A very good friend of mine, Dawn Bugni, who is a certified resume writer has written a great post in response to a “resume-writers-rip-you-off claim.” I began to comment on her blog, and, well, you see here how long that comment became. To summarize, someone scornfully advised job seekers that resume writers are all ripping them off. Instead of sharing their unfortunate experience and perhaps advising job seekers to perform due diligence before hiring a resume writer, they chose to scare job seekers away from resume writers (and probably closer to something they are offering). Tsk, tsk. No. I am not linking to their post; I don’t want to do them any favors. :-)
Here is what I have to say about that: You cannot pile all resume writers into one category. Unfortunately, it is true that there are resume writers who are not providing stellar documents. Every industry has its slackers but that should never discredit the entire industry. But then again, who are these less-than-perfect resume writers? Are they top-tier writers in our industry or some who just recently self-proclaimed themselves resume writers?
To add another layer to this discussion, allow me to remind everyone that the resume is ONE tool. No resume, not even if it could literally fly onto the desk of a hiring manager—can capture a job for you. The strategy is that the resume compels the reader over other qualified candidates and open doors to opportunities. The rest is up to the job seeker. Hence, you may need a job search /interview coach also.
Another layer: remember when you receive your new resume that you are not the best judge of whether you received an effective resume or not (neither are your friends). I recommend you actually allow your new resume to penetrate the job search market for a few months and then cast your judgment. A truly talented resume writer is trained and committed to crafting documents that will gain you an interview by catering to the needs of your future employer and NOT yours. STOP…Again. By catering to the needs of your future employer and NOT yours.
If the resume writer can knock-your-socks-off prior to you attaining interviews, excellent! However, the ultimate person to please is your future employer. Your satisfaction with your resume writer should initially be determined based on the quality of services and the construction of a document that is notches above yours; eventually and ultimately on whether it brought more positive attention to your job search.
Questions to Ask Your Resume Writer Before Hiring Them
With that said, the best steps a job seeker can take before hiring a resume writer is to research and interview the resume writer:
1. How many years of experience does this resume writer have?
2. What kind of professional training?
3. Any certifications?
4. Which organizations provide these certifications and what is the process? Research the organization also.
5. Does the resume writer have testimonials with more than just initials?
6. Is this resume writer published in career books? Testament that they are committed to the career industry.
7. Has the resume writer written articles to inform job seekers? If so, read their content and identify quality.
8. Will the resume writer be the one writing the resume and not someone else who is new? While many successful resume writers need assistance with workload, credible and seasoned resume writers usually hire competent and experienced help; and they are usually involved every step of the way, approving, guiding, and editing at the very least.
9. Send the resume writer a copy of your resume and ask for a consultation to determine if you two are the best fit (not tips to improve your resume on your own).
10. Does the resume writer have an online presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs? This speaks of their passion, qualifications, and involvement.
11. Google them! Do you find any executive resume writing reviews?
12. Call them. Don’t just limit your search by email unless you are the type of person that does not like phone calls (but in this case you are in real trouble when it comes to job searching so you will need interview coaching too).
To reiterate, once you have performed your research and hired an expert –you have to trust them. If you request hundreds of drafts based on what YOU think is best, you have guided your writer back to your original resume; then, who can you blame but yourself for the end-result?
If I find that my clients need changes that I don’t agree with I usually will warn them before proceeding and may request they sign a contract, which states they have been advised and wish to continue with their expert techniques and not mine. Many choose not to make changes and thank me later for being so upfront. But, some writers may not push back that much. They may just give you what you want which is not to say they don’t care but they just have a different customer service style. So trust the expert.
Professional Resume Writing Brings Success
I cannot tell you how many times a client has come to me with a mediocre resume and NO job leads. After I transformed their resume into a compelling marketing document (instead of a history report), they not only captured interviews—but also attained a job in a tough job market and could pay their bills and take care of their families. That type of peace of mind is gained by ensuring you have marketed yourself the best you can. That is worth a little research and investing in the right job seeker marketer (a professional resume writer).
Summary: Why a Resume Writer and NOT You
In closing this long post (sorry), you have to ask yourself the following: Can I write a better resume for myself than someone who has trained, been tested by a panel of judges, writes resumes daily, has access to a network of resume writers, resources to craft my resume, enters resume contest (yes. We actually enter contests), nurtures ongoing training, and has seen my competition’s resume? I bet the answer is… no way! And guess what. You cannot afford to take that chance. While you contemplate if you can write a better resume for yourself than someone who does it for a living can—your competition hired a professional and they are interviewing already.
As always, my contact information is below:
Rosa Elizabeth Vargas
Master Resume Writer