Resume Writers – Who To Trust?!
Conduct a Google search for ‘resume writing’ in your area, and you are sure to locate several dozen sites. But buyer beware – there is a significant difference between general resume editors and experienced, professional resume writers with supporting credentials and job search understanding.
How do you know who to trust?
To start, review each resume writer’s website, LinkedIn profile, and offerings very carefully. Can you locate details on the resume writer and their experience? How comfortable are you entrusting a major part of your job search to this person? Ensure you know WHO will be managing your resume project.
Next, analyze the resume writer’s training and involvement in the career/job search community. Some ‘resume writers’ have no formal training in employment, job search strategies, or resumes. This begs the question about the standard of work. Suppose individuals are not actively engaged in the resume writing industry AND pursuing ongoing professional development in the career industry. How can they effectively support job seekers with the critical task of applying for jobs or writing a modern resume: an ever-evolving thing?
Other red flags to watch out for:
- Websites are sales-focused, long-winded, and include poor grammar or spelling. Yikes. If the website is packed with disjointed information, mistakes, or lack of value – think about what your resume will look like!
- Prices are too good to be true. Ever heard the expression “you pay for what you get”? An inexpensive resume will be a hastily compiled template – which can hinder your job search. Top professionals appropriately charge for level of expertise and the many hours spent compiling customized career documents.
- The resume samples are old-fashioned templates that all look exactly the same (basic and boring). If you read resume samples online and you are not immediately intrigued or compelled – move along! Avoid resumes that are task-focused. Look for resume samples that include results-driven statements and unique value propositions…which are critical to job search success. Ask to see samples of work before starting.
- The writer is nowhere to be found on social media – including LinkedIn. Today’s resume writing professionals recognize the importance of social media (particularly LinkedIn) as part of a healthy job search approach. Professional services should also include assistance with LinkedIn profiles and other current job search trends (like ATS).
- When approached, writers or shops speak unfavourably about their competitors to try and win sales. True professionals do not push down others to get ahead; they are proud to be a part of the industry, have established relationships with peers, and promote the value of others. I myself enjoy recommending other top resume writers if I am personally unable to assist.
Ultimately your best investment is to search for resume writers with supporting credentials, testimonials, and reputable backgrounds in the career services community.
Professional resume writers have secured industry designations and/or have reputable career advising or recruiting backgrounds. They will share personalized biographies so that you get a good sense of their work style and commitment to the industry.
Top professionals can also support expertise with awards, media contributions, publications, ongoing professional development, continuous learning, and client recommendations (check out their LinkedIn profile for specific client comments and feedback).
Engaging with a trusted resume writing professional can reduce job search time, saving you missed salary and lost income. Getting your resume done right with a certified resume writer, the first time, will save time and money. Although certified professional resume writers, with industry expertise, may charge more – they offer the greatest return on investment!
A list of prominent resume writing credentials include:
- MCRS (Master Certified Resume Strategist)
- CERM (Certified Executive Resume Master) – skilled in writing for the executive market; myself included
- CRS (Certified Resume Strategist)
- CARW (Certified Advanced Resume Writer)
- NCRW (Nationally Certified Resume Writer)
- CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer)
Each of the above certifications is offered through different associations, including Career Professionals of Canada (CPC), Career Directors International (CDI), and National Resume Writers Association (NRWA).
Finally, the best tip of all. Associations share their directories online where you can search for a credentialed resume writer in your immediate area. So save the Google searches for something else.
Once you identify a few resume writers of interest, analyze their backgrounds, offerings, and processes carefully. Reach out to ask questions to ensure you are completely comfortable with the level of competency and quality before engaging.
I regularly receive calls from desperate job seekers who are unhappy with the resumes they got completed at big box shops or ‘writing experts’. Please do your homework before hiring help.