When I first started writing professional CVs some years ago, I noticed that many CV writers offered free CV reviews and I wondered whether I should be doing the same.
Many friends and business associates suggested that if we offered free CV reviews, we could then entice clients to sign up to a fully paid CV writing service; therein lay my dilemma...
I didn't feel it was ethical to offer something for "free" when there was an underlying ulterior motive to up-sell. OK, so they don't have to buy, but going on a fishing expedition to bait potential clients in the hope that they'll bite just isn't for me.
One of our early CV clients, a senior sales manager, submitted her "Compelling CV" to two well-established CV writing services for free CV reviews - simply to reassure herself that her CV was indeed compelling. She received prompt feedback from both CV writing service providers, which she passed on to me. Here's what happened.
One made 2 modest recommendations for improvement (one of which was to remove an apostrophe from the abbreviation KPIs), and went on to offer to rewrite her CV for c£350.
The other sent a detailed "report" which made many recommendations about layout, fonts, bullet points, etc - all of which we had already implemented! Clearly they had not even read her CV, but had simply sent a standard response that unsurprisingly included an offer to rewrite her CV for a price in excess of £300.
Happy with the CV that we had written for her, our client didn't avail herself of either offer. She went on to secure a suitable role - a good outcome for both of us.
In fact Compelling CVs does offer a comprehensive CV review service but the reality is that we're running a business and providing a quality service. So, yes, we really do read your CV and yes, we give honest and valuable feedback and suggestions on where it falls short and how it can be improved. Occasionally, we've waived the cost and told clients that they have a very strong CV and don't need our help. But when we do undertake a CV review, we feel it's only fair to charge for our service based both on quality and time spent.
If you'd like a little more information about our CV Review Service, please click here.