When you want a resume that will get your phone ringing with calls from hiring managers who are salivating to interview you for jobs you’d die for — how do you know who to hire?
The resume writing industry is not regulated. The internet is crawling with wannabe and would-be resume writers who’d love to take your cash and give you a garbage resume in return, written in broken English on a template, like thousands of other resumes they crank out daily in resume mills for $99 each.
Or maybe they’ll take one you already have and just re-key it into another format. You may be laughing, but hey, it happens every day to folks who aren’t thoughtful and wary of web advertising and careful how they pick a resume writer. Your resume is one of the most important documents of your life. It should represent you extremely well.
The good news? There are great writers out there, waiting for your resume assignment. You can find one using these steps. Follow these tips and you can’t fail.
1. Read online ads analytically and critically. Don’t believe assertions that aren’t backed up by believable proofs. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Beware especially of pushy advertising based on dark emotions, garish graphics, and strange formatting. And guarantees that are so good they’re obviously ridiculous. Nobody can guarantee you’ll be hired based on a resume, even if a master writes it.
2. Understand what pricing is reasonable and customary in the legitimate resume industry. Be ready to pay a fair price for value received. The most frequent victim of a resume scam is someone whos’s trying to get something for less than it’s really worth. Remember, the cost of your resume is an investment in your future success.
3. Interview the writer on the phone. Listen to how they speak and ask them questions about their background, like how they became a resume writer, who they have written for, and what their process is. Trust your feelings. If the person sounds credible and intelligent, great. If they don’t sound like someone you’d like to introduce you to your next boss, move on.
4. Review some sample resumes. Start with the writer’s own resume. Then check out a couple they have written for others. Would you hire the individuals who are represented by the samples? If not, why expect someone to hire you based on that writer’s work?
5. Don’t use an online resume mill. You are not like everyone else. Your resume can’t be done well by someone who pops them out like biscuits. Get a real writer — someone who makes a living by writing based on specific research. Probably someone with a degree in English or writing.
6. You can’t really completely hire out the responsibility of creating your perfect resume. Expect to stay involved and provide lots of answers to the writer’s questions.
7. The writer should be doing research and you are the only source of all the detailed data they will need to represent you well. Expect (and check for) a rational, organized process. The writer should have you fill out forms and send any old resumes. They should also interview you by phone and ask you a lot of relevant questions. They should be able to explain what they do and why they do it.
8. What questions are they asking you? To write well for you, the writer needs to gather specific kinds of information. They should be asking you questions like these:
What important qualifications does the job require?
What are your best and highest qualifications?
Tell me about the high points of your career.
Is there anything we should keep in the background?
What about you stands out that will help win the job?
Describe your best skills and greatest expertise.
Do you also have minor qualifications that are relevant?
Are there personal traits that make you a good fit?
What have you accomplished that you’re proud of?
Can we express any of your qualifications numerically?
How did you develop your particular skills?
What do people in your field find impressive?
Have you accomplished things in those areas?
Is there any special language that is frequently used in your field?
And so on.
9. Does the writer offer all the documentation and help you need? There’s a lot more required to get a job than just a resume. Do they also write your cover letters, follow up letters, references sheet, and salary history? Do they offer you an elevator speech to help you promote yourself? Do they coach you on how to use all parts of your job change documentation to your best advantage?
10. What are the writer’s special qualifications? Have they written for people like you? Do they have experience with writing persuasively, perhaps with some form of marketing? Do they speak about resumes to groups? Do they have experience as a hiring manager so they understand how people who make staffing decisions think?
When it comes to your resume, quality control is up to you. The best assurance of quality in your resume is in the skill and integrity of your resume writer. You deserve a writer who’s a cut above — the kind who’d be chosen by a CEO or other executive. Check your writer out carefully. Don’t settle for less than one who truly captures exactly who you are professionally and how you’re qualified for the job you want.