what do you think?

  cvcomposer 22:17 16 Nov 03
Locked

Hi,

Trying to make a few £'s in my spare time writing cv's, spreadsheets & databases.

Comments please on content/design and suggestions are welcome for 'low outlay' advertising for the site.

Thanks
NJ

  cvcomposer 22:20 16 Nov 03

The address is

click here

  PurplePenny 23:00 16 Nov 03

The background is very distracting and makes the text quite hard to read. Why have you used that strange text layout? It looks rather like blank verse.

A couple of typos which might put off potential customers:

"spreadsheet’s" - this one is on your homepage, you got it right everywhere else so it is a shame to have such a glaring mistake right there on the first page anyone sees. I'm not sure about "CV's" - it could be argued that the apostrophe is being used in place of the missing letters but as CV is an abbreviation anyway I'd be inclined to just write CVs.

"Not sure how this is done!" - this would get me talking to my monitor :-) after all if you're not sure how it's done why are you offering to do it for others?

Penny

  Talented Monkey 23:06 16 Nov 03

A little warning before I begin I am not going to be very kind bout your site. Don’t take it personally!

My first reaction on seeing your site was yuck! It has too much of a Geocities feel, along with it IS a Geocities hosted site.

I wont go into long lectures, but I will just say the following changes will greatly improve your site:

Get rid of frames, or at least the frame border particularly for top banner.

Change to plain background, text is very hard to read over background text and my eyes keep on jumping on the background text CV-composer etc..this should be very pale just a shade different to the background colour like a watermark effect

Create some sort of good looking text or graphic for a page title even if it’s a 3d effect graphic. There are some good trial packages and I even remember an old version of xara3d was given away on a Pcadvisor disk a while ago

Put some sort of images on the home page to show what you can do and what site is about its very plain and boring. Oh and buttons are not very good either, and one appears to be missing.

Finally no one will take you seriously by being hosted on geocities. Geocities is designed for personal sites. Anyone promoting a business, company or organization on one of these free hosting sites should be shot. So spend a few pound get yourself a decent hosting package, you wont need anything huge for your site, the lowest packages should suffice, and get yourself a proper domain name. All this should not cost you anymore than £50 for the year. Most allow you to pay monthly so first month should only see you pay out £20 for domain name and 1st month hosting, not even that for some sites.

And as for advertising see comments, particularly mine on the thread “getting people to see my website.”

Apart from that with a bit of perseverance and continual constructive criticism from everyone here you should get your site looking spot on and your business flourishing! Others have had damming criticism to start with only to keep coming back for more and ended up with worthy professional sites.

  barryoneoff.co.uk 23:31 16 Nov 03

but I have to agree with most of the above replies.

The frames are not necessary, with a smaller font the whole home page would fit comfortably in an 800x600 window and still be readable. The flashing menus are (to me) yuk! Lastly, the diagonal logos stand out more than the content.

Ask yourself, if you needed a CV or database, is this the site you would choose?

Plainer and more business like. You are not advertising what you can do with with website tricks and gimmicks.

Sorry to criticise, but believe me, I have been through it and improved my site no end by listening to what this forum's members said.

Good luck, Whiz...

  Forum Editor 00:31 17 Nov 03

in saying that I found your site far too 'busy', and the layout very distracting.

If you're offering a serious service - and you are - then you must do so via a serious site, one that looks as if it has been designed by someone who knows his/her subject. PurplePenny's comment about your "not sure how this is done" staement is absolutely spot on - if you don't know how it's done you shouldn't be asking people to pay you for a service.

Your choice of font is unfortunate, and adds to the 'My first website' look. Go for one of the web-friendly fonts like Verdana or Tahoma, and keepthe point size down. Remove the very distracting background and let the text speak for itself on a white ground. Stick to one or two fonts, and kill the animated buttons and links completely. Include a separate page where you outline your privacy policy clearly and properly - if people are to give you information for their CVs you'll need to register as a data controller with the Information Commissioner - cost about £45 or so a year.

I'm sure that you know your stuff when it comes to the services you offer, but as it stands, your site wouldn't convince me. Rethink it from the bottom up and don't be discouraged - everyone here (including me) would probably rather forget their first ever attempt at site design.

  Taran 10:00 17 Nov 03

If you changed your "Not sure how this is done!" sentence to "Not sure how this is done ?", you'd be asking your potential clients if they knew the processes involved and implying by your following senetence that you'd be their guide in teaching them "how to update and maintain the system".

click here for a really nice, fast and professional CV site based here in the UK. A quick search through Google will give you links to tons more along similar lines. Take a look at how these sites work - in particular, note the understated and restrained design, the WHITE background and consistent text from page to page.

You could do worse than provide links to many of the free CV information sites. The BBC website, your local and national government sites, possibly your local library and college/university sites and may others will have tutorial articles, how-to features and editorials on the importance of getting a CV right. Provide people with some well thought out supportive reading concetntrating on how important a good CV is rather than the how-to artciles. It pads out your site a bit and lends weight to your argument that you should be the one they choose to provide your services.

I'd think of getting rid of your qualification statement as well. Without wanting to offend, your IBT 2 is not the be all and end all that people will be looking for. Providing a client list would be more beneficial - not specific names and whatnot, more along the lines of you do work for this organisation, or that private sector or this profession or that career...

Your sample spreadsheet image needs to be crisp and clear, so you need to re-scan or screencapture and keep a higher resolution. A poor image lets any page down and this is especially true when it is supposed to showcase your work.

In terms of getting site traffic, you could try posting your information at your local library, college, university and jobcentre (plus all related government retraining centres).

Finally you have to keep in mind that anyone who knows anything at all about a CV will realise that they can either pay you once and get a general CV that is a kind of shotgun approach to jobhunting and by this definition is less likely to succeed, or they can pay for every CV to be prepared based on job and person specification for an individual position which is how a CV should be prepared. This is where things could get expensive for your clients and any jobcentre or college careers advice centre will be telling people exactly that; to repare a CV based on job and person specification on an individual basis for each job they apply for.

Your services certainly have possibilities, so it's not all doom and gloom. Your site, with a thorough overhaul and a dedicated hosting package, could provide you with a steady stream of incoming enquiries too. Take a look at the competition and don't try and go head to head with them; learn from them and how their sites are layed out, how they offer their services and any links to resources and so on.

Good luck with it, and post your site address again when you've had a look at it.

Regards

Taran

  tomleady 15:57 17 Nov 03

get rid of those awful links, you have to!

i dont want to be harsh, but i have to argree with the above. if you want frames (they can be useful), then at least remove the actual frame border. and make the colours more consistent and get rid of the background.

to be honest, I havent even bothered trying to read the info you have.

Sorry! just keep trying and it'll start to look top notch soon! and you'll feel really proud of it aswell!

  cvcomposer 17:51 18 Nov 03

PurplePenny, Talented Monkey, barryoneoff.co.uk, Forum Editor, Taran & tomleady.

I have read all you comments and will take them all on-board, I will admit, some have been said before.
I will probably move more towards the spreadsheets & databases, away a little from the cvs.

Early days for me, but if I do succeed it will in part be thanks to you!

Nick

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