CV writing UK - Help with your cv

As the pandemic continues its hold, does your CV & career plan need a more careful, and considered restoration to avoid the pitfalls?

CV writing
Elias Garcia Martinez’s Ecce Homo (left) and its “Monkey Christ”​ rendition. CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS BORJANOS

Has the pandemic further increased candidate CV visibility problems?

It certainly seems that there has been an accelerated shift to a lack of engagement with a prospective candidates CV. We are hearing more and more about how our new clients have been unable to gain a response to applications and general enquiries. This makes for already unsettling times becoming even more worrying and desperate than they need to be for you.

What can you do?

If you find yourself in this position then you have to question your approach to every job posting or firm and at the core of this will be your CV/resume, LinkedIn profile and cover letter. It’s an easy option to just throw the old CV and cover letter at an application and hope for the best, but winging it this way has been past its sell-by date since the advent of ATS.

Hoping that the person reading the CV and cover letter can fill in the gaps in your career and add in the achievements that match you with the job criteria along the way just will not work in 2021, mainly because the “person” reading it is an ATS algorithm. You need to beat the machine.

Targeted responses beat the odds!

We can help you combat ATS by using 50+ years combined experience of senior-level recruitment and expertise assisting global executives to transition into new roles. We also listen intently to our new and returning clients about this ever-changing job market, the difficulties they face, and the wins they have had. For our clients, in hindsight, the wins are very simple; they asked us to help target a role in which they can demonstrate experience and knowledge.

Forensic approach: The devil really is in the detail.

As I mentioned earlier the ATS will sift your application, determine your capability, look to percentage score your CV based on the initial role description and determine what happens next. Recruiters want low hanging fruit, it makes the process of recruitment easier. Winner, winner, commission bonus payment, banked. Sounds harsh, but sadly it can be true!

I am going to be brutally honest now. Our consultation process with our clients is very challenging – we don’t hold back! We ask you to prepare and we dig deep, and for good reason – we want you to succeed when cross-examined at a formal interview. Our client forensic consultation is unique and rigorous, it also has a very positive effect on your mindset and will likely be the toughest interview you have had to date! From this position, we can write your targeted CV and cover letter, and create a LinkedIn profile that you’ll be proud of and will get you noticed. Essentially, you’re asking for your CV, supporting documents and career plan to undergo a proper restoration. We can help provide this expertise, knowledge, and move your career forward in the right direction.

But I can get a cheap CV?

You can. Generally, CV writers will write or rewrite what you provide them. Having not had the experience of global headhunting or a foundation in one of the Big Four it’s easy to understand that they lack the level of exposure to senior-level candidates and will not be able to question and segue to the next obvious question after your response. This is where the detail needed will be missed and with it your chance of getting past that ATS algorithm and pitching yourself above other candidates in terms of your tangible relevant achievements. Yes, you can buy a cheap CV, and for junior or unskilled workers then this is probably worthwhile, but if you are sat reading this and you are working at a senior level it is NOT the best choice for you.

Why choose us?

We offer a variety of services that we put together around your requirement, a targeted Executive CV, LinkedIn profile and cover letter can open up the next opportunity, but have you: 

  • Thought hard about what and where your next role could be? 
  • Had a fresh perspective on the exciting new avenues that could be open to you? 
  • Received expert guidance on where to search for the positions that are not advertised, and who’s radar you should be on in the headhunting community? 
  • Had interview coaching not only to achieve success but ensure the appointment is the right move for you at this time? 

If you know that a ‘CV farm’ approach is just not for you, have you considered engaging your very own virtual Career Manager to help identify pathways for you, focus your search, and navigate the minefield that is the executive job market, as well as ensuring you have interview-winning personal branding materials?

If this sounds like just the level of support you’ve been yearning for, then here at Grieves Pryce Global Executive, we have 50+ years of combined global, cross-functional executive CV writing, career management and search/selection expertise.

Please connect today for an introduction or visit  to start your journey to success in a new exciting way!

Carillion Head Office Construction House, 24 Birch Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 4HY

Carillion Deal Collapses

Canadian Real Estate and Facilities Management company BGIS has pulled out of a deal to buy a large percentage of Carillion public sector contracts. The contracts were centred around hospitals, education, transport, emergency and transport. In the announcement that came Thursday 08/03/2018, it stated that “certain closing conditions have not been met.”

