You’ve been thinking about it. What would change if you hired a professional resume writer? But you are still hesitating.
Perhaps you even called one but then you talked to your husband, brother-in-law, best friend, or the guy down the street and they said, “Naw, do it yourself.”
Now two months have passed and you are wondering should I have hired a professional resume writer?
15 tips to select the best professional resume writer for you
- Know what direction you plan to go. I won’t — and many other resume writers won’t — write a generic resume. We ask our clients to let us know their target, which may be a field or industry but most likely is also a specific type of position.
- Do your homework. Know what resumes should look like (and not from a 20 year old book or a class you took in school) Research resume writers, practices, and trends. Read blogs like this one.
- Review their samples. Not all professional resume writers will post samples but if they do, review them because you will get an idea of the caliber of their work.
- Learn their process. Not everyone works the same way. My live interactive resume writing process is fairly unique but it takes a commitment to meeting with me several times to create even the basic resume and more advanced ones mean my clients are committed to their career and will dedicate the time to meet.
- Learn what you will need to do. Some writers rely heavily on worksheets, which is fine as long as you are committed to completing the worksheets because you are providing the content for your resume.
- Does the writer hold a certification or certifications? Though resume writers will not necessary all get certified as soon as they start writing, in today’s market, more than likely, a professional resume writer will hold 1 or more certifications. This means their work has been judged by their peers to meet the career industry standards.
- Are they members of career industry organizations? Most dedicated career professionals belong to at least one organization. Generally, they will have them prominently posted on their website. (see Credentials on my sidebar) Look for logos for Career Directors International, Career Thought Leaders, Professional Association of Resume Writers, or National Resume Writers Association. But it doesn’t hurt to check the membership because some people have been known to post the logo and not belong. You can search the directory on the organization’s site.
- Do they blog? How does the tone sound of their blog posts? Is the content informative and do they sound like someone you might like to work with?
- Are you working with the owner or is the firm subcontracting to others? If you prefer to work directly with the writer, this may matter.
- Call them. Don’t be surprised if you do get voice mail because good resume writers will be busy and will not want to interrupt a client call to field incoming calls. But if you don’t get a call back within 24 hours, perhaps you should keep looking.
- When you talk with them, get a feel for their personality. This is a relationship. You are relying on the resume writer to create a compelling document that will help you progress in your career. You need to feel like you can talk with them.
- Do they offer other services? Today most resume writers will also offer additional services such as LinkedIn Profiles, Executive Bios, Assessments, Interview Coaching, and more. If you are looking for more, it makes sense to find someone who can handle everything you need.
- Check them out on LinkedIn. Read their recommendations and look at their endorsements.
- Google them. A good resume writer will have multiple references on Google and all will not be from their own website.
- Plan ahead. The best professional resume writers will not necessarily be able to fit you in even the week you contact them. Some book out as far as a month in advance.