Applying for a job

how to write a professional cv? Ask a professional cv writer!

Maybe You Just Need A Professional CV?

Being insecure about your CV can cause a lot of hand-wringing angst, procrastination, and analysis paralysis, (worthy of its own entry in Wikipedia no less). Maybe you need a professional CV, but just in case you think you don’t, let’s look at why not and why this is wrong; in general this can be divided into two sets of emotional reasons:

The first reason could be that the CV writing does not adequately convey to the reader what you think they would like to read. No matter how much time and effort you put in, the CV still ends up sounding like someone else and just does not convince you that it will do the job. This can partly be because you could be trying to second guess what the reader wants in a CV rather than looking at the job ad and deciding if firstly you can fulfill the brief. And secondly making sure your CV matches the brief.

Let’s make a list and call it:

The Procrastinators reasons for not sending out a CV:

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  • It’s just not quite right.
  • I need to change some of the words for longer and more impressive adjectives.
  • It doesn’t really capture me.
  • Should I put my name in a larger font?
  • Can you check the spelling for me, I’ve checked, and spell checker has checked, but I would still like you to double check, (just in case)?
  • I’ve sent it out (to a job board), but nothing has happened. Maybe it needs tweaking?
  • Maybe I need more achievements?
  • I think the profile needs to be longer.


This list, as you might imagine is not quite exhaustive and I’m pretty certain that it could be about 4 times as long.

If procrastination or a variation of it is the first emotional reason for a lack of confidence in your CV, then what is the second?

Self Belief:

This is where things become tricky and emotional. If you read a job ad and convince yourself that you match all of the requirements of a role, then either you do or you don’t. But how do you find out? How can you check? Unless you are currently performing in an identical role at the moment (which could mean that your employer is advertising for someone to replace you), then you have no reference point other than family and maybe peers.

So after confiding in your nearest and dearest, you have a quick look at your CV, make some ill thought out adjustments, apply and nothing happens. Not a sniff of a reply. Self-belief takes an inevitable dive through the self-pasting table. Your ego is in pieces. And with the certainty that night follows day you end up back at the top of the page in the procrastinating analysis paralysis group.

Get a professional CV and start getting results

The process of creating a professional CV changes and you now have the opportunity to discuss your career with an expert that has (at least in our instance), credible and current experience of head hunting and the job market. The interview process as we have described on the home page of our website allows us to extract all of the information that is required for your professional CV. This consultation gives you a real personal insight into what will be demanded from you in an interview and can make a positive difference to the job interview outcome by allowing you to essentially “revise” the detail of your career. When it comes to questions from an interviewer, you will be prepared and your answers, in theory, will portray your self-belief and confidence.

But isn’t this all just snake oil, I hear you ask? No, but for a professional CV to get results, you just need to have the talent and ability that a role requires.

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Sir Alan Sugar is a bully claims Guardian

Apprentice bashing is back

Lord Sugar and his minions return to the UK tv screens 13/10/14 for the beginning of another series of the Apprentice. The BBC have started a drip youtube feed of the shows contestants aka candidates with sound bites for the couch potatoes that can’t understand the dialogue. You could say that the videos allow the candidates to express themselves but is it just another vehicle for bullying and ridicule prior to the show launch that they must endure? After we have all had a good laugh at their possibly lamentable claims we will see them face Lord Sugar and his bullying tactics according to The Guardian cribbing from the Radio Times. Lord Sugar says he just speaks as he finds and had he been a bully then he would have been inundated with tribunal cases, which he has not. Why they have chosen this over the dire quality of candidates would have nothing to do with an easy headline grab of course. It all begins with a series of videos that have been released which frame the candidate(s) in a noose of their own sound bites.

The real question should be; has The Apprentice become an early season pantomime over the last few years or does it still offer something of value? In the interim, ready yourselves for a hoist of the petard(s).

Steven Ugoalah audition – The Apprentice 2014 – Series 10 – BBC One
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Solomon Akhtar audition – The Apprentice 2014 – Series 10 – BBC One
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Sarah Dales audition – The Apprentice 2014 – Series 10 – BBC One
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Recruiters look for holes in a CV

Reading Between The Lines Of A CV

Recruiters could, and are seeing increasing numbers of CVs from a different perspective, and it could be detrimental to the intended career move of the individual.

It transpires when reading a CV that the first review of the detail a recruiter makes is cursory, and a skim for relevant experience to the post applied for. The second review is for career movement, and if the CV passed the relevant experience test then this could be where the detail voids (aka holes) in a CV could let the individual down.

There are many factors that can cause people to move from one job to another which include progression and continuity as just two reasons, but if a CV only offers superficial detail of the roles held, and no explanation of departure then the reader has to arrive at a conclusion.

Usually negative.

