Is It Okay for a Recruiter to Tell a Candidate to Re-Write Their CV?

Posted on 31 May 2024

Is It Okay for a Recruiter to Tell a Candidate to Re-Write Their CV?

Job hunting can be a daunting process, and your CV is often your first opportunity to make a strong impression. When a recruiter suggests that you re-write your CV, it can be both surprising and daunting. However, this advice can actually be a positive step towards landing your dream job. Let's explore why a recruiter might suggest a CV rewrite and whether it's in your best interest to follow their advice.

  1. Tailoring to the Job Description
    One of the main reasons a recruiter might ask you to re-write your CV is to better tailor it to a specific job description. Recruiters have insider knowledge about what their clients are looking for and can provide valuable insights into how to highlight your skills and experience in a way that aligns with the job requirements. Customising your CV for each application can significantly increase your chances of standing out.

  2. Shortening your CV
    The number one piece of feedback will be shortening your profile. Daunting if you have thirty years of experience to outline but critical if you want to be seen as credible. The ability to concisely summarise and land the key parts of your relevant experience will set apart one CV from another.

  3. Improving Clarity and Readability
    A recruiter might suggest changes to improve the clarity and readability of your CV. This could involve reformatting the document, using bullet points for better readability, or simplifying complex information. A well-structured and easy-to-read CV can make a strong impression on hiring managers who often have to sift through numerous applications.

  4. Correcting Common Mistakes
    Even the best candidates can make common CV mistakes, such as typos, grammatical errors, or incorrect formatting. Recruiters can help identify and correct these issues, ensuring that your CV presents you in the best possible light. A polished, error-free CV demonstrates attention to detail and professionalism.

  5. Incorporating Industry-Specific Language
    Different industries have their own jargon and preferred terminology. A recruiter with expertise in your field can help you incorporate industry-specific language into your CV. This not only shows that you are familiar with the industry but also helps your CV resonate more with hiring managers who are looking for candidates who speak their language.

When to Embrace a CV Rewrite

While it might feel challenging to re-write your CV, especially if you’ve put a lot of effort into it, consider the following reasons to embrace the advice:

New Perspective: Recruiters provide a fresh perspective and can offer insights that you might have overlooked.

Professional Insight: Their experience in the recruitment field means they know what employers are looking for.

Increased Opportunities: A well-crafted CV can open doors to opportunities that might otherwise be out of reach.

Balancing Your Authenticity with Recruiter's Advice

It’s important to balance the recruiter’s suggestions with maintaining your authentic voice. Here’s how to ensure your CV remains true to you while incorporating professional advice:

Understand the Rationale: Ask the recruiter to explain why they are suggesting certain changes. Understanding the reasoning can help you see the value in the adjustments.

Stay True to Your Experience: Ensure that any changes still accurately reflect your skills and experiences. It’s important that your CV remains an honest representation of your professional journey.

Collaborate: View the process as a collaboration. Combine your knowledge of your own career with the recruiter’s expertise to create a powerful document.


In the competitive job market, a recruiter’s suggestion to re-write your CV can be a valuable opportunity to enhance your application. By tailoring your CV to the job, highlighting key skills, improving clarity, correcting mistakes, and using industry-specific language, you can significantly boost your chances of landing an interview. Remember to balance this advice with your own authentic voice to ensure your CV truly represents you. Embracing this collaborative effort with your recruiter can lead to a more effective and compelling CV, bringing you one step closer to your next career move.

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