What Is a CV Coach? (Plus Reasons for Using One and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 24 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Applying for a new job typically requires you to submit a curriculum vitae (CV) with your application, which addresses your background, work experience and skill set and allows employers to determine whether you're right for the position. CV coaches work with professionals who are looking for a new job and help make the job search process a little easier by providing them with expert advice and helping them tailor their resumes to each unique position to which they're applying. Learning more about CV coaches can help you determine whether using one is right for you.

In this article, we answer the question "What is a CV coach?", explain what a CV coach does, discuss the reasons for using one to help you enhance your application, describe how to find one and offer tips for choosing the right coach.

What is a CV coach?

Understanding the answer to "What is a CV coach?", can help you find the right professional assistance for your job applications. A CV coach is a type of professional career advisor who can help you create a more compelling resume to encourage hiring managers to consider you for the position, rather than one that simply lists your qualifications. They work closely with their clients to help them showcase their qualifications and personalise their resumes to further appeal to hiring managers in their industry.

Most CV coaches work for career development organisations and offer a variety of professional resume writing services that might be useful for individuals who are looking for a new job and want to improve theirs.

Related: What Is a CV? (Plus Elements and Steps to Write One)

What does a CV coach do?

A CV coach works closely with job candidates to help them create a resume that describes their qualifications accurately. They help them determine what to include in their resume to display their unique employment history, educational background and skill set. They might first help them create a basic template that they can use to detail their transferable skills and highlight the most relevant aspects of their previous employment. A CV coach might then advise them on what an employer is looking for in a candidate and help them use the job description to appeal to hiring managers.

In addition, CV coaches can help their clients determine their long-term career goals and locate jobs that allow them to work toward achieving those goals more easily. They might develop a system to ensure that they meet career development milestones. Frequently, CV coaches use skills like research, active listening and problem-solving to help their clients overcome challenges that might arise during the resume writing process and even create an effective career plan for them to use to determine what additional qualifications they require to apply for the positions they want.

Related: What Is Career Counselling? (With Benefits and Steps)

Reasons to use a CV coach

Deciding to use a CV coach can help you improve your resume and enhance your overall application, which can encourage employers to invite you for an interview. There are a number of beneficial reasons to use a CV coach, regardless of the industry that you're in or your experience level:

They offer high-level resume writing assistance

Whether you're about to apply for your first job or you're planning to apply for a promotion at your current company, CV coaches can offer you exceptional writing assistance so you can craft a resume that retains an employer's attention. Not only can they help you organise and format your resume, but they can also help you optimise it so that it reflects your key skills and work experience in a way that's easy to read. They can also advise you on how to structure resumes for specific types of positions that might interest you.

Related: 6 Universal Rules for Writing Your CV

They can provide useful advice

A CV coach can work closely with you to determine your career goals and advise you on how to create or improve your resume. This advice can be especially useful if you're applying for a job for the first time and you have very little work experience, you've been out of the job market for a long time, you're applying for a new position in an industry you have no experience working in or you're applying for a job in a new location. Even if you're confident in your writing ability, receiving advice on your resume can be highly beneficial.

Related: 15 Effective Pieces of Advice for Career Development

They can give you beneficial feedback

When writing your resume, obtaining feedback can help you optimise your content and formatting, increasing your chances of it passing through applicant tracking software or being accepted by a hiring manager. A CV coach can help you determine which achievements to include in your document and how to highlight them in a way that provides insight into who you might be as an employee. Many CV coaches provide their clients with resume review services, which involve assessing the language and tone of your resume carefully to determine how to improve its quality.

How to find a CV coach

You can typically find CV coaches in a variety of ways, depending on your immediate needs. Here are the steps you can take to find an effective coach:

1. Use your professional network

Ask your family, friends or colleagues if they know of a good CV coach to help you improve your job application. You can also use social media to ask your online network if they're aware of anyone with experience reviewing resumes. If you're still in university, see if your university provides career counselling services to students. Some universities offer specialised resume writing services to students who are close to graduating.

2. Search for coaches online

There are a variety of websites that provide job candidates with access to CV coaches. Many also offer specialised coaches, depending on your experience level and career interests, so it's important to research different sites to see which services they offer. You can use a search engine to find CV coaches near you or search for individuals who have experience reviewing the resumes of professionals in your industry.

3. Join a professional organisation

See if the area where you live has any professional organisations for you to join. As a job candidate, you might be able to gain access to CV coaches more easily by contacting a professional association or organisation that's relevant to your industry. If you're in a specialised industry with its own unique terms, such as accounting, being involved in a professional organisation can also help you network with professionals who have experience in the industry and know someone who can provide you with resume assistance.

4. Evaluate potential CV coaches

After finding a few potential CV coaches, it's important to review their credentials carefully to determine if their services align with your needs. Make an effort to contact coaches directly to ask for details about their experience and the types of clients they typically assist. It's also beneficial to read reviews or testimonials from their clients to determine how trustworthy they are.

Tips for choosing a CV coach

Here are some important tips to consider when choosing a CV coach:

Look for a coach with experience

When selecting a CV coach, it's important that you choose someone who has extensive experience reviewing resumes and working with candidates from all different backgrounds and levels of experience. This can help you ensure that they have the skills and knowledge required to help you create a compelling resume. Be sure to ask them for professional references or testimonials to gauge whether they were able to satisfy others with the services they provided.

Consider a coach with industry knowledge

One of the best ways to create an effective resume is to choose a CV coach who has extensive knowledge of your industry or has direct experience working in it. This way, they can help you better emphasise the skills and experiences that are valuable within that industry, which can demonstrate to employers that you meet their required qualifications. Many websites offering CV coaching services allow you to filter your search based on your field.

Think about your desired skills

Consider the skills you prefer a CV coach to have, such as the ability to adapt a resume to multiple job advertisements. There are a number of important soft skills to look for in a prospective CV coach, such as communication, organisation, time management, patience and listening. As you're searching, write down your desired skills so you can find coaches who meet those skills more easily and consider the strengths of each.

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