For those who would prefer not to write their own resumes, hiring a resume writer becomes the next challenge.
Do you go with the cheapest? The one with the biggest/flashiest internet ad? The one who guarantees the moon?
Here are a few points to keep in mind when you’re searching for a resume writer:
1. Is the individual certified to write resumes?
This is an important factor. Not all resume writers are created equal. The industry isn’t regulated; therefore, anyone can ‘hang out a shingle’, claiming they’re a resume writing expert.
A true professional will belong to or work for a company that belongs to the Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARW) – the industry’s gold standard. The PARW has a certification program, granting the CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) designation to an individual that passes its rigorous test. Not everyone passes on the first try. The test materials are difficult and comprehensive.
2. Is the individual charging too little or too much?
A lunch at your favorite restaurant shouldn’t cost you more than a professionally written resume. If it does, then the individual doing the work most likely isn’t a seasoned professional. Nor should the service cost as much as a mortgage payment no matter how many years the resume writer has in the field. Check out various sites and you’ll soon determine the average price of a resume. Stick with those companies that most closely match the norm. Not too high; not too low.
3. Is the service a member of the Better Business Bureau or other agencies that keep track of customer satisfaction?
If not, move on to the next company. If a company is a member of the BBB, check out their track record with complaints. Do they resolve them readily?
4. Does the writer or writers have industry experience?
Not only experience in writing resumes, but in the client’s particular industry. Not everyone understands Information Technology or Engineering. If you hire a resume writer who has no idea of the jargon or nuances of your industry, especially if it’s technical, then you’re in trouble.
5. Does the site guarantee the moon?
Something like getting a job in 30 days- guaranteed. Or getting interviews with the resume despite the horrible economy or the fact that industry jobs are being outsourced to foreign countries.
Use common sense when it comes to guarantees. No service can promise every one of its clients that they’ll get a job. That’s just not practical. If they have 20 marketing clients and only two jobs are available, then that means 18 of their clients are going to be turned down. Resumes, no matter how professionally they’re written, can’t guarantee an interview. There are many other factors at work, including whether the individual has the perfect skills for the job. Be wary of too-good-to-be-true guarantees.
6. Great ads don’t make for the best service.
Just because a resume writing company has catchy, intriguing ads or a dynamite site doesn’t mean their service is right for you. As a smart consumer, you still need to determine if their writers have knowledge of your industry, if the service is priced competitively and if they’re a member of an organization like the PARW or BBB.
You’ve chosen your career steps wisely. Now, it’s time to use the same due diligence with the individual or company that will craft your resume.