‘CVsite’ Marketing ploy – did they really just review your CV?!

Ever used online job boards? Tempted to have your CV/Resume reviewed by experts to improve your chance of selection?

Well, now someone somewhere is volunteering your CV for an initial review without even asking you. Yes, that’s right, with 0 permission.

cv_e

I was conversing with a friend whose CV i just reviewed (one of many I get asked to look over), and he asked ‘Hey buddy, did you send my CV to some review site? Cos i sure as hell didn’t and I just got an initial review from them??’. I found it odd, asked him to forward me the message and took a look. The review seemed to contain common sense, nothing specific.

Chance is a wonderful thing, when me and the friend mentioned above got together with a 3rd friend – it turned out his CV had also been reviewed by the same site. How wonderful. Comparing notes, they both received the exact same feedback and point scoring as each other. Brilliant, their CVs were equally bad! This is the scoring criteria:

Area of CV
friend1 friend2 Statement
Opening Statement  16/25  16/25 Your opening statement needs to be more concise, focused and to hold more punch
Layout  15/25  15/25 Space could be utilised more effectively to make your CV more user friendly, easier on the eye, and to highlight major achievements and skills
Content  15/25  15/25 Your experience and skills are impressive, however at the moment, an employer could miss out on key factors that could clinch you an interview, just because of how your content is written
Language/grammar  18/25  18/25 To be truly effective your CV needs to be written in the first person, be grammatically correct, include no spelling mistakes and avoid common ‘CV jargon’. Even though you’ve adhered to some of these attributes in your CV, there are areas for improvement
Your total CV Score  64/100  64/100 Congratulations! Your CV has achieved a Potential Success Rate score of 64%. But is this enough?

There is more detail in the review, each ‘section’ has a couple of paragraphs explaining how they can improve your CV. More useful to know is that after your overall 64% mark statement their follows all the marketing blurb and such to convince you to get a full (presumably chargeable) review. What does this mean? Why are they the same? In all likelihood your CV has NOT been reviewed by anyone at all, and has NOT been SEEN by anyone at this company. More likely they have harvested/purchased just your email address from an online job board as someone who posted a recent CV.

Who are these generous people I hear you ask, here’s the details

The CV Site,
The CVs & Career Team Ltd
www.thecvsite.co.ukcvsite

Oh wonderful, prices start at £49.95. How cheep. For my friends (& their friends) I do it for free. I’m not a professional and anyone with reasonable common and literary sense can create a good CV/Resume, or review someone else’s. There is no perfect CV but a continous striving to perfect ones own CV in order to maximise chance for interview. Like any task, break it down into chunks and go through each section of your CV bit by bit on a regular basis. Rewrite/redraft continuously, use Microsoft Words synonym checker, spell check, proof read – get your friends to proof read.

You don’t need to spend £49.95

Having had responsibility for short listing/interviewing for I.T roles, and having freelanced at an EMEA recruitment agency for a few years I have seen some very very bad CVs, but they are thankfully rare. Most are reasonable, but need that bit of shoe polish. A fair few are very good.

CVsite – I urge you to stop your rubbish marketing ploy. Wherever you are harvesting peoples details from, please stop.

IF (big IF!) your entire CV was being passed on to these people without your prior permission then a whole can of Tuna worth of data protection issues come into play – hence why the ‘reviews’ they send you are generic. As Simon Gruber would say ‘Hook, Line & Zinker!”

Next mission – find out which online job boards are passing details to these people

 

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39 thoughts on “‘CVsite’ Marketing ploy – did they really just review your CV?!”

  1. I just had a free CV review and guess what… I scored 64 % and had exactly the same comments as above. I was thinking about buying CV help but as always googled the company first and found this blog post. Thank you, you probably saved me £49.95!

  2. When you find out who is passing on the info, let me know. I received an identical email this morning – the same marks, the same comments, etc. As a grammar/spelling Nazi, I immediately smelt a rat; only 18/25 for language? Preposterous!
    It strikes me that insulting potential customers is a rather poor marketing campaign.

    1. LoL – it seems to be Jobsite, have you recently registered with them or reactivated a previously dormant account?
      I’m writing to them to see what gives them the right to use this strategy consisting of lies and deceit.

