Lazy bloody vendors

Today I received an email from a CV writing company – The CV Site. I don’t remember signing up with these guys, but at some point I did. It was a surprising email, as it was headed “Sukhvinder, I have reviewed your CV”. Ok, my interest is piqued, let’s go on.

“Opening Statement”
“Accomplishments/strengths/successes – this is your initial pitch, and since most recruiters read a CV in less than a minute, it’s crucial to get this right. This is the area to boast, and grab the employer’s attention.”

Ok, so first of all, no specifics about my opening statement. Which, incidentally reads like this…

I believe strongly in the strength of Learning and Development to be a core competitive advantage to companies. I am a collaborator who brings together knowledge, experience and people to bring about solutions that have lasting effects. I have worked in different sectors and industries (broadcasting retail, automotive, digital marketing and technology and healthcare) which gives me a strong sense of commercial acumen for organisations, what success could look like, and how I can help facilitate it to happen. I deliver positive and creative L&D solutions that are impactful and add business value.

I am the co-founder of L&D Connect, a community of L&D professionals who are focused on developing the L&D profession and improving our skills in what we do.

“Language/tone – the employer is looking for an impersonalised and concise description of what you have to offer him/her. To achieve this, the statement needs to be written short, snappy and to the point.”

Not convinced by this. But ok, maybe mine isn’t short and snappy. Anyway, have they not read my blog? Oh, and still no reference to my wording.

“Layout”

“Efficiency of space – employers have limited time to pick out potential job candidates so the shorter the CV the better.”

Mine is two pages long. Tight.

“Presentation – it’s important to highlight key areas of interest to recruiters, so they focus on your biggest selling points as they scan through your CV.”

What, like this you mean?

Key Skills
– Occupational Psychologist
– Experienced facilitator for learning events
– Experienced OD facilitator and enabler
– MBTI Step I practitioner
– 16PF user

“Formatting – when an employer opens your CV, they want to see a clear and clean document. The CV Site will ensure your CV will be free from ugly formatting errors.”

My CV is meticulously formatted, right down to the spacing between words, font size equal for different parts, and consistent in look.

“Content”
“Marketing yourself – you are selling a product, and the product is YOU. Try to excel at communicating your ability to fill these requirements.”

Agreed, I am the product! Pretty much every job I applied for, I made sure my CV demonstrated how I met the requirements, and I often included a cover letter to be absolutely clear about it.

“Linking skills with achievements – employers want to know your potential ‘worth’ to their company. Ultimately, they’re looking for a return on their investment and currently you are not linking your skills effectively enough to emphasise their value to a future employer.”

Yeah, ok, I get that. Something like this you mean?

• Designed and delivered bespoke courses on Advanced Presentation Skills, Positive Psychology at Work and Emotional Intelligence Leadership programme
• Formed a leadership peer forum where leaders from across the company have a space to be able to safely and confidentially discuss leadership and management issues with peers
• Used variety of social networking tools to cultivate engagement and embed learning culture

“Language/grammar”
“Spelling/grammar/tone – this needs to be consistent and correct throughout the document. An obvious turn-off for employers is bad grammar and spelling mistakes.”

You really didn’t read my CV at all did you?

“Language – employers dislike reading a CV that uses common CV language. The CV Site will ensure your CV is jargon free and that any sweeping statements are backed up with real life evidence.”

Don’t make me repeat myself – YOU DIDN’T READ MY CV.

“My opinion”
“Overall, your CV could benefit from being professionally re-written. This will 100% improve your interview opportunities.”

Well, gee, thanks for your opinion.

Here’s my opinion on your opinion.

I hate lazy vendors. They piss me off. You want me to spend £100 with you? Actually do what you’re saying you’re going to do. You have reviewed my CV and determined it needs to be professional re-written?

At no point did you reference a single word from my CV, refer to the industry I work in, highlight how I need to change it for future roles, or even bother tailoring your feedback to me, specifically.

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Published by

Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

4 thoughts on “Lazy bloody vendors”

  1. I used to work with a consultant who joked that he could go into any organization and name 5 things they needed help with: your leaders are struggling and need more development, there is poor communication, too many silos, etc. It was the same 5 things for any/every company. There are generic problems every one struggles with and it sounds like the vendor was playing the odds with the things that most people get wrong in their CV. My guess is that in most cases they sound like well-informed super-geniuses because most people’s CVs are needing fixing. (“Wow! They really looked at my CV!”)

    1. You’re right, Broc, the vendor was taking a punt that I’m not a well-informed individual who has a network to advise how to create a good CV.

      In the main, most people won’t have that available to them, so I can see how their approach can work. Still, it takes very little to use generic statements and add a little something for reference from the person’s CV they’re allegedly reviewing.

      1. Totally agree. The vendor is playing numbers, hoping to get some interest from a % of a huge number. With a little effort, they could probably create more enthusiasm from a smaller, but more interested market. They are caught in the myth of being something to everyone instead of being everything to someone.

        Of course, they also seem to be confusing generic advice as expert best practices…

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