Why would someone pay a professional resume writer to write their resume when they have a computer, can use resume templates, and can find resume samples online and in books to get ideas on setting up and composing their own resume?
The answer lies in what type of position they are targeting and their level of resume writing skills. Whether basic or complex, a resume must be attractive, focused, and interesting to read. Failing to achieve these objectives means failing to make a good first impression. Many things need to be taken into consideration in order to accomplish these goals. Here are five things to consider:
1. You must understand the technical aspects of resume development. This includes resume design (what fonts to use and spacing), use of industry specific key words, career synopsis and company profiles, appropriate resume style and formats (reverse chronological, functional and combination), and page length.
2. You must have good word processing skills!
3. You must understand what the hiring manager is looking for and what you've done so you can make a match between their needs and your qualifications.
4. You must have grammatically correct, creative writing skills to communicate what you have done in the positions you have held using a reasonable amount of detail.
5. You must avoid wasting the reader's time by listing too much irrelevant information or going back too far if the position does not warrant it.
Some positions such as waitress, car wash attendant, and cashier might not require a resume. If they do, it would be a general resume with a traditional objective statement and chronological listing of jobs held with a sentence or two under each to indicate responsibilities, along with job-specific skills, and education. In a word: simple. However, sometimes a resume needs to be strategically developed to emphasize the value you offer a company, especially if the position is very competitive and you need to stand out from the rest of the potential candidates.
Often, a job seeker finds himself or herself in a pickle because they have held many different positions over the years and do not know how to keep the resume focused for a particular position. Maybe you are returning to the workplace after raising your children and are concerned the gap will put you at a disadvantage. Maybe you are just starting out in your career and do not think you have enough to offer a company. Or, maybe you are ready for a career change and do not know how to create a presentation that will position you for a new field.
If you have done your homework (which we believe you have since you are reading this article!), you know that a resume is often referred to as a "marketing tool." No different than a commercial advertisement, your resume needs to entice the reader to buy the product (you) by grabbing their attention, listing the product's benefits (your qualifications), and compel the reader to make a move - in this case, to invite you to an interview. As you know, time is money. The more time that passes after sending your resume out, the more money you lose if it is not generating responses. If you cannot afford to be out of work for several months, you should make the decision to have your resume professionally prepared. Here is a quick quiz to help you put things into perspective:
Client A: wanted to save money, so she prepared her own resume. She faxed and mailed her resume to over 50 companies over a period of six weeks, but nothing happened. While she kept her fingers crossed, she depleted half of her savings. She eventually landed an interview in the seventh week through someone she knew.
Client B: understood that having her resume professionally developed was a good investment. Without one, she knew she could not launch her career in the right direction. She faxed and mailed her professionally prepared resume out to ten companies over a two-week period. By the end of week two, she landed a great interview that resulted in a fabulous job.
Quick Quiz: who came out financially ahead in the long run?
If you answered the job seeker that invested wisely in consulting with a professional resume writer, you are 100% correct! So, in summary, the question is not whether or not you can afford to write your own resume. The question is whether or not you can afford not to have it done properly.