5 Useful Metaphors for Understanding the Role of a Good Resume Writer (Part I)

[su_dropcap style=”flat”]I[/su_dropcap]N MY MANY YEARS of working with jobseekers and creating search tools, I’ve come to see my support role in different ways. A job transition will be difficult at best and traumatic at least, so it is important to help in ways that are focused and effective. Anyone who has done a particular job for any length of time will eventually see patterns – this is one way we get better at our jobs. For me, these patterns become useful metaphors for describing my work scope, impact and potential value to clients.

Since so much is at stake for jobseekers – income levels, family stability, job satisfaction and career progression – it is not surprising that fear and trepidation can stalk their days and nights. Professional resume writers must do the best they can by their clients and deploy their expertise in seeing things that the average person won’t, not doing this kind of work day in and day out.

So when jobseekers look to work with a resume writer, they don’t know what to expect or how to evaluate this kind of service provider. Sometimes they are initially reluctant because deep down they feel that anybody can write their own resume, or they assume that the cheapest service can do as good a job as one far more experienced, or they even wonder if they should even think about putting their career in the hands of a stranger.

Out of a variety of pictures to portray the role the resume writer plays, I have chosen just 5 for this blog – these may help the jobseeker understand what is involved, how resume writers actually help in the process and then how better to manage their expectations using this kind of service. Because so many of the moving pieces of a job search happens “off camera,” jobseekers grasp at any chance to speak to a live person, i.e. the resume writer. Unfortunately, this means the writer can become an emotional lightning rod for all the emotional stress and frustrations jobseekers can feel.

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  1. Wilderness Guides: For those who love the outdoors – hiking, fishing or hunting, it is a wise idea if you going out for any length of time, to hire a professional who knows the land, the best places to go, the right equipment, the right times of the year. The average person doesn’t know the clothing details or weather variables, so taking time to get the right advice will make the experience far more pleasurable. Having the right guide will make the outdoor experience fun