Gordon Hicks CEO BGIS“While we are disappointed at this outcome, we are continuing to pursue opportunities to grow our global business into the UK and welcome continued dialogue with prospective customers as we build out our platform for future growth opportunities,” said Gordon Hicks, chief executive of BGIS

CV or LinkedIn

Life in the old CV yet

Social Media & Your CV

Another year passes, and the collective might of social media and LinkedIn have still failed to consign the CV to the graveyard. It seems that now, more than ever, that the CV is seen as a focal point for candidate engagement, with LinkedIn and Social Media profiles providing supplementary information, such as how many beers or glasses of wine you are willing to be photographed with on a school night(that’s a fib but worth thinking about).

Sifting a CV

According to HR News, recruiters are now even more ruthless when sifting CVs with the amount of time spent looking at any one CV is now probably 5 seconds or less. What makes matters worse is that it is very rare for a CV not to have passed through some sort of filtering system, and therefore the CVs that the recruiter is scrutinising, has been shortlisted.


So why didn’t the computer shortlisted CVs make the final cut?

The 4 Main Reasons Your CV Was Rejected

  1. Poor attention to detail – spelling mistakes and especially letter drops such as manged (managed) or hte (the).
  2. Buzzwords – there is a fine line between a legitimate use of strong adjectives on your CV and being over zealous with your descriptives. Do you inspire or are you awe-inspiring?
  3. Too long – If your CV is over 2 pages long.. There are still only a select number of reasons why you can go over 2 pages with the main reason being that you truly are remarkable, a singular global authority. If you are not, and you break the rule then you are considered smug, self-righteous, narcissistic and unable to be concise.
  4. You didn’t tailor your CV to the brief – basically, you could not be bothered to make some adjustments to match your CV the advertisement or the job brief. This also endorses the narcissist theory in point 3.

The way forward seems to be indicating that more emphasis than ever will be on the written CV as the lead source of information. It seems that the last decade has provided us with a revolution in how we can communicate via social media with anyone on the planet, or read something on a phone or a tablet, but it has also made us realise that a well-written CV offers more tangibility than a LinkedIn Profile. It allows you as an candidate to shine as an individual, providing that you put in the effort.

ONS Employment figures October 2015

Employment – You've Never Had it So Good

Apologies to Harold Macmillan for using his quote slightly out of context: I have not written about employment figures for 3 years but as the latest numbers from the ONS show some of the biggest changes in employment numbers in nearly 50 years then it would seem that today would be a good day to impart the wonderful news,(and the sun is out which always makes things look better).

Without further ado and straight in at number 1:

Employment Rate

1.The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 73.6%, or 31.12 million, the highest since comparable records began in 1971 and up from 70.5% or 29.23 in May 2012 an increase of 3.1% if you believe the ONS but if you believe me then the difference is, after rounding up 6.47% . I did try looking for that comparable figure from 1971 but gave up looking as I could not find it. Interesting that the general press have seemingly just printed what the ONS have given them, which didn’t help my search.

Regardless of political bias, that is impressive. I think. But then I found an article from 1972 which covered the public anger of unemployment rising above 1 million under the Teddy Heath Government, for the first time since the 1930’s which then made we think that (dependent on numbers of people available for and population, that the current employment figures are rubbish in the larger scheme of things ie the last 100 years. But because of political posturing we never get to hear this kind of information anymore, which I feel is a shame. Ultimately, the figures are what they are, and a decrease in unemployment is good news but if this was a school report then you would be justified in saying “room for improvement” and must try harder.

Unemployment Rate

2.There were 1.77 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work). In May 2012, there were 2.63 million unemployed. That’s impressive! A massive 32% drop on the swingometer.

I’m not going to dissect this number as after the debacle of the headline winning employment rate I just don’t believe the effort is worth the reward of not actually having a clue about what the truth of it all is. I suppose the beautiful takeaway from my statement is that nobody really knows what is going on but things do seem to be getting better. The ONS have told us so and Government has also reiterated the point.

Who am I to argue with such high authority?

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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:

[list icon=”clock” color=”magenta”]

  • 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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Finance Director CV Example

Professional CV format sample

Professional CV Format

Our Professional CV format has been updated on the Professional CV Sample page to the current Professional CV layout that we recommend. There has not been a vast amount of change made to the classic CV example, just small formatting tweaks. The page continues to display our classic Professional CV format example, which is also available as a free professional CV download. The classic Professional CV is the best choice format to be used for general blue collar work applications.

