We all have our own unique talents. None of us can do everything well. When a pipe breaks we call a plumber. When we need surgery we go to a surgeon. When we need legal advice we find a lawyer. Why don’t we do these things ourselves? Because they are the experts in their field and, in the long run, we get better and more professional results saving us a lot of trial and error, time and money.
Sure, you can buy a resume computer program or read books on how to write your own resume. Every program and every book has its own slant and advice. How do you know what to accept and what to reject? The professional knows what works and what doesn’t.
To get that job you want, it takes more than just writing a resume. It takes a carefully thought out strategy to position you above your competition. A professional resume writer knows how to target your resume to achieve maximum results emphasizing your unique talents, achievements, and accomplishments. He knows what to include and what to exclude. He knows how to phrase it. He is current on the trends in the field. What was acceptable ten years ago was not acceptable five years ago; and what was the norm five years ago is not the norm today. Resume preparation is an ever-changing field.
Once the resume is completed, the professional knows what avenues to use to effectively market you. It may be a direct mail campaign to certain companies, contacting specific recruiters, and/or posting your resume on the Internet. It can include networking. It may be developing a compelling cover letter to respond to an ad in a newspaper. It could be assistance with interviewing. His knowledge and resources are endless. He takes you by the hand to expedite your job search that encompasses far more than just writing a resume. A true resume professional is dedicated to the field.
Originally published at ResumExpress.com
In most areas of the country you will be overwhelmed by the number of resume services listed in your Yellow Pages. Searching for a service on the Internet is even more daunting of a task. By and large resume writing is an unregulated field. Anyone can hang out a sign that says “Resume Service”. How do you determine which ones are good? You need to ask the same questions of all of them and then compare the answers.
1. How long have you been in this business?
The longer a person has been in this business, the more likely he is dedicated to and current with the art of resume writing.
2. Is this a full-time business?
If it is a full-time business, they probably know what they are doing and have to care about the quality of work they do. Otherwise, they would have found something else to do to earn a living. If they are moonlighting or part-time, they may not have the resources to assist you which a full-time service has; and they may not have the time to stay current in the field. A full-time, full-service business will normally have a laser printer, a fax machine, and 24-hour voice mail. Part-timers and price-cutters usually cannot afford this type of equipment.
3. How many resumes have you personally written?
On the average, a resume writer can handle no more than ten resumes a week. Most are more comfortable with five to seven a week. The maximum number a year would be 500+/-. However, most writers are not consistently overbooked. If someone tells you they have been in business for five years and have written over 7,000 resumes in that time, you can be pretty sure they are either using a computer program creating boilerplate resumes or they just picked that number out of thin air.
It takes the average resume writer anywhere from one to six hours to fully develop an effective resume based on the degree of difficulty. That does not include consultation time with the client.
4. What are your credentials?
The answers to this question can vary widely. The resume writer may have been a recruiter, a human resources manager, a career counselor, taught English and writing, and so on. Writing resumes for a few friends is not an acceptable answer. Merely having a college degree is not an acceptable answer.
5. Are you a member of a professional association?
There are three associations in the field: the National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA), the Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARW), and Career Directors International (CDI). All associations provide their memberships with the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of the job search field. All send out newsletters. Two host annual conferences. All offer resources that are hard to find for nonmembers. NRWA is the only professional association that is not owned by someone. It is a member-driven non-profit organization.
6. Are you certified?
There are a number of associations that offer certification in resume writing. The National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA) offers the Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW) status. The idea behind certification is to provide some way for the public to judge the ability of a resume writer before they hire him/her. An NCRW has to maintain that certification via continuing education every three years. At the present time there are less than 40 NCRWs nationally. Certification shows that the resume writer has a high enough skill level to pass the certification process. There are many good resume writers who are not certified and do not belong to a professional association, but belonging to an association and having certifications are good indications that you are dealing with a professional.
7. Can you supply references, testimonials, and samples of your work?
This can be a very sticky area even for a good resume writer. With a global market, due to the Internet, many writers will not give references as they do not want clients to be harassed by resume shoppers. However, a good resume writer will be able to provide samples of their work and offer LinkedIn recommendations from satisfied customers.
8. Are you available? What are your hours?
If they are available only from 7:00 to 9:00 in the evening, you can be pretty sure they are part-timers. If you get an answering machine / voice mail, leave a message. See how long it takes them to get back to you. A good resume writer cannot always answer the phone due to consultations with clients. Some have regular office hours of 9 AM to 5 PM, and others have flexible hours to meet the needs of their clients with evening and weekend appointments.
These questions are a starting point to help you weed out the novices and the fly-by-nighters. Compare the answers from all of the services you contact and then decide which one is right for you. If they refuse to answer some of the questions or try to change the topic–beware. There is a reason why they do not want to answer them.
Originally published at ResumExpress.com
Resume writing is labor intensive. It takes anywhere from two to eight hours to complete a resume and that does not include client consultation time. There is a great deal of strategizing involved in the development of a resume as well as the expertise that I have and that is reflected in the pricing.
I have been developing “long distance” resumes for many years. I ask that you submit two ads that are indicative of the position you really want to obtain, as that helps me target the resume. Much of the process is handled via email, but we do also speak on the telephone if you purchase a package that includes consultation.
You send me your existing resume, plus two ads that are indicative of your target position. I will email an assessment to you, along with a price quote. If you do not have an existing resume, send me an email that includes your previous positions, companies, and dates of employment, as well as a small description about each job. I will review the information that you provided and email a price quote to you. If you decide to continue, I will call or email for additional information.
College Grad or Entry Level
Mid Level Management Positions
High Tech or Engineer Positions
Senior Management Positions
Senior Level Executives
Resume price in each package includes:
• An in-depth phone interview (lasts about one hour) to obtain information to develop your resume. The phone interview is meant to begin preparing you for interviewing. Phone interviews, at my expense, are for U.S. based clients only. Many clients have said that this exercise has helped them enormously during the interviewing process. There may be an additional charge if the call goes over one hour.
• Resume provided electronically in Word 97-2003 format. The Word 97-2003 version of your resume can be read by even the most recent releases of Word. In other words, a .doc file can be read by .docx versions but a .docx file cannot be read by versions 97-2003. You don’t know what version employers or recruiters are using to read your resume, so I save as the 1997-2003 version.
• Please allow 10-15 business days for your first draft.
For an additional $185, receive the resume above plus:
• A custom cover letter that you can modify and use for multiple jobs. You need a custom cover letter for each job you apply for.
• An ASCII version of your resume and cover letter, which can be posted on the internet and used in email.
• A PDF version of your resume.
• A combo version in Word and ASCII of the cover letter and resume as one file or document.
• Please allow 10-15 business days for your first draft.
The cover letters I produce get read. As a result, your resume is read. Cover letters are unique and do their job. I am normally able to create one cover letter that can be used in almost all situations. It is ‘custom’ to you alone.
If the letter is going to a recruiter, is in response to an ad, is a broadcast letter, or is for networking purposes I provide you with appropriate versions of your cover letter. Cost: $222
A one page document that you can “leave behind” after an interview. It succinctly summarizes your experience in a very visual manner. It is not meant to be sent with a resume and is not ATS compliant. It is a way to keep the attention of the interviewers long after the interview. Cost: $300
More than 92% of recruiters are actively using Linkedin to search for candidates. Let me know if you need help with the wording. Cost: $200