  3. I was suspicious when I received their email, thanks for clearing up my curiosity!

    Also, I suspect they might be grabbing email addresses from jobsite, as I’ve seen them advertise there. I also received my first email from them not long after signing up there.

    L

  4. I have received the same email with the same scores. I was actually seriously considering (before I read this page) writing a reply in the format of “I have reviewed your marketing ploy” and then giving them scores in each area.

    I would of course mark them down on the fact they are trying to make their logo look like the “jobsite” logo and their universal scoring system.

    Utter leeches and belong to the same sub species that charge for PPI recovery services.

    1. I agree Andrew, I didn’t realise the logo similarity until you pointed it out. Just as an earlier post suspects jobsite, I’m now pretty confident it is them. I’m writing to them by snail mail and await a response, will post anything I get back here.

  5. i received an email from the CV site this morning saying exactly the same. Funny because i also received an email from job site yesterday re: a job offer
    anyways Zulfs as you’re already building a list of potential clients here, fancy writing my C.V?
    😉

    1. Hey man, thanks for taking the time to reply! RE: Your CV – anytime! will send you an email and you can reply to that! Oh and see the ‘official’ reply to my post from cvsite

  6. Hi everyone,

    As a representative of The CV Site I just wanted to clear up that we do not have any affiliation to The Job Site. The fact that The CV Site and The Job Site both have blue and yellow logos is nothing more than a coincidence and we are in no way part of The Job Site, nor have we elicited any information from them.

    With that said, Zulf – we’re sorry to hear that you’ve had a bad experience with The CV Site. It’s true that we do offer professional CV writing services as paid services. It’s also true that somebody with a bit of experience and an eye for these things, such as yourself, can help their friends out by reviewing their CVs for free.

    We respect that and don’t hide from it.

    We also don’t hide the fact that we are a business and of course we are going to offer our paid services at the end of a free CV review. Our services are not for everyone and we appreciate that. The people that go on to use us and write to us with positive testimonials of our services are people that don’t have access to professional writers or experienced HR personnel. Actually, some of our clients are just those that want to save themselves (or their friends) a bit of time.

    We have no marketing ‘ploys’ as such but like many CV sites out there (and indeed many businesses) we offer a little taster of our services for free with the aim that some of these will convert to paid and happy customers. The ones that do not usually move on with a free CV review without ever having parted with a penny. Again, like many businesses we don’t expect everybody to become paid customers from this and that’s OK. As mentioned above, our paid services won’t be a fit for absolutely everyone and we appreciate that. Having said that, it would be bad business not to offer our premium services at all!

    Again, we apologise if you feel you’ve had a negative experience with The CV Site and can assure you that all our CV writers are professional (and humans!). If you would like to get in touch to discuss this further please contact us via the contact form on our website.

  7. I just registered yesterday on Monster.co.uk and reed.co.uk and received this email today!

    I suspected this to be bogus, so thanks for confirming!

  8. I just got one of these emails but no one actually offered a score or any actual review. Goodness knows where they have obtained my info from, the email they write to is not the one on my CV.

    The CV Site in the comment above claim “We have no marketing ‘ploys’…” if this isn’t a ploy I don’t know what is and yes I checked the dictionary for Ploy,

    “Noun – a cunning plan or action designed to turn a situation to one’s own advantage.”

    You could say most marketing tactics are ploys, this just happens to be an intrusive, dishonest and unpleasant one.

    All that the email contains is basic advice with no reference to my CV so either my CV is perfect, which is unlikely, or they are telling porkies! If I wanted basic advice I’ll ask or search for it.

    If they genuinely read through CVs for free before any opt in or submission then we might have to consider the Data Protection Act. I never opt in for marketing anywhere and as these people are not about to offer me a job, they have no right nor permission to have access to personal details.

  9. For a minute I thought that someone had actually read and scored my CV. 64% seems like a magic number to say you’re not bad, but there is still room for improvement without actually reviewing the CV.

  10. I’d still like to know how the heck CV Site are getting peoples e-mails addresses? It’s clear there is specific targeting going on here, so if you register on a job board it triggers an action. I imagine job boards are trying to monetize further by selling e-mails addresses of new or active users – just ripe to have their CV given that professional expensive polish.