Executive CV Format for Board and Director Level Candidates

The page also contains a first-page example of the Director CV. This Professional CV Format sample has undergone format changes and also some section changes that reflect the general change in CV requirements from employers and recruiters. Over the last couple of years, as attention spans have become shorter, the need for a quicker way to present key information on a CV has increased and crept further up the first page.

As is always the case, regardless of your CV format, the most important part of the CV  is the content. If the content does not provide the reader with relevant information the CV will fail to get the required or expected results.

Linkedin Gravestone - is this the end

Linkedin – Is it the end?

Wednesday afternoon, twiddling my thumbs, playing with google advertising, doing some business “housekeeping”. Exciting is not going to find its way anywhere near that sentence. To break up the monotony I  decided to head over to Linkedin for some inspiration, after all I had not been on my profile page for quite a while, and I had recently received some random connection requests that I had ignored and thereby can justify my “timeout”. What I found was that in the past four years nothing has changed for the better and I would argue that Linkedin, in its desperation to generate income has encouraged a downward turn in content worth reading. Linkedin has become Facebook-esque. Always threatened to happen but now it has truly arrived or maybe it happened three and half years ago when I dozed off.


The evidence was in my so called Linkedin news stream. It all started well enough, with a decent share from Hubspot, always a good source, about how to get people to click on your web content and engage.

Up next a sponsored ad about big data – big yawn, that’s not to argue against big data, but it is all a little dull, vague and requires a room full of ultra-geek personnel to decode – pop goes the staff budget, but “hey guys we are popular in the Indian subcontinent”.

Stick with me it gets better, per se..

I don’t really mean better per se, I actually mean that the peasants are revolting, bad double entendre aside and an interesting snippet from one my old MDs out of the way, but there is a small fightback being mounted. But before I get to that, let’s get inspired by some of the content further down the news, and if this doesn’t make you want to fire the person that posted it then nothing will:


Linkedin is the end - Inspired photo

Whoever that chap is he needs a promotion for being so “on message”, as does the fella that “Completely agree with this”. High fives all round. I’m not cynical before you think it, I’m just so very bored with the mindset of the people that feel the need to publish this kind of trite self-help rubbish instead of just working. What makes matters worse is that the man in the photo isn’t alone, he is with a photographer although I suppose I should be grateful that there is no selfie involved.

Further down the list, I encounter some sly casual sexism dressed up as content by Linkedin themselves:

Linkedin - is this the end sexism on Linkedin

Why is this sexist? Firstly, it’s a photograph of, in case you didn’t notice, a woman. Secondly, why couldn’t it have been a man with his shirt opened to his navel? If the point of the exercise is to encourage the Linkedin user base to upload a photo and by doing so allow them the opportunity of winning the chance of a headshot;

[success]”We’re traveling across the country to offer free headshots and profile advice to our members. So stop by and we’ll help take your profile from good to amazing.” Linkedin[/success]

If this is truly the case then have the courage to run the campaign with the headshot of a model. Maybe I’m wrong but….

Finally, after a few more adverts and some other superfluous shares I came across this:

Linkedin is not Facebook

Hooray. No really, I mean whoop with joy and share amongst all of your colleagues on Linkedin, they will after all be delighted. Or probably not. Because whoever posted this failed to see that by posting this they are part of the problem and not part of the solution. the solution is not to post at all. Why do you feel the need? What empty hole at the center of your being is this sharing papering over? None. You have no reason to share anything at all on Linkedin any longer. No one really cares what your views are other than when they come to use them against you. Linkedin entices you to share by making it simple. This is not reason enough to stop thinking for yourself and allowing your index finger to take control. Sharing will not enhance your career prospects.

Linkedin is just a global directory, let’s all be professional and treat it like one.

(In the time it took to write this article another 7 updates entered my news feed. Sign up to our non-existent mailer for an update on this circa June 2019)

Should you have 2 CV

Is a 2 CV approach better than 1?

It’s an eternal question; is a 2 CV approach better than 1? You may have possibly heard that you should tailor your CV for a specific role that you are interested in? Which is the correct option? Neither.

Tailor a copy of the CV

The straight answer is have one CV as the best all round representation of you and for each role that you apply for tailor a copy of the CV for that particular role and job description. But [blockquote align=”left” cite=”Laszlo Bock, Google Chief Of HR”]People who tweak their CVs or résumé the most carefully can be especially vulnerable to this kind of error, because they often result from going back again and again to fine tune your résumé.”[/blockquote] in doing so, it is probably pertinent to heed the recent words of wisdom from Google’s Chief of HR Laszlo Bock. “People who tweak their CVs or résumé the most carefully can be especially vulnerable to this kind of error because they often result from going back again and again to fine tune your résumé.”

