Gift Yourself A Professionally Written Resume
By Mark Swartz
Monster Senior Contributing Writer
Wrapping paper and tape litter your floor. Your hands are aching from carefully placing gifts into packages. Ahh, you’ve finally finished shopping for the holiday season. Time to put on your slippers and relax.
But wait, isn’t there one more special person who deserves a holiday present? Someone you deeply care for, who is looking for a new job and can use an added advantage?
That’s right, ‘tis the season to buy yourself a professionally written resume. You won’t need to tie ribbons around it. And it might just be the one gift that more than pays for itself.
Why Pay For A Professionally Written Resume?
Maybe you’re one of the lucky people with extensive training in marketing and communications. Or you’re a talented writer for who words flow like the river over Niagara Falls. If so you could probably write a really good resume for yourself (and others, for that matter).
But what if putting your thoughts on paper is hard for you to do? Also how can you be sure that your resume will capture the attention of decision makers?
“Qualified resume specialists take the pain out of producing your self-marketing documents,” says leading Canadian expert Martin Buckland, a Certified
Professional Resume Writer. “They help you focus on bringing out the highlights of your work experience in compelling ways that boost your response rate, make you stand out from the crowd, and land atop the applicant pile.”
What Is The Process Like?
Typically a resume writer will ask you if you have a current copy of your resume as a starting point. If not don’t worry: in any case the writer will speak with you by phone to ask you details about your work history, key accomplishments, education and special skills you possess. They’ll also inquire about the type of jobs you’ll be applying to: what do the roles involve, what level are they at, in what industry sectors?
Then they’ll take anywhere from a day (for Rush orders) to a week in writing a draft version for you. At that point you get to look it over and provide your initial comments. This back and forth may continue several times until you’re satisfied with the final document.
How Should The Final Product Look?
Buckland describes the end result of a resume writer’s efforts. “You, the client, should expect to have in hand a personal selling tool that captures your best work contributions, positioning you as the candidate of choice for the jobs you are applying for.”
Your completed resume should be free of spelling and grammar errors. It ought to be laid out attractively, not crunched up with no white space showing.
“Personally I prefer to list my client’s hard skills in a table that appears in top third of their first page,” adds Buckland. “This will generate hits if the resume is scanned electronically using Applicant Tracking software.”
He also changes the “Objective” section to include a catchy profile summary and a brief statement of your preferred work environment. “This ‘projective’ makes it easier for employers to quickly grasp who you are and how you can make a real difference for them,” Buckland says.
What Should I Check For In A Resume Writer?
Here are some questions you can ask yourself when comparing resume services, according to Buckland:
- Does the writer have a good grasp of the industry and profession you are in?
- How much experience do they have in producing customized resumes?
- What kinds of recommendations and testimonials do they make available to you?
- Will they cater to your needs e.g. do they speak with you at your convenience, maybe after hours if necessary?
- Are they credentialed appropriately? (Many are not, yet they may still have the experience and testimonials to back them up.)
- Do they display sample “before and after” resumes for you to view?
You could also ask if the specialist is equipped to assist you with your job search and interviewing skills, if these are important to you. As well, can they help you build your personal brand online if you’re looking for this extra exposure?
Will It Cost An Arm And A Leg?
Resume writing fees are like anything else – it pays to shop around. The important thing is to find a service that’s reasonably priced and provides a quality product.
You might be tempted by ads that make extravagant claims about their services, but charge a bargain-basement fee. Then again some firms grossly over-charge but offer exaggerated, unsupportable guarantees. In either case if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Expect to pay between $150 - $300 for an entry level resume, $250 - $500 for a mid-level employee version, and $400 - $1,000 if you’re a senior manager or executive.
The Customized Difference
It could really be worth it to gift yourself a professionally-done resume. Let’s say it ends up getting you many more interviews than your self-written one. Ultimately you shave six weeks off of your job search. The extra income you earn (that you might not have if you’d stuck with your homemade resume) should more than make up for what you spent.
A cautionary note though from Buckland. “Remember that your resume can help you get job interviews, but it is you who sells yourself to the employer in person. Make sure you do a comprehensive job search and polish your interviewing skills too.” Smart closing words from a professional wordsmith.
Let an expert write your resume and cover letter with Monster's Resume Writing Service.