Are you being conned by a Professional Resume Writer?

Ange Connor

Have you ever considered getting some professional assistance with your resume? As the employment market gets more and more competitive standing out from the crowd with a first class resume is crucial and engaging a professional to help you get your resume perfect is common practice. But how do you know if you are getting the expertise you need and are paying for?

Flick through the jobs section of your local paper and you’ll see adverts promoting professional resume writing services. Search google or Facebook or LinkedIn and you’ll find plenty of professional resume writing experts. Contact employment agencies or recruitment agencies and the majority of them will have some sort of resume assistance service.

With resume writing professionals popping up everywhere, what does it take to be a professional resume writer and how do you know if you are engaging the services of an expert or simply a fly by night-er who thinks writing resumes is a great way to make some extra money? There are no qualifications for resume writers. Should your resume writing professional have a qualification in writing or do you want some with their finger on the pulse; who reads resumes every day and knows what employers, recruiters and hiring managers are looking for when they screen resumes? At the end of the day it comes down to personal preference and making a connection with the resume writer is pretty important; after all, they are writing your work history, they are telling your story – they need to get you and connect with you.

If you’re considering engaging a professional resume writer here are the best top 7 criteria to assess them on before letting them write your resume:

  1. Do they have a relevant work history? What makes them an expert in writing resumes? When submitting a job application, the resume is key in getting you from the application stage to the interview. A professional resume writer should know what the everyday resume looks like in the current market and should have the expertise to help you stand out from the crowd. Is your resume writer sitting on the other side of the desk from time to time? Are they screening resumes, do they know what employers want and look for in a resume?
  2. Do they have experience in your industry and/or specific line of work? A job seeker applying for an administration role will require a different skill set from their resume writer than a Mechanical Engineer. Ask your resume writer what they know about your specific line of work, position and industry. It’s a fine line between using too much industry terminology versus underselling your skills and expertise. If a professional resume writer knows your industry and profession they will be able to effectively help you pitch your resume in the right manner to highlight your specific skills and expertise while making sure that everyone from the recruiter to the Engineering Manager and CEO can interpret your resume.
  3. How do they keep their finger on the pulse? Change is constant in every industry and every job in today’s world. Resume writing is no different. How is your professional resume writer keeping up with the latest resume trends, techniques and technologies? Professional development is crucial and understanding how your professional resume writer keeps their skills sharp and current will give you good insight in to how seriously they take their profession. For any interview you attend you can guarantee the interviewer will ask you about your qualifications and what investment you have made to your professional development. Don’t hesitate to ask this question of your professional resume writer. It might not be about the qualification piece of paper, instead it might be about their industry associations and memberships or even what blogs they subscribe to that are relevant to the resumes they write.
  4. How will they personalise your resume? If you are going to get a stock standard resume template that looks exactly the same as the resume they wrote for their last client then you might as well save your money and download a template from the internet. This is even more crucial in a regional area such as Ballarat. You’d be surprised how often I’ve been screening resumes and I can pick which professional resume writer has written which candidate resume. Being a sheep and following the crowd with the same resume template will not help you stand out from the crowd.
  5. Can they provide testimonials? This one is straight forward. If they are good at what they do they will be happy to provide referees or testimonials from previous clients.
  6. Are they going to do your resume for you or are they going to teach you the skills to write your own resume? This one is completely personal preference. Maybe you want someone to simply write your resume for you or maybe you want to learn the skill of writing your own resume. Whichever path you want to go down is fine just make sure you ask the question of your professional resume writer from the start so you can make sure they can best help you with what you want to acheive.
  7. How do they get to know and understand you? A professional resume writer can only help you stand out from the crowd if they truly get to know and understand you. Your resume needs to use language and terminology that reflects you and your personality. Your resume needs to tell your story. It needs to promote and sell your transferable skills. For a professional resume writer to be able to do this successfully they need to get to know and understand you and how you think and operate in the workplace. They need to understand what motivates and drives you. Asking them how they plan to get to know and understand you and how they have done that successfully with job seekers similar to yourself should help you to decide if the resume writer is the right one to help you tell your resume story.

If you are going to engage a professional resume writer invest the time and effort in making sure you select the right one for you. At the end of the day your career depends on it; your resume is the key to getting you to the interview table. Don’t be afraid to “interview” your potential resume writer, it’s the only way you’ll know if you are investing in the right expert.

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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