Recruiters consider lack of detail on a CV as an attempt to conceal the truth about movement. It transpires, rightly or wrongly, that this lack of detail creates a mental label in the mind of the reader that the CV represents a job hopper, probably unable to hold a position for longer than 18 months before resigning or being sacked.

Conversely, career movements can work in favour of the person being scrutinised but require effort to ensure that they encapsulate and promote responsibilities, achievements and progression to explain clearly to the reader the reasons for change.

We are continually surprised by the number of people that fail to understand what should be an opportunity which can fundamentally change the way recruiters engage with the person concerned.

Do not let a recruiter read between the lines, ensure the effort is made to add the lines of detail to a CV and it could be the difference between you and the next guy.

CV ready for the january blues

Is Your CV Ready For The January Blues?

Christmas is coming and, regardless of religion it affects everyone directly and indirectly. You could procrastinate and bury your head in the Turkey by tackling your CV or job hunt on January 2nd with everyone else but where will this leave you?

Off the pace by two weeks to a month?

Ease back

Recruiters recruit all year round, but during December they ease back and advise their clients that it would be pertinent to wait for January to begin a new recruitment campaign. Why? Simple. More applicants will be seeking for a new role in January. Therefore giving the recruiter and client more choice.


Your herd mentality needs to be realigned. By all means be comfortable in the crowd. Do not, however, be naive enough to think that when the evening of January 1st 2014 arrives that you and your CV will be ready for the realisation that you should have considered preparing yourself in December. The back to work blues affect everyone at some point, and the period in January after the Christmas break is one of the worst times to feel vulnerable and ill-prepared for January Job Crush.


But what if you don’t celebrate or recognise Christmas? It really makes no difference as the business world is now so interconnected you will see a knock on effect. However, it’s a safe bet to say that this could prove an advantage to you. You do not have the obstacles of celebrations and family commitments, and can prepare to steal a march on the followers of the Christian Calendar by preparing in December.

If you are in business, December needs serious thought and preparation.

So does your career and your CV.

Merry Christmas?!

interview answers

Interview Answers

I felt the need to share something from my daily Quora email digest. This answer came from a Gent called Tom Allen and I reference it here because it could quite possibly be not only one of the funniest answers I have seen, but it is also clever without being completely glib.

The Question:
During an interview what’s an appropriate answer when asked “where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

The Answer: “That depends on where this company will be in four.”

I wrote about changing the interview dynamic in the room back in 2011 and it this answer would fit nicely with the approach and while your first reaction may be not to agree, I believe the question to be so crass as to deserve the answer!

Tom rounds out his thought process with his answer for what happens if the interviewer persists with requiring a definitive retort:
“Well, now it depends on whether you’ve just given me the job…”

I have to agree with him once more as he makes a valid point. This led me to consider of another alternative which could be used in place of both answers:

“If you have not given me the role then I will probably be with your main competitor taking away your market share”

That should seal it!

Applying for a Job

I have covered a diverse range of topics and tips regarding applying and managing the process of applying for a job but how do you manage your voicemail? Is your voicemail working correctly? I found out yesterday that my voicemail did not answer my calls and after a little targeted search on Google I discovered that I had to reset my visual voicemail. If you are an O2 customer and have an iPhone try this tip for changing the number of rings before your voicemail kicks in:

Turn 901 voice mail off by dialling 1760 from your iPhone. The lady on the line will confirm Voicemail has been deactivated.

Perform a Network reset on the iPhone. Home > Settings > General > Reset > Rest Network Settings

Send a SMS to 9011 with the word: STATE in the SMS. (Please note the word STATE needs to be in capital letters)

Once that is done give it a minute, then turn the iPhone off and then on.

Turn 901 voicemail back on by dialling 1750 from their iPhone. The lady on the line will confirm Voicemail has been activated.

Setup voicemail and then do a couple of test calls and leaving voicemail. Check functionality by turning your handset off/on and then going out of VVM and then back to check whether it asks to set it up again.

So that solution resolved my issue. But it also made me consider how your interaction or your agent of interaction (voicemail/email/spouse/partner/parent/child) responds when you are called after applying for a role?

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  • Voicemail: Use a standard default setting. Do not use your own voice unless you have the ability to sound confident and upbeat in the message. Ensure your voicemail switches on when required and check that it is diverting correctly.
  • Email: Pick a simple email address that refers to you by name. (We have seen some truly horrendous email names and some of the most puerile imaginable)
  • Person: If you have to use a number that might be answered by someone else then consider how the person will answer and if indeed they need to answer?


All rudimentary? Are you thinking that you know all of this and everything smells of roses in your garden? Fair point. But do you know that most recruitment firms grade you as a candidate from those that considered superb down to those that do not grade at all? Your interaction with the recruiter can also be downgraded or upgraded by anyone that has contact with you from the agency.

Consider this:

You have sent your CV out and your phone or email remain painfully quiet – where do you think the issue might be?

(If you have a solution for reseting voicemail on a particular network then feel free to leave it here)

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