensible the responses have been!

  9. #9

    Still gathering requirements...


    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    44

    Default

    My impression is that the agencies are now routinely parsing submitted CVs into a database and expect every "job" to have a title and list of skills against it for this to work.
    Then it's just a keyword search to filter applications.

    If you upload your CV to the various jobsites and CV libraries you'll see how it's processed and what gobbledygook comes out!
    They definitely aren't designed with contractors or non-traditional CVs in mind, just linear career histories.

    Your average agent doesn't comprehend the whole working on your own account concept.

    As others half jokingly suggest padding your CV with white text of the advert would probably get you past the computerised filter!
    Last edited by DeadEyedJacks; 24th February 2018 at 19:33.

  10. #10

    Nervous Newbie


    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DeadEyedJacks View Post

    As others half jokingly suggest padding your CV with white text of the advert would probably get you past the computerised filter!
    Ha! Hadn't thought of this. Will give it a go with my next search.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •