Workwrite Resumes

How to hire a resume writer

You're Hired

What you should know before calling a resume writer.

You’ve decided to look for a new job, but your resume is a mess. Perhaps it hasn’t been updated since college. Or you’ve updated it, but that was when you were looking for a different type of job. Maybe you’re changing careers or your job history is difficult to explain. These are all good reasons to hire a resume writer to help with your job search documents.

Before you call a resume writer

Expressing expectations is important to both sides of any project. Before you reach out to a resume writer, consider these ideas and know the type of questions you will be asked.

Be interested in more than the money. The most common question from a potential client is, “How much is a resume?” Of course your budget is important. It’s just not the only consideration. In fact, it will be the last thing we will talk about. In order to discuss your investment, I need to find out more about the status of your job search, your target position, what has been working, what has gone wrong, and what you’d like help with.

Be prepared to answer a good number of questions. Not all resume writers will ask the number of questions I do during our initial discovery call. I am nothing if not thorough. Our first conversation determines your needs and the fit between us to complete the project that will fill those needs. That means we need to know a bit about each other to make good decisions.

It helps if you visit my Web site before we talk. Then, be aware of how you feel during our conversation. Are you comfortable? Can you picture yourself working with me for several weeks to several months, depending on the length of your project?

Be open to other ideas. Many people come to me for a resume. They don’t realize that their LinkedIn profile is nearly as important as their resume, so they don’t think to order one. They may not understand the importance of a cover letter, so they don’t mention it. They often don’t know that they must choose a target before we write anything, and sometimes that requires coaching.

As a result, I will be asking questions about documents that you may not have considered before. This isn’t a simple ploy to pad my bill. It is my attempt to educate you on the complexity of today’s job search so that you can make good decisions about the documents that will help you land your next job. It is much more important to me that you make informed decisions that fit your life and your budget than that I make an extra hundred bucks. 

Know the type of position you will be seeking. If you have significant skills and experience in several areas, let’s say management and sales, decide which area you will focus on first. The second area can be your Plan B. I don’t recommend simultaneous job searches for varying targets. One job search is challenging enough.

Know the level of position you will be seeking. Job titles vary widely among companies. Let’s say where you work, your title is Director of Marketing, and the job you want would be called Vice President of Marketing. I recommend that before you call me, familiarize yourself with the other titles similar positions might be called. Do this by reading job descriptions on Indeed.com or LinkedIn.com. You will likely find that other companies call the job you want by other titles. It might be Director of Business Development, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, or even Marketing Manager. When you’re looking at possible positions, pay more attention to the description than the title.

Be aware of your timeline. Many experienced resume writers are very busy. I often have a waiting list of two or more weeks. I no longer accept rush jobs. Ever. If you know you will be looking for a job in the near future, the time to have your documents created is now. Don’t wait until your dream job is posted with a closing date of Tuesday and think that your writer will drop other projects to accommodate your schedule.

My turnaround time is typically two weeks after I have all of the materials from you.  Hurrying and taking shortcuts is not the way to create powerful documents you feel proud of using. So, we take our time and do it right.

Questions to ask your resume writer

  • What certifications do you hold? There are three major US certifying associations for resume writers. If they are not certified, they may not be familiar with best practices for writing accomplishment-based documents.
  • What is your process? The writer should have a well-established process for moving through the project.
  • When can I expect a finished project? Because each project and each client is different, you may not receive an exact completion date. However, your writer should be able to give you an idea of how long the project will take.
  • How will we communicate? My practice is entirely virtual, so my clients and I keep in touch through email and phone calls. A few writers still see clients in person, so if that is important to you, be sure to ask.

If you have other concerns about hiring a resume writer, contact me today. I may be able to point you in the right direction if I’m not the right fit for your project.


Image courtesy Stuart Miles via freedigitalphotos.net.

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