It is certainly a strange headline for our blog this week – especially considering one of our core offerings is Professional CV Writing here at Holistan. However, the reason for this article is to dispel the myths and facts around CV writing. Below, we are about to reveal ALL our secrets behind this art, as well as what you need to know if you do contract a CV writer to compile your resume.
When applying for a job in the 21st century, it is no longer a case of emailing your generic CV to each and every job post. Your CV needs to be written in a manner that is customised to each job post. It is become common knowledge now that hunting for a job, is a job in itself. Job descriptions need to be studied, and you need to ensure your application is as compelling as far as possible.
Many professionals believe if they invest a few hundred (or even thousand) Rands in getting someone to put together a CV for them, they are guaranteed success. This could not be further than the truth!
The truth is that YOU are wholly and completely competent in compiling your own CV if you learn a few skills in creating this critical document. In fact, you are encouraged to do so, because you want your style of writing to be captured in your CV document.
However, there may be a few plausible reasons why you would want someone else to write your CV. These reasons may include:
Here are some do’s and don’ts if you decide to spend some cash on getting your CV professionally written:
Do not hire a Graphic Designer to compile your CV
Of course, it is absolutely true that your CV needs to make an impression on its audience. However, the last thing you should be worried about is how your CV looks, as opposed to what it contains. No one is going to hire you based on how pretty your CV looks, if you are not matched to the role. In fact, if it is an attractive looking CV you’re after, you can quite easily create your own by using www.canva.com. Canva is a free web application (there are some costs for some graphics or designs) where you can design almost anything you can think of – and you do not have to be a designer to do it! It is literally a case of click and drag and voila! You can create a CV that is on par with what a professional graphic designer can do – minus the heavy bill at the end.
Besides, Holistan has made our very own attractive (Microsoft Word) designs available here, so you truly are spoilt for choice.
Do not hire the cheapest CV writer you can find
I have seen CVs advertised for as low as R 100.00! If you are going to pay peanuts, expect to get the same in return. No credible professional is going to be charging so little to create a compelling document. It simply makes zero business sense.
Do not pay for a professionally compiled CV, and think that you can use it across all job applications
Any ethical Professional CV Writer should express to you that although your CV has been created to ‘sell’ you in the most compelling way, it does not abdicate you from putting in some work yourself. You will still need to customise your CV – even if there are a few minor tweaks – to apply for varying roles. Saying this – always ensure your Professional CV Writer can provide you a copy of your CV in Microsoft Word, and not only PDF, to allow you to make the changes you need to, for every job application.
Do hire someone who understands ATS (Applicant Tracking Software)
ATS is not as difficult as many would have you believe. Essentially what you need to know here is that the words and phrases in the Job Description need to be reflected in your CV. It is literally that simple! However, remember that this is not a copy and paste exercise. You need to demonstrate HOW you can fulfil a particular requirement. Let us say for example the Job Description says:
“Strong Leadership skills a must”
Your CV should then reflect:
“Track record of strong leadership skills demonstrated through the coaching and mentoring of five direct reports, as well as managing KPI’s, and performance driven through the effective designing, implementing, and monitoring of scorecard, operation reviews and change management processes.”
Do consider if your Professional CV Writer has a background in Human Resources (or similar)
A professional who has worked in the realm of HR, talent or psychometric assessments will likely have an understanding of Job Descriptions and their related psychological competencies. This skill means that the professional will not only be able to integrate ATS keywords but actually understands how to integrate your abilities, competencies and personality profile overall, to match the Job Description they are skilled in designing. Industry dependant, they will know first-hand what candidates they look for – and will thus be able to market you in a way that stands out to fellow HR Professionals such as themselves.
At Holistan, we have disrupted the way we do business. Perhaps counter-intuitively to our peers, we provide you, the client, with all the resources you need to create your own compelling CV. If you need access to all our Professional CV Templates, a guide on how to optimise your LinkedIn Profile, and so much more, click here.
However, due to the hundreds of clients we have supported through the years, we recognise that our offering is not easily simulated. We combine not only our know-how around ATS, but we have a solid foundation in the realm of Recruitment and Talent, often creating Job Descriptions for our clients. With an understanding of human behaviour and desired psychological competencies, we are even able to offer you a battery of assessments to tap your hidden talents, skills and even blind-spots. Lastly, few of our competitors work in the Marketing sphere too. With a rich understanding and portfolio of creating advertising copy, we know a thing or two about writing succinctly – yet gripping the intended audience.
If you would like to check out our offering, feel free to do so here.
But do not take our word for it. Google us. Ask around. The proof, after all, is in the pudding…
Written by Marzenna Almendro (Registered Psychometrist, Professional CV Writer, LinkedIn Expert & Thought Leader)
Our contributors collectively boast a wealth of experience in assessments, HR, organisational development, change management and more!