    Good luck all.

  11. I recently applied vie UK Staff Search and got my self registered with CV Library which I didn’t want and asked if I wanted a review for my CV which I’m sure I un-ticked when I un-scribed from the mailing list it recommended UK Staff Search

  12. I must say the registration with CV Library happened a day later at a time I was out and no-where near a computer I don’t know how this happened or if it is connected. But at the same time I received an email to confirm registration just minutes before got the email asking if I would like a free CV Advice “As a registered member of one of our partners”

  13. Well done with this post – I had the same skeptic feel as many of you had, and now after reading this I’ve confirmed that I was given the same exact resume critique that was posted above. I get that they’re trying to drive traffic to their site but to claim that actual humans are reviewing your CV while giving the same ‘report card’ to everyone is pretty misleading. It makes me wonder what package I’d have to but to reach that 100/100. They can do better than that.

  14. I think they get the CVs from contacts at agencies who forward/sell CVs to data aggregators, and through basic screen scraping of job boards where possible.

    There are also people who probably have signed up as Jobsite customers solely in order to download personal information and then sell on information. I believe cv-library.co.uk will pay for CVs uploaded to them through an affiliate scheme.

    Probably worth someone checking through the connections between the directors of The Cv’s And Career’s Team Ltd Company who run thecvsite and other sites like check4jobs, cvbank, right-cv and Creative Investment Technologies Ltd

  15. Interesting to see these comments. I registered with Jobsite last week and within 24 hours received a direct mail from CV Site asking if I wanted a CV review. I deleted it and then the next day the sent me one anyway. This did consist of text and not just a score, but equally I was pretty naffed off that a company had got hold of my details and took it upon themselves to critique them.

  16. I complained to CV Site and after a few responses I wasn’t particularly happy with I was given an email address for their owner who gave me this response below….

    “I have investigated your claims below and I can assure you that TheCVSite has not misused your data in anyway.

    The long and short of it is, we had your data passed to us by a rouge affiliate whom was registered on our job board network affiliate programme. Both the programme and the affiliate in question have been suspended indefinitely”

    1. “Rogue affilliate” that’s a nice & convenient excuse…find an easy scapegoat. I suspect they will carry on as they are. They are receiving data from dodgy sources and abusing it. Time to refer them to the Information Commisioner.

  17. You are life-saver Zulfikar!! Thank God I came across your blog when I did. i was in the process of calling CV Site to pay £99.00 when I had a second thought and googled them only to find your blog. I believe I need CV review as I have been looking for work for 3 months now. Do you think you could spare some time to look over mine, please?
    Many thanks again.

    1. Hey Jo, glad to be of help. I’ll send you an email directly so you can reply with your CV, I’ll have a look and send back any comments. Good luck hunting, it’s an unfair system out there.

  18. I’ll be graduating in a few months and applied for a few jobs through various websites and have had FOUR different companies offering me free reviews. I didn’t give any permission yet CV Site still reviewed my CV and gave extremely generic feedback. A quick google search and here I am. What leeches these companies are. As if trying to find a job isn’t hard enough, now we have to dodge these idiots whilst they spam my email.

    1. Thanks for your comment. There seems to be web of dodgy companies passing each other essentially private databases of names/e-mail addresses. Legal avenues are being explored to tackle these and ideally close them down.

  19. Hi Zulfikar – I have just started job searching again and have received the same offers as everyone else. I almost succumbed but thankfully googled them first! If the offer is still there Zulfikar would you be able to take a look at my CV please – I’m not the best at self promoting and I’ve read they should be restricted to 2 pages but when you’ve been going for as long as me that’s a bit difficult!

  20. The CV Site are just one of a whole list of companies owned by VCorp Services LLC of Wilmington, Delaware. They are supposedly and I use the term “supposedly” very loosely owned by Roxburghe Investments LLC (Same Address and Telephone number but incorporated 18mths ago). This is the address they give to circumvent the EC Directive 2003 Regulations on Privacy and Electronic Marketing even though most of the companies they are using are operating under shell companies here in the UK with UK registrations in Companies House and openly state.

