If you’ve decided to enlist the aid of a professional resume writer in your job search, you should know what this type of service can and cannot do for you.
Don’t expect the impossible from a resume writer or service
This would include the following:
1. For any resume writer or service to guarantee you an interview or a job. Even if the economy wasn’t in such poor shape, a resume writing service has no control over your resume once it’s delivered to you. If you’re applying for jobs for which you are overqualified or under-qualified, then you won’t be invited to interview. If your industry is contracting, rather than expanding, then your chances of success go down no matter how great your resume is. If you give up and don’t use it, you’re guaranteed failure.
2. Guess as to what you want. If you have no idea where you’re heading, don’t expect a resume writer to know the answer. Asking someone to craft a resume without a firm plan as to the job you’re seeking is like asking someone to jump into a car on the West Coast and tell them to drive to a location in Manhattan without the use of a map. They may get there, eventually, but the journey will be a long and arduous one.
3. Fabricate data. Resume writers work from what clients give them. If you provide little to no data about your professional experience, they can go to the government’s Occupational Handbook and look up your job title and see what you’re supposed to be doing. However, all they can do is ask – “Did you do this? Or this? Or this?” Don’t expect them to read your mind. Give them all the data they need to work with.
4. Match the style you believe is best. Every writer has a unique style. Some you may prefer over others. That doesn’t mean the less preferred style affects the quality of the resume. The content is what’s most important, along with its organization. Just because a resume writer uses one word when you prefer another doesn’t mean that a hiring manager will reject you. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hiring managers and recruiters look at the whole picture, not one word or a series of words.
5. Be available 24/7. With any service you engage, you have to be realistic in terms of the time you expect from the writer. If you’re demanding round-the-clock service for the least amount of dollars, you will be disappointed. Only services that cost clients thousands of dollars will be able to provide a level of constant service, and even these businesses won’t work with any one client forever.
What to expect from a reputable resume writing service
1. The terms of the service clearly stated on the website – eg: cost, turnaround time, any service guarantees, etc.
2. A level of professionalism indicated either by the writers being CPRWs (Certified Professional Resume Writers) or by the company being a member of the PARW (Professional Association of Resume Writers).
3. A clear idea of what the service provides in terms of business documents. The best way to show this is for the service to provide work samples on the site.
4. Membership and a high rating with the BBB.
5. Longevity of service. If a company has been around for more than ten years, then it’s doing something right.
6. One-on-one contact with your editor. This can be by email/IM/phone. Phone is preferred.
To make your resume writing or editing process a success, keep these points in mind before you hire anyone to work on your business document.