Do candidates accept CV advice from recruiters?

I often read with interest many of the articles on LinkedIn relating to recruitment and I’ll be the first to admit that what I’ve written here is neither a hot topic or rocket science, but due to a couple of experiences I’ve had recently, I felt compelled to put pen to paper all the same.

It goes without saying that having a strong CV is important when looking for a new job, but with the power of on-line in today’s climate where CVs are readily accessible and often thrown around like confetti, the content and quality of a CV has become increasingly important in order to engage the reader and make it stand out from the crowd. Personally I wish it didn’t have to be this way as I do think that there are good candidates out there that struggle to get past first base purely because their CV doesn’t necessarily conform to life in 2015, but hey…that’s another story.

As recruiters we receive and review dozens of CVs every day, and assuming we’re doing our jobs properly and know our clients and their requirements well enough, I’d like to think that we are in the ideal position when it comes to offering CV advice to candidates that are interested in applying for a role that we’re managing. Yet occasionally when I offer free advice it surprises me how some candidates become defensive and reluctant to take it on board.

In a way I get it – you’ve slaved away writing and/or updating your CV to the best of your ability, you’re proud of your effort and confident that it’s going to get you your dream job. So, when I come along and pick it to pieces there’s always the potential that it may dent your pride a bit.

What I would say is this… I want to work in partnership with you, I’m on your side and I want you to be successful. I’m not asking you to lie or make up skills and experience that you haven’t got, but merely draw out certain elements or aspects of your CV that are specific to the role in question, or perhaps alter the general layout to make it more reader friendly or in line with what I think the client would prefer. I’m not saying I’m always right…far from it…but if you disagree with my advice let’s talk about it and come up with a solution that works for both of us!

I’d be interested to hear about some of your experiences of taking CV advice from a recruiter, and maybe why you did or didn’t accept the advice given…

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