I recently met with a young lady who told me she had gotten about four different opinions on how best to present her résumé. At this point, she was understandably confused and frustrated.
I spent some time with her explaining what to look for in a good résumé writer; and after we were done with our conversation she thanked me and said she felt relieved because I had demystified things for her.
As a result of that conversation, I decided to compile a list of things to look for when choosing a professional to create your résumé. It is my intention to clarify things for my readers.
1. Certification is important, but not the only thing to consider. It is a good starting point.
There are several designations for professional résumé writers. CPRW stands for Certified Professional Résumé Writer and CARW stands for Certified Advanced Résumé Writer. These two are the most common.
There are also MRW writers who hold the designation of Master Résumé Writer. In the federal space, there is a special designation of CFRW, which stands for Certified Federal Résumé Writer.
While certification is one of the things you should definitely be looking for, there are other factors that play an even more important role.
2. Is the price indicative of the quality? Sure, you can look online and find résumé services that charge less, but what do you get for your money? The old adage “You get what you pay for” definitely applies when considering a professional service.
If you want a quality writer who provides you with high touch service and works with you individually rather than having you fill out some lame questionnaire, expect to pay for the expertise and the professional results.
I can’t tell you the number of clients that come to me on a regular basis who previously worked with a cheap service and got a sub-standard product that got them nowhere.
3. See if the writer you are interested in has a following online. Check out their LinkedIn Profile. Do they have solid recommendations? Look at samples of their work. Speak to the writer; learn about their background and areas of expertise. Part of the decision you make will come from your level of comfort.
I recommend going to http://www.careerdigital.com. It is a newer website that compiles information from a variety of career blogs all in one spot. Quality résumé writers are almost always well known within the career community.
4. The best writer for you should have some experience writing for people within your industry. If you are in the legal field, find out if the writer has previously written for people in that arena. Any good writer will conduct research as part of the process of writing for you.
5. How connected is your writer to trends in hiring and overall career search? As a candidate, you want to make sure your writer can help distinguish you from the pile. Your writer should be able to articulate the information that will make your résumé pop!
The specific format for each résumé is as unique as you! There is no one right or wrong way to do a résumé. While there are certain standards and modern practices that all résumé writers should adhere to, it is important to look for an expert who will provide you with a personalized approach that will get results.
Debra Wheatman, CPRW, CPCC is President of Careers Done Write, a premier career services provider focused on developing highly personalized career roadmaps for senior leaders and executives across all verticals and industries.