    Their sole purpose is to sell very badly rewritten CVs on bog standard templates to unsuspecting individuals who are jobsearching. This activity is mainly undertaken by “Scraping” and/or “Downloading CVs” from TotalJobs and Reed. Prospective punters are then illegally mail marketed and their personal information is then transferred to the CV Bank – another company in the Roxburghe group which is operating under the auspices of being owned and run by Creative Investment Technologies Ltd, a company that was dissolved in 2010. (Question the legal ethics here).

    Your personal information is then disseminated amongst their whole group of companies with the express intention of adding them to Databases for Resale to any Commercial Organisation that will pay for them.

    Companies that I have located so far are:

    1. FreeCVs – Illegally marketed my details (revealed as the source by a marketing company that I threatened to have spam blacklisted worldwide)
    2. The CV Site
    3. CVBrowser.com
    4. The CV Bank
    5. AlexaData
    6. Right-CV
    7. Data Sales UK
    8. Check4 Ltd (another dissolved company)
    9. Gumtree-Jobs (another dissolved company)
    10. Total CVs
    11. Adview.co.uk

    Other associated companies are:

    1. UKStaffSearch
    2. London4Jobs

    My guess is that this is their way of signing up with TotalJobs and Reed to obtain the CVs that they are then scraping for information for marketing purposes.

    At NO point in time has anyone who is contacted by any of these companies given a Formal Expression of Permission to them via a CheckBox to say that they permit them to use their details for marketing purposes.

    Arthur, yes you are right they got reported and got away with a slap on the wrist but…. I too have a formal complaint in front of the Information Commissioner about this group of companies and the way that they have illegally obtained and marketed my information.

    I have also spoken to the Advertising Standards Authority yesterday and will be forwarding them all the information and proof that I have obtained, including lists of directors that exist on multiple companies above and are involved with UKStaffSearch. The names, addresses and company registrations of the various companies.

    They made a big mistake stealing my information and selling it, along with hundreds of thousands of other UK nationals. We have a right to privacy and a right to protection under the Data Protection Act 1998, but although the above companies all say that they observe the DPA 1998 and EC Directive 2003 – they are all flouting those laws because they think we won’t fight back.

    Sorry about the length of this post but these people need to be exposed.

  21. Thank you Zulfikar!
    I’m another job seeker that almost got duped into parting with my hard earned cash. I recognise that my CV is not the best it could be and at 50, I need a killer CV to get those all important interviews!
    I was very tempted to go with The CV Site as the email seemed both genuine and pretty accurate. Thankfully I checked first and found my way here. The only good news is that I have now decided that I really must get my CV professionally reviewed. At least now I will look for a recommended site or individual and be proactive and not reactive.
    If you or anyone can suggest a good site or service I’d be grateful to hear.
    Thanks again! Great work.

  22. Not sure if this thread is still live but I just got a mail today from CV Bank saying that an ‘associate company’ had passed my CV to them & they were going to distribute it nationally. I’ve never heard of them or given my permission. I tired calling the phone number on the email several times but it just goes to a recorded message saying all operators are busy.

    1. Hi Billy, seems a spider web of companies/dodgy outfits obtaining/selling/buying peoples personal details and CV information. I’ve taken some actions myself but the Data Protection organisation here is pretty slow, like a lumbering giant, i’m also aware of other people also taking action and in some instances getting compensation too.

  23. And yet another scam I am discovering, in addition to having my cv distributed without permission to the lowest rent job sites and therefore my inbox flooded with witless crap on a daily basis.

    I suddenly started getting marketing calls daily from two companies who when I answer, address me by name. Research I’ve done by running the number who called online is that the latest wheeze, these “marketers” (read scum) are harvesting names and numbers from your online cv.

    I never get an answer when I ask where they got my name from.

    There are some lowlife shit heads about. Beware.

  24. We are so glad we came across this site.
    We are about to launch a huge job site and we were looking at potential partners when we spotted this thread about CV Site & others.

    Its appalling when CV / Job sites behave like this, it give us all a bad name.
    We are also about to launch our review service and we have 3 ex-recruitment sector journalists on our panel of writers.

    I won’t advertise here though

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