We’ve been hearing recently that the job market in Australia is the busiest it’s been in years, with the unemployment rate reaching a historically low 4.9 per cent back in August.
Although it’s ticked up slightly in recent months, due to the lag effect of extended lockdowns in the eastern states, many experts are predicting employment vacancies to skyrocket as we enter 2022.
So how should Australian workers make the most of this booming market?
The obvious answer is to look around for a new job, maybe with better pay or flexible working conditions.
If this is your plan, then it’s probably time to dust off your CV and start updating or improving it to give yourself the best chance of success.
CV is still relevant and crucial
Despite the advent of social media, the CV (or resume) is still an essential tool in applying for jobs, with most employers asking for a copy as part of their selection process.
With competition for the best jobs still fierce, it’s important to ensure yours can compete, especially as research from job site Indeed suggests that: “On average, employers look at resumes for six to seven seconds.”
That’s not a long time to impress someone with a static document. As a result, many Australians have turned to professional resume writers to ensure they are being represented in the best light.
Is this something you should consider in the current market?
Less than servicing your car
Yahoo Finance recently spoke to career coach Sean Croon, director of Australian Business CV Writers, and asked him this very question.
“Most people spend more money servicing their car every year than servicing their career, yet which is the one that consumes the most time and produces the most money?” Croon said.
It’s a good point. Most resume-writing services start from as little as $300 in Australia, although this can rise to as much as $1,000 for an executive-level service.
When was the last time your car service was less than $300?
What are the benefits?
In Croon’s opinion, the value in seeking professional help to write your CV comes down to opportunity cost.
“If you secure a job just one week sooner, a professionally written CV pays for itself, and that's not even taking into account the cost of missing out on a great job opportunity because your CV let you down,” Croon said.
Many professional resume writers have spent years in the human resources industry, either for a recruitment agency - like Croon - or fulfilling an internal talent-acquisition function.
They are therefore likely to know what employers are looking for in a CV better than most, and can share this knowledge with you as part of their service.
Are there any downsides?
But is it best for everyone? Much depends on what role you are looking for, and how much time you have to invest in the process.
For example, if you’ve just graduated and are applying for entry-level roles, you won’t have a lot of experience to flesh out your resume. And that’s OK.
If that’s the case for you, it might not be the wisest investment to use a third party as they won’t have much to work with.
You may be better concentrating on writing it yourself in this instance, including all the extra-curricular activities you have participated in, which is often what graduate recruiters are looking for.
More tips on writing your own resume can be found here.
It’s also worth considering that many resume writers require about a week - or longer at the executive level - to deliver the completed product.
In some ways, using a resume-writing service means you are prioritising quality over speed, so keep this in mind if application deadlines are on the horizon.
Do your research
As with every industry, not all resume writers produce the quality you might expect, so get referrals and go with a well-established CV-writing business if possible. Often the price of the service is an indicator of quality, and those offering the cheapest service aren’t necessarily the best.
As we’ve discussed, there are many factors to consider before making the decision to outsource your resume writing to a professional. It’s not for everyone and remember that a great resume isn’t a guarantee you'll get your dream job.
However, as Croon points out: “I've seen thousands of people whose CV was rejected because the required skills, experience and/or keywords weren't apparent to the recruiter, only to later find out they were suitable, but their CV let them down.”
Given the competition is likely to be intense for the most sought-after roles, can you afford not to at least consider getting a little outside help?