More and more, professionals are turning to the services of professional résumé writers to give them an edge in the extremely competitive job market. As a professional résumé writer in a city like San Francisco, I meet with a wide array of clients each week. I certainly see the value in the service I provide to my clients, who hire me based on my expertise as a writer and my previous experience as a recruiter. As I speak to new clients or prospects, I often hear horror stories about bad experiences these people have had with other résumé writers. Clearly, all résumé writers are not created equal. So, how do you choose the right résumé writer to meet your needs?
If you do a Google search for professional résumé writers, you’ll end up with hundreds, maybe thousands of ‘hits’ of writers vying for your business. As is the case with most service professionals, these writers will be offering very similar services at similar rates, so making the final decision may seem daunting and very much on par with a crap shoot. Here are a few tips that might help you to make the decision a bit more easily.
The résumé writer should be willing to talk to you and answer your questions. I don’t know how many times I’ve won the business of a client merely because I answered the phone or returned a phone call. Take the time to ask the writer questions about his or her experience and writing process. Make sure you are comfortable with the manner in which the work will be done. Be sure the résumé writer you speak with will actually be doing the work. Many résumé writers use ghostwriters. If this is the case, insist on speaking to the person who is actually going to be doing the writing. Check out the résumé writers credentials. Some writers are actually certified résumé writers. I am not certified, but I hold a human resources certification (PHR) as well as a degree in English. Whether certified or not, the writer you employ should have some degree of formal training. Find out about support “after the sale.” Will the résumé writer be available and willing to make edits and updates for some time after completion of the project? I suggest working with a writer who has a policy for updating the résumé for up to a year at no charge.
Finally, find out what sort of guarantee the writer offers for his or her work, but beware. Some writers will guarantee that the document they create will absolutely, positively result in a job offer. Such a guarantee simply is not realistic and is most likely a gimmick to get a client to spend more money. Nonetheless, the writer should stand behind his or her work in some manner. For instance, I guarantee satisfaction and will happily work with a client through as many rewrites as are required to come up with an exceptional end product.In short, before hiring a résumé writer, you’ll want to be certain that the writer is skilled and offers good customer service. As a résumé writer myself, I consider myself a partner and resource in the career searches of my clients.