How you get around the issue is key and being methodical is critical. Even then, you may succumb to word and grammar blindness, whereby no matter how many times you go through the document the mistakes are not all rectified or spotted. When a CV is received like this by a recruiter, the first instinct of the reader is to look for detail that includes the applicants attention to detail and attention to grammar. The more senior you are, the more likely it is for your CV to face a granular inspection. After all, if you intend to be the head of business, then you should be able to sort out the detail on a CV, shouldn’t you?

CV writing just isn’t fair

If only it were that simple! CV writing is a difficult and challenging process for nearly everyone, and just because you might be able to run a multi-million dollar industry does not necessarily mean that you can conjure up a CV that represents you in the best possible way. There are a number of options around this. Firstly, be mindful that if you choose to ignore the option of tailoring your CV it will put you at a disadvantage. Secondly, as a professional CV writer to assist you [button size=”large” align=”center” link=”tel:+442033228853″ linkTarget=”_blank” color=”green” textColor=”rgba(255,255,255,1)” width=”500″ icon=”mobile-phone” icon_color=”#ffffff”]Want to know more? Click here to call from your device[/button] Thirdly, if you want to go it alone Grammarly provide a great tool for proof reading which can help ensure that the CV is as close to perfect as possible.

Christophe de Margerie Killed In Moscow

CEO Christophe de Margerie Killed in Accident

(Reuters) – The chief executive of French oil major Total, Christophe de Margerie, was killed when his private jet collided with a snow plough as it was taking off from Moscow’s Vnukovo airport on Monday night.

De Margerie’s death leaves a void at the top of one of the world’s biggest listed oil firms at a difficult time for the industry as oil prices fall and state-backed competitors keep them out of some of the best oil exploration territory.

The collision occurred minutes before midnight Moscow time as de Margerie’s Dassault Falcon jet was taking off for Paris.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said the driver of the snow plough had been drunk and that a criminal investigation had been launched. The plane’s three crew also died, said Total. The airport said visibility was 350 meters (1,150 feet) at the time of the crash.

Vnukovo is Moscow’s oldest and third biggest airport. Located southwest of the capital, it is used by Russian President Vladimir Putin and other government officials.

De Margerie, 63, had attended a Russian government meeting on foreign investment in Gorki near Moscow on Monday.

With his distinctive bushy mustache and outspoken manner, he was one of the most recognizable of the world’s top oil executives. Total is France’s second-biggest listed company, with a market value of 102 billion euros.

“France is losing an extraordinary business leader who turned Total into a world giant,” French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said in a statement. “France is losing a great industry captain and a patriot.”

De Margerie was also a personal friend of French President Francois Hollande, who said he was “stunned and saddened” by the news. Accolades poured in from other French business leaders.


De Margerie became Total’s CEO in 2007, taking on the additional role of chairman in May 2010, after previously running its exploration and production division.

He said in July that he should be judged on the new projects launched on his watch, including such as a string of African fields.

He also said then that Total would seek a successor from within the company. The company had not officially announced any succession plan, but said it would hold a board meeting as soon as possible.

Philippe Boisseau, head of Total’s new energy division, and Patrick Pouyanne, who was charged with reducing exposure to unprofitable European refining sectors, have long been seen as potential successors.

Total’s shares dipped as much as 2.3 percent on opening, but by 0740 GMT were barely changed at 42.88 euros. It was, however, still the weakest share price performance among the top European oil companies in early trading.

De Margerie was a staunch defender of Russia and its energy policies, as the conflict in Ukraine has raised tensions with the West to levels not seen since the Cold War, and triggered economic sanctions against Moscow.

He told Reuters in July that Europe should stop thinking about cutting its dependence on Russian gas and focus instead on making those deliveries safer.

He said tensions between the West and Russia were pushing Moscow closer to China, as illustrated by a $400 billion deal to supply Beijing with gas that was clinched in May.

“Are we going to build a new Berlin Wall?” he said. “Russia is a partner and we shouldn’t waste time protecting ourselves from a neighbor … What we are looking to do is not to be too dependent on any country, no matter which. Not from Russia, which has saved us on numerous occasions.”

Total is one of the top foreign investors in Russia and also one of the oil majors most exposed to Russia, where its output is due to double by 2020.

Putin sent condolences, praising de Margerie’s business skills and his commitment to “the cause of promoting bilateral Russian-French relations”.

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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