Believe it or not, you may not be the best person to write your resume. Sure, you know your background and experience better than anyone, but translating that information into a successful resume that nets you an interview isn’t an easy task. Think about what you’re good at: graphic design, managing people, selling real estate, etc. Do any of your professional strengths have anything to do with composing a stellar resume? Probably not.
Resumes are about more than simply listing your past jobs and responsibilities. Ferreting out your distinctive strengths, determining how to apply your experience to the unique needs of a specific job, and wording it so that the hiring manager is blown away is tricky.
A high-quality online resume writing service does exactly that, and professionals who are serious about landing a great job quickly should explore the possibility of engaging one. But how do you weed through all of the companies? The tips below are a good starting point to help you find the perfect online resume writing service.
Show me the money…er, examples. You need to feel confident that these professionals know what they’re doing, right? Well, the only way to judge is to see examples of past resumes and resume add-ons that they’ve completed. When reviewing their past products, make sure you’re seeing demonstrations of their ability to craft specific resumes for specific people and careers. The samples should look markedly different from one other.
Special service for special needs. Not all resumes are right for all types of jobs. For example, if you’re in a niche field or are applying for a high-profile career, make sure you choose a resume writing service with a lot of experience creating the kind of resume you need. Current or former military members have specific needs, as do executives who must supply certain supplements with their resumes. Those who need a senior executive service (SES) resume must answer knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) questions. Those who need to supply executive core qualifications (ECQ) statements need to be extra careful to verify that the service they’re considering has a proven track record in those areas.
Get a guarantee. It’s tough to get a guarantee that has to do with you snagging a job; after all, no matter how great of a resume they produce for you, they can’t control how you behave in an interview. What they can guarantee are results like how often you get called in for an interview. The great companies promise that if you don’t experience success after a certain period of time (preferably a short period of time), they’ll redo your resume for you—for free, of course.
Communication is key. It’s an “online” company, which means that most of your contact will be electronic, but you should be provided a toll-free number that allows you to access your writer when you need to. Sometimes you just need to talk something over, rather than send an e-mail, and the resume service should make that possible.
Submission should be a piece of cake. They don’t know anything about you, which means that you’ll have to fill them in. That’s almost always done through an online form. Check to be sure that submitting your information—education, work experience, skills, talents, etc.—is easy. The point in hiring a resume writing service is to make things easier on you, not harder.
Compare prices. It might make you cringe to fork over money for a resume when you’re out of a job or will be soon. But it’s small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, so try to think of it as a very small investment in your future success. That doesn’t mean that you should pay thousands or even hundreds of dollars. Compare the prices of different online resume writing services so you can get a feel for what’s standard. And make sure you’re comparing apples to apples in terms of what you get for the money.
Be careful of the outfits that advertise prices far below what others charge, however. There may be hidden costs that will bite you down the road, or you’ll discover later that they’re just not very good. Either way, it can be a costly mistake to go too low.
Jason Kay recommends you read resume service reviews at JobGoRound.com, where you can also submit your resume for a free resume analysis.