The economy is facing some uncertainly with COVID 19, business closures, cost of living crisis and unemployment (which is currently 3.8% of the UK population) it can be very difficult to secure employment without a lot of hard work. No matter what job people apply for they need a CV.
A CV is the first impression a potential employer has for a job seeker. Recruiters see many CVs for an advertised role (in fact many recruiters can get over 100 CVs per job) so you really need a professional, well formatted CV to stand out.
The job market is extremely competitive for every person and so people need help to even just secure an interview.
So this is where a professional CV is essential and where you as a professional CV writer can make a BIG difference
Some CV facts
- Average time spent by a recruiter looking at CV is around 5 seconds
- Over 75% of CVs are dismissed for an unprofessional email address
- Just 35% of job seekers who apply for a role are not even qualified for the role
- Around 30% of CVs are misleading
- 40% of CVs have inflated salary claims
Good reasons why you should start this business
- Low start-up costs
- People are always looking to improve their prospects by actively seeking a new role
- Many people have been made redundant and need a CV to get back into work
- You do not need any formal training but a background as a PA or HR would be beneficial
But why would anyone want me to produce their CV?
Generally people are time poor – it is often a full time job looking for a job. So producing a CV can be difficult and a fresh pair of eyes on the CV will improve it.
Some people may not have the skills to produce a good CV. They may be out of work or lack the job hunting skills that many people take for granted
Key elements to get you started
- Excellent writing skills
- Good Grammar
- Fantastic eye for detail
- Good people skills as you will be speaking to the job hunter so you need to find out information including their background, skills, experience, talent and ability.
- What will the CV look like – can you format correctly? Certain roles will require a particular style of CV.
- Good marketing skills
- A PC, printer, mobile phone, stationery and CV templates
Decide on a good niche – Remember one size does not fit all!
By having a good niche you will stand out and you will be the expert in that area so people are more likely to contact you.
Recruiters are more willing to go to someone who has expertise in a particular field and this could be more profitable to you. Of course deciding on a niche can be time consuming and will be one of the major factors you need to think about before you start.
Niches to consider
- School leavers (final year and 6th formers)
- University graduates
- First jobbers
- Second or Third job seekers
- Over 50s
- Ex-Services personnel
Think where you have worked previously or talk to family and friends for more inspiration
Remember if you were employed in a specialised area you would definitely contact a recruiter in that field. The same can be said for looking for a good CV writer who understands the niche they work in. You will know the correct jargon for that particular industry. Far better to be a big fish in a small pool. Not only will this increase your marketing but you will build a great reputation
How long should a CV be?
A standard CV should be no longer than 3 pages.
How to write a good CV for your client
- Full name – decide if you are going to include marital status or nicknames
- Date of birth/age/ethnicity/religious beliefs – There is some debate as to if these details should be included and employers should not discriminate against age, race or religion.
- Telephone contacts including both mobile and landline numbers.
- Full education details – Even if the person has left school over 20 years ago or more they still need to list all their qualifications as employers often check. There is also no requirement to send certificates in with the CV. Some companies may ask to see copies once the job seeker has secured the role.
- Employment history – Generally you only need to go back around 10 years but do mention previous or current employment in a good light.
- Skills – Bring the skills required for the job onto the CV and make the stipulation between transferable job related skills and adaptive skills.
- Courses they have taken (that are relevant to the role applying for)
- Outside interests (only if they are relevant to the role applying for)
- Personal references – The job seeker can include on the CV that references will be provided – if you do list referees than make sure the job seeker has secured permission before hand to include the named person(s).
- Negative information – The job seeker does not to include negative information e.g. being dismissed from a previous role. The job seeker may be asked why they left their previous role at the interview. The aim of a CV is to get the person an interview.
- Gaps – if there is a large gap for example being out of work for a few months – then the job seeker should explain what they were doing during this break. You can expand this section to explain that the job seeker was making good use of their time by doing some online courses, volunteering etc.
- Reason for leaving previous job – There is no need to include a reason for leaving previous job so do omit from CV. Of course at the interview the job applicant will be asked why they left.
- Photographs – there is no need for a job seeker to have a photograph attached to their CV.
How to present the CV
- Good quality white paper which should be A4 size do not use coloured paper – even if the role is for a marketing/advertising agency
- Black print only do not use colour after all the CV must be easy on the eye
- Simple type face and the standard are Times 10 or 12.
Only use underlining or capitals as and when necessary
Who to market to
They could be looking to change roles (perhaps they are being made redundant or just fancy a change of career). These are the people who will pay more for the CV service and more likely to use the ‘enhanced CV service’ section
You could offer a special rate for unemployed people or do their CV for free in return for a) a good review on your website and/or b) they get you 3 recommendations for more clients.
Why not contact local employment job clubs and offer the service free to the Unemployed. You could negotiate with the job club a fee for this service as after their entire job is to get people into work.
Contact employment agencies
There are numerous employment agencies in all local high streets and as you can imagine they are very busy with recruiting job seekers and contacting future employers. However they are unlikely to offer CV writing services. So you could arrange a visit (or leave a leaflet or business card with them) and offer to help them with the CV writing (you could consider a joint venture).
They may even advertise your service on their website or pass your contact details onto the job seekers. After all it is in their best interest to get their candidate a job. You could offer a service on a commission on every CV sold or for every person they get employed via your CV assistance.
Public speaking groups
You can also think about speaking in schools (ideal for school leavers and 6th formers) about how to construct a CV. You could negotiate with the school for the cost of completing the students CVs.
Once you have completed the CV for your client you can still upsell other services.
These can include
- Practical interview skills/mock interviews
- How to seek out new employment opportunities
- Telephone interview tips
- Networking advice
Build a website
As a CV writer you will need an online presence as otherwise how can people contact you. It will be your marketing tool and you will attract more clients.
Below are several areas of marking to consider, remember you do not need all of them but at least 3 of them.
- LinkedIn – This is the main market place for employment opportunities
- Social Media – Twitter and Facebook
- Cold calling – But only if you feel really confident, but you could outsource this
- Networking – Consider joining a local networking group such as Chamber of Commerce.
- Have a blog (this could be attached to your website)
- Public speaking – Why not try arranging speaking at local companies?
- Speak at Universities or Colleges
- Advertising such as leaflet drops to all local business owners
- Job fairs – Consider having a stall at these fairs with Sample CVs. You could sign people up immediately and then get back to them later with full details of your service. These are many of these in your local town and all type of businesses gathers there. Also many Universities and Colleges have recruitment fairs.
- Your local paper – They could interview you as a new business owner – excellent publicity.
How much could you earn?
This depends on the type of client you have. On average a ‘standard CV’ usually around 2-3 pages you could charge £40 for updating a CV. You could charge much more than this for a full CV package service, this can include a job application letter, updating your clients Linkedin profile, interview skills and a fully updated CV. In addition you could charge a premium for a 24 hour CV service.
Could I get help with writing the CVs?
The answer is yes. The great thing about this business is that you do not have to do everything yourself. You can outsource.
There are a number of outsourcing websites sites that could help you when you initially start.
2 good sites are
So as you can see this home business is ideal if you love helping people. What can be more satisfying in helping someone who has been out of work for a while secure a new full time job?