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Should you pay to have your CV written?

When a candidate walks into my office looking for a new job, they are generally full of hope and have expectations about what I will be able to do for them. We start the interview process and discuss what they are looking for and what their aspirations are and often they are nothing like what is written on their CV!

We will have brought a candidate into our office based on what we see on the CV and the brief phone chat we will have had to understand what their capability is and whether we can help them. But it is the in-depth interview process that really highlights exactly what these candidates want.

So at this point of the interview, we are ripping their CV to shreds, we are telling the candidate what they should be saying to secure the job they actually want, we are explaining that they need to showcase the skills they have and often there are very few skills on these CVs.

Then the candidate tells us…they have paid someone to write the CV for them in the hope they will get the job they want. As a Recruiter with more experience than I care to remember and with thousands of interviews undertaken, it makes my blood boil to see that candidates pay to get a CV that often is worthless, to me it is money down the drain often at a time when a candidate is feeling vulnerable and potentially not in the most secure financial position.

As a professional recruiter I believe it is our obligation to help candidates write their own CV, to explain to them that it is a living document and needs to evolve as their experience does and that it needs to be formatted to appeal to the job they are applying for. THIS DOES NOT MEAN LYING, this means showcasing your ability and strengths based on the job you are applying for and only apply for jobs you are qualified to do.  We should not be charging people to do that!

I have never met a candidate who has paid to have their CV ‘professionally’ written that we have not had to rework to help the candidate find the job. There must be good CV writing companies out there, but I have not come across any. It makes me so angry that people who are from overseas looking for a job in Australia, and who often don’t understand how the recruitment process in Australia works, seem to be the people who are paying the most money for a worthless piece of paper.

I would encourage all of those in our industry to help candidates where we can, that does not mean becoming a CV Consultant but surely a discussion about what a CV should look like is part of helping candidates? And we shouldn’t be charging for that!

I do not believe that people should pay for a 3rd party to write a CV about their own lives, it is a personal document that should be written by themselves to showcase only what they really know. If you insist on working with a provider that you want to write your CV, at least check their credentials and know that they understand recruitment and what is required to look for a job in the industry you work in. A professional writer who does not know recruitment or your industry cannot possibly convey in a document about you what you want in a job.