Working with a professional resume writer is a great way to save yourself time and frustration when applying for jobs. If you’ve never hired a professional resume writer before you may have lots of questions. In this blog post we will explain what to expect when working with a professional resume writer and how to pick the best one for you.
So you’ve been sending out hundreds of job applications with little to no response and you realize it’s time to get some serious resume help. A simple google search for resume writers will produce a plethora of resume services – most of which fall into one of these three resume writing service categories.
The Main Reason to Work With a Professional Resume Writer
If you’ve decided to work with a professional resume writer you’ve made a good decision. If you haven’t, we recommend checking out our favorite resume writing services. Investing in a professional resume writer to craft your perfect brand and set you apart from the competition is a worthwhile investment. In my experience reviewing hundreds of resumes a week, most professionals are not branding experts. I’ve learned that even the most sophisticated executive is not equipped to create this unique marketing document that continually evolves with the hiring landscape. So if you’re feeling like a resume writing failure, not to worry. It’s normal!
How Can You Be Sure Your Resume Writer Understands Your Industry?
This is a very common question we receive when professionals are shopping around for resume services. It’s an excellent question but there’s another question you would be better off asking instead: Has my writer written resumes that land interviews? You could have the most knowledgeable industry expert in the world writing your resume but it’s not industry knowledge that lands interviews. It’s strategic branding in order to make you appear as the perfect fit.
Coming from a recruiting background, and having written thousands of resume and LinkedIn profiles, our team of writers has worked with clients from a wide range of functions and industries. Most likely we have worked with people in your field. Yet, I have to share with you that if I haven’t, you won’t be disadvantaged. Here’s why:
Regardless of industry, function, or level, every job seeker faces the same challenges. If industry knowledge was the key to your landing a job, you would have landed one by now; but it’s not.
It’s a combination of industry and hiring expertise, strategic networking, job description analysis, research, resume writing best practices, ATS & keyword strategy, and branding expertise that really produces an optimized job search. Our clients are the subject matter experts and we bring the rest! You can be confident that your writer knows the right questions to ask to pull out specific industry expertise that will be of value to the process.
The Most Important Thing to Look for When Selecting a Writer
What our current and former clients have found exceedingly helpful in working with our team, is the addition of a fresh recruiter perspective as well as strategic headhunter research capabilities. They also find tremendous value in the questions presented in our client intake process and during the strategy session. Because of this, we are able to transform their professional brands and attract the best-fit jobs and hiring managers. You’ll want to make sure your resume writer has a strong track record of landing jobs. That’s more important than industry knowledge.
In our case, the resumes that we write will often result in at least 1 interview within 1 week and at least one 1 job offer within 3 months. To give you an idea of our diversity, our most recent client roster and interview-land times include:
- Landed an Interview in 5 Days: Career changer executive from legal to healthcare innovation and project management
- Landed an Interview in 2 Days: College graduate transitioning from music industry into medical coding
- Landed an Interview in 24 Hours: Medical Doctor
- Landed an Interview in 48 Hours: 50+ career changer from project management into accounting
Hopefully this gives you an idea of our strong and diverse track record.
How to Ensure You Get the Most Out of Your Resume Investment
Hiring a professional resume writer is foreign to most job seekers so it’s important to know what to expect in order to fully optimize your investment and help your writer produce the best end-product possible. There are several steps in the resume writing process. The more time you and your writer put in together, the better final product you will receive. If you are someone who is hand-on and wants to collaborate closely with your writer, beware of resume mills like TopResume. Resume mills will turn your resume around quickly but you may never speak with a human. Do your research and make sure you know exactly what you’re getting and who you’re working with before you put money down. Every writer has their own process, but any writer worth his or her own weight will typically follow similar steps. Here are ours:
Step 1- Participate in the Intake Process
When working with a Certified Professional Resume Writer the first part should be about getting to know you. We send out an initial detailed intake form that asks very important questions regarding your career goals and professional experience. It will also ask you to explain your most significant achievements in each position. When completing the intake form with your writer, don’t worry about the language, words, or even misspellings. You really don’t need to edit this information. This information is more about helping us to gain a general understanding of what you did, who you are, and where you want to go from here. And don’t worry about fixing up the most recent version of your resume. That will be our job and we can work with whatever you have as a starting point.
Step 2 – Connect With Your Writer
Once we receive your intake form and have a sense of who you are, we select the best writer for the job. You will receive an initial email from your assigned Professional Resume Writer to kick off the work and schedule any additional info-gathering or strategy sessions if needed. Some writers will opt to have this strategy call before they write the initial draft while others prefer to talk strategy after the writing has started. We think it’s best to get a good start on the draft to give you a sense of our vision and style before regrouping to talk strategy. This way we can also capture any feedback you have on our style.
This will also give the writer more time to digest your information, determine areas that could be an issue, and decide on what additional information is needed. In some cases, the writer may choose to send you the first draft of the resume that was created before the strategy call. In other cases, the writer may feel like additional information is needed before completing a strong first draft. Either way, expect at least 5 days before receiving your first draft. This is the most intensive part of the writing process where the bulk of creativity and research take place.
Step 3 – Collaboration With Your Writer
Once you receive the first draft of your resume, it is time to start the review process. Be sure to double check your contact information. Errors in a phone number or email address are not as easy for your writer to catch. Sometimes the writer will have additional clarifying questions and those are often included on the resume itself. These questions range from providing quantitative data to explaining how a project was completed. It’s these added details and insights that make a professional resume writer worth their weight in gold in terms of producing a resume that will speak to the hiring manager’s hot buttons.
At this point in the process, it’s critical to provide honest feedback to your writer since he/she won’t be able to read your mind. Like most writing/creative professionals, a good resume writer has a thick skin and won’t be offended by honest feedback. Remember: your resume writer’s end goal is to get YOU and YOUR TARGET BRAND right so that you are winning over hiring managers with your applications. If you feel like anything is off in terms of design, positioning, wording, etc. it’s your job to communicate this to your writer before they deliver the final draft.
“One of the first things I realized when working with NG Strategy was that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. As a communications professional, I had thought my resume, profile and cover letters were compelling, but when they failed to generate interviews, I decided to give NG Strategy a try as Noelle and team had been highly recommended. Within three weeks, I had new resume, a targeted cover letter and a greatly enhanced LinkedIn profile. I “get it” now…I get what you are supposed to do and how to have an edge. I have been in the work force for more than 30 years, and my career has taken me in a few directions. NG Strategy helped me to hone my skills and experience and better define my “brand” in a way I hadn’t been able to before. Now, I am off to find a great job and am feeling so well prepared and confident thanks to NG Strategy. What they were able to accomplish in just a few weeks would have taken me months, if ever, to achieve. Wonderful people and process–and worth every penny! I highly recommend The Works –and wish you all great success in your search! – Priscilla, Communications Executive & The Works Resume Client
What Your Writer Should Be Focused On
We find that the key to a successful resume writing collaboration is maintaining openness to the method behind the madness and making a point to ask any questions when you don’t understand something. Your new resume will be a valuable part of your professional branding and you’ll need to be able to speak to its content in an interview. You also might not be familiar with why we include certain parts or verbiage. If you ask, you’ll likely be surprised by the level of thought and strategy that your writer has put into every little piece of content. We consider everything from resume length, ATS strategy, wordiness, keywords, word order and more just to be sure we’ve hit the mark. We also consider non-resume pieces such as your target company culture and hiring practices that you may not be initially aware of.
Step 4 – Document Finalization
After you and your writer are both happy with the final product and agree that you are ready to move forward and make your goals a reality, sit back and relax while we prep the final draft. Your resume writer will put on the finishing touches and have it back to you in 3 formats (all aimed at achieving specific application strategies of which they will share upon completion).
Step 5 – You love your new resume!
Now that the final draft is in hand consider whether or not additional complimenting documents are necessary. The resume may seem like a one-shot deal but keep in mind the impact of a cover letter when hoping to stand out from thousands of other applicants. You will need a cover letter that matches your resume in font, color, style, an format. The same goes for your LinkedIn profile. You’ll likely be researched online once a resume hits the hiring manager’s desk and you don’t want to risk any inconsistency once you’ve mad it this far! Since your writer already crafted your resume, adding a cover letter or Linkedin profile will only take a few days to turnaround. Many companies offer a discounted bundled rate when you purchase all 3 branding projects up front. This is certainly worth researching before you purchase your resume.
As you can see, this process is a very collaborative effort. We all work together as a team to help you not only reach your goals but to achieve goals that may not even be realized before you start this journey. Your resume package is an investment. Choose the company you use wisely. If you ask questions and do research, the end result will truly be worth any additional time and money.