You are in the job market and it is time to brush up your resume. If you decide to hire a professional resume service, it is important to know what to look for and how to find the best match for your needs.
- Give yourself time. It is always a good idea to keep your resume up to date. However, most of us leave resume writing to the last possible moment. If you plan to use a professional resume service, you need to allow yourself time to hire them, apprise them of your needs and then for them to actually write your resume.
- Find a qualified resume service. There is no shortage of professional resume services. The hard part is not finding one - it is finding the "right" one. When evaluating resume services, it is important to think about your experience and the type of resume you need.
You want a professional service that is familiar with your industry, especially if you are in a highly technical field. Inappropriately used terminology on your resume will not represent you well to your potential employers. In addition, make sure the service has worked with people of your level before; an executive resume is very different from that of an executive assistant's resume. You can find resume services in the phone book, online by using search engines and through recommendations.
- Review the service's qualifications. You want your resume prepared by someone who is an excellent writer as well as a good businessperson. Your resume is about marketing your skills in the workplace and the service helping you needs to keep that foremost as they work for you. Also ask who will actually be working on your resume; the qualifications of the company president do not help you much if the newest intern will be in charge of your paperwork.
- Ask to read samples. Any qualified resume service will have a full portfolio of resume samples for you to review. Are they clear and concise? Would you want to hire the person? If you do not feel confident in your ability to judge the writing quality, ask some friends or associates to review the samples, too.
- Learn how the service works. You need to know how the resume service gets their information. Do they ask for a written document from you or conduct an oral interview? Do they have a standard questionnaire or do they customize by industry? The more personalized the service makes the process, the better the resume they prepare for you is likely to be. Find out how long they take to prepare your resume and how many revision drafts they usually prepare.
- How does the service bill? Resume services may charge by the hour, by the page, by the word or by a flat rate. Ask for an estimate and find out what is included in the rate you are quoted. For example, if additional drafts or revisions cost extra, you need to know that ahead of time. Also ask if you need to pay anything up front or if your payment is due upon acceptance of your final resume.
- Finally, remember that a resume service cannot know everything about you and your job history. It is imperative that you review your resume in detail to make sure that the information is correct, reads well and is appropriate for the positions to which you will be applying.