imagesIn the current economic climate, there are more talented people competing for fewer jobs.  The job market is competitive.  Supply exceeds demand and employers have the luxury of being more selective than they were in the past.  Recruiters for finance and other professional positions are finding they are receiving 50 to 60 CVs for jobs that, in the past, would have attracted 10 to 20 applicants.

An article in Time magazine (12 Jan 2009 issue) provides some ideas on how you can stand out from the pack and get an interview.  One of the points that grabbed my attention was that you should seek professional help when writing your CV, no matter how talented you believe you are.

You are a brand.  You are selling yourself in your CV.  If you were to sell a very important product at work, you would get expert advice and spend money on marketing and advertising.  Strangely, few people pay for professional help when drafting their personal CVs. 

According to a recruiter friend of mine, your CV must grab the reader’s attention in 10 seconds.  It must describe who you are, what you are good at and the value you can add in 10 seconds.  Few people have the skill to convey such key information in this short space of time.  I know that I don’t.  I have tailored my CV so much that I often feel like I am trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

After reading this Time article, I paid £10 for a CV assessment at  In 3 days, I got a detailed analysis on how I could improve my CV and where the gaps were.  I expect that with this cheaper service, they will always say your CV needs improvement so it encourages you to take advantage of their more expensive offerings.  Nevertheless, the advice was relevant and, freshly inspired, I changed my CV completely.

After more investigation and asking around, I discovered these are the recommended sites for professional CV advice:

It is a small price to pay when you consider how important your CV is, especially in the current job market.

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