As changes to the furlough scheme takes bite I am receiving a lot of calls from executive level candidates about my thoughts to paying for CV and outsourcing specialists.  

Undoubtedly a good partner will add value but, talking as someone who speaks to a lot of candidates, one thing separates those I believe will quickly achieve their goal of securing a suitable role - proactiveness.  Please do not rely on search consultants or outplacement agencies alone.  

Especially important within CEO, MD, Marketing and Sales disciplines, by nature of the work you do, no doubt you are pretty resourceful and used to striking up rapport with new acquaintances.  

In choosing to work with such firms fees to the individual can differ wildly - a more polished CV may set you back to the tune of around £300-£500, but larger outplacement firms can charge similar rates to a retained headhunter.

However, there are droves of useful articles and templates online to guide you on CV writing.  For me, the golden rule with a CV is to look at it from the recipients perspective - what's in it for them; what value do you bring; how do you demonstrate maximum impact in the 10-30 seconds the recipient will dedicate to your CV?  Oh, and assuming you genuinely feel an opportunity / business is made for you, ensure you follow up and thus don't get lost in the noise of erroneous emails that decision maker will inevitable have to wade through.

Undoubtedly, finding a new role is time consuming and somewhat sole destroying.  Back to my proactiveness point, "ad hoc" yourself (sharing your CV with companies you'd like to work for) should be one of the first activities you do.  Paying a rolling monthly fee with LinkedIn for their Sales Navigator search tool would be a great starting point.  This will enable you to search for relevant businesses, within a specified region and find decision makers fast.

Please do not misinterpret my message here - firms that charge to help with your search often offer a sound and valuable service.  Just do the above yourself first.  You'll gain better feedback on the state of the industry / company temperature to hire and, at the very least, will further develop your network and increase the possibility of referrals.

In helping candidates guide their way through the maze of a job search, we at Collingwood have put together a good number of articles, that typically go beyond what can be found on Google.  Most of them can be found here: