For many years, as a career coach, I offered resume writing services. And I don’t mind telling you that I was a darned fine resume writer.
But I no longer offer these services—and I want to take a few minutes to explain why and to help those of you who might be considering working with a resume writer in the future.
The first thing you should know is this: Many (if not most) resume writers are not skilled in the craft. Sadly, a lot of people think resume writing is an “easy” job, and some companies think they can pump out resumes fast and furious with little to no expertise on staff.
I have seen some incredibly frustrating examples of this. Former clients of mine have shown me resumes they paid good money for that were full of typos and inconsistencies, poorly formatted and completely out-of-step with modern-day resume trends.
As a resume writer, I enjoyed spending real time with my clients, getting to know them and their professional history. The one-on-one conversations we had were an essential part of my process. I also provided revisions without limitation, to ensure my client was 100% happy with the finished product.
Many resume writers DO NOT offer any one-on-one discussion. They simply ask you to fill out a form online and answer some basic questions. They also only offer limited revisions, if any at all.
To be honest, many of these “resume factory” companies charge $100 or less, which sounds like a good deal until you see the finished product. Even worse, a lot of people don’t realize the resume is bad, so they rely on it for their job search and only start to question things when they fail to get any interest from prospective employers.
Because my product and service were quite different, I charged a good deal more than these other guys. But a few years back, I got fed up. I knew I couldn’t help as many people as I wanted given the time required to do it my way, and I realized I couldn’t compete.
More importantly, I realized that I no longer condoned the practice of buying and selling resume writing services.
In fact, it has become increasingly clear that job seekers are doing themselves a disservice when they pay others to write their resumes.
Think of it like this: Your resume is THE MOST IMPORTANT document in your career. It has the power to open doors and give you access to opportunities. It is supposed to describe you and your history in an accurate, compelling way that shows others how valuable you are.
Do you really want to entrust someone else to create and maintain your resume?
You need to keep your resume up-to-date for your entire career. You don’t want to pay someone every time you need to make a change. And you don’t want to be making changes to a document someone else created, because eventually it will look totally cobbled together and disjointed.
You are more than capable of learning how to create a fabulous resume on your own. It’s not rocket science. And these are incredibly valuable skills to have!
Yes, you need to invest some time and energy into learning the basics of resume standards, formatting, keywords, achievement statements and more. But once you know these things, you can leverage the information throughout your entire career.
If you’re going to pay someone, pay an editor to check your work for typos and inconsistencies. Don’t pay a supposed “resume writer” who may very well have no special knowledge of the craft.
You are in the best possible position to create a strong resume for yourself. You are an expert on YOU. And you can easily learn the craft.
While I no longer offer one-on-one resume writing services, I do offer training resources to help you learn these skills. I believe training is a far better investment for your long-term success.
If you disagree, that’s totally fine. I’m sure there are some high-quality resume writers out there. But please do your research before investing! The questions below will help.
Before Hiring a Resume Writer, Ask These Questions
- Can you please share some samples of your work with me?
- What do you consider the most critical elements of an attention-grabbing resume?
- What is your process when working with clients?
- Do you have any testimonials or references?
- What is your education and experience in the field?
- What is your process regarding revisions?
- What are your fees?