Resume Writing Services: How to Hire and Work with a Professional Resume Writer?
Depending on the industry, job search can last 3-10 months. A professionally written resume is a small investment compared to the value it delivers. Given that an average online job ad receives 100-300+ applicants, hiring a resume writer can help you stand out from the competition and land the interviews you want. Resume writers can also recommend career development strategies that you can use to make your resume work.
Professional resume writing services are mostly online businesses where you get to work with your career coach or resume writer remotely – via email, phone, or video conferencing. It is important to understand how to hire a resume writer so you can work with the right professional who will choose the resume format and strategy for your goals.
What do certified professional resume writers do?
Resume writers have knowledge of the latest trends in hiring processes, ATS software, and resume expectations. As these trends evolve, professional resume writers stay up-to-date on industry developments and design the resume structure to highlight all your measurable achievements, articulate your unique professional offer, and leave you with the resume format that you can easily update in the future. They will also make sure your resume is ATS-compatible.
Together, you will focus on high-value content (your results) and remove unnecessary or outdated information to position you as the right match for your target roles.
A resume writer usually starts by analyzing your target positions, understanding key requirements and expectations, and asking you specific questions to gather the missing data. This can be done in writing through questionnaires or on the phone.
In addition to providing you with an effective, highly readable resume, a professional resume writer can offer suggestions on how to approach the job application process in your specific situation: how to follow up with employers, update and use your LinkedIn profile, and network effectively.
How is resume writing different from resume editing?
Professional resume writers are career strategists; they interview clients to understand their career goals, ask customized questions to collect measurable achievements, and work with the clients to analyze why their job applications in the past did not result in desired interview invitations. With a background in recruiting or HR, resume writers also equip their clients with job search, follow-up, and negotiation tools.
An editor would likely assume that all of this content work was already done by their clients. Editors are not career professionals; they are language professionals who can check your text for format, clarity, style, grammar, and consistency.
What makes a resume writing service credible?
Do your homework before signing up for a service. Check the resume writer’s LinkedIn profile, website, certifications, testimonials, memberships, resume samples, and awards.
Many resume writing services offer a free introductory call, during which you can voice your goals and see if this can be a beginning of a personalized relationship for you. Look at their website: are the answers to your initial questions easy to find? Are the rates and steps of the process clear?
Assess their approach. You should be part of a collaborative process where your career goals and target roles are at the center. Based on your needs and goals, your resume writer will ask you specific and strategic questions from the perspective of your target employers, focusing on your unique professional offer and measurable achievements.
What resume writing credentials are there? Where can I find a resume writer?
Professional resume writers, career coaches, and interview coaches usually have memberships in the following industry associations and may have the following certifications:
Career Professionals of Canada (CPC) issues Certified Résumé Strategist Certification (CRS)
National Résumé Writers’ Association (NRWA) issues Nationally Certified Resume Writer Certification (NCRW)
Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC) issues Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
Career Thought Leaders administers a program for resume writers called Resume Writing Academy (RWA). It issues ACRW Academy Certified Resume Writer Certification. The organization runs a number of other certification programs.
All of these organizations have directory listings for their members, where you can review their specializations, websites, and client testimonials. You can also search for a resume writer on LinkedIn.
How much do resume writing services cost?
Depending on the package and career history, resume writing services can cost anywhere from $250 to $3,000+. Avoid inexpensive services under $250 or ‘resume builder’ offers; their strategic approach may be limited, and the service may be focusing on simply reformatting the resume in a more superficial manner.
In a 2017 article for Career Professionals of Canada, the authors surveyed Canadian resume writers. Rates ranged from $250 CAD to $1,000 CAD.
Research by Career Thought Leaders indicates the range from $350 USD to $3,000 USD.
Executive resume writing services usually start at $600 USD.
Resume writing services are usually non-refundable and paid in advance. Be sure to understand the components of your resume package and clarify the next steps, if necessary.
What does a typical resume package include?
Resume packages are customized. A basic package would usually include a resume and a cover letter. In addition, you can ask for follow-up letters, thank you letters, references sheet, executive bio, LinkedIn profile development, and/or career coaching sessions.
Your final documents may be delivered in several resume formats: MS Word, PDF, and ATS resume (.txt document) for ATS applications online.
Resume writers may also offer career advice on how to apply for jobs or resume tips for the future.
What is the difference between a resume and a cover letter?
A resume informs your reader about your career history and measurable results. The resume structure is designed to highlight your achievements in a way that is easy to skim. A cover letter persuades and sets the tone for the dialogue (a subsequent job interview). It highlights specific examples relevant to a particular target role and shows your reader that you understand the employer’s needs. It is also a great place to talk about your passion for this particular role and company – why do you want to work there and what do you know about them at this point?
What is the process of working with a resume writer like?
Professional resume writers will ask you questions to determine your career goals, unique skills, and measurable accomplishments. They will focus on highlighting what makes you different and showing your potential employers the value that you deliver. Professional resume help aims to replace general task descriptions with specific results that will get you interview invitations. In this way, you are also establishing more clarity about your unique differentiators and strengths.
Very often, employees deliver excellent results but do not document them on resumes. Instead, they copy and paste task-oriented position descriptions that do not tell potential employers about such crucial skills as leadership, strategic planning, process improvement, budgeting, project management, or commitment to growth. A resume writer will make sure that your skills are clear and supported with specific examples from your career history.
How will my new resume perform? Are there any guarantees?
Some resume writing companies offer a 30- or 60-day interview guarantee. If you do not get interview invitation, they may offer to rewrite your resume. Resume writers do not guarantee employment or job search success because of the variables of a specific industry, candidate effort, and other factors outside of the writer’s control and at the discretion of the employer.
It is important to understand that your resume will be a crisp, professionally written document that will be easy to read and will stand out among other resumes. It is one of the first steps of a more complex process where you need to be in charge. A professionally written resume will likely be noticed and result in interview requests.
What you do with your resume and how you use it to reach decision-makers is entirely up to you. Learn more about networking, following up, and preparing for job interviews to be successful at every step of your job application process. Much of your success depends on your effort and understanding of your career development process as encompassing other skills and components like interviewing, negotiating, professional development, networking via LinkedIn, researching target companies, and selecting job ads strategically (vs. doing a ‘resume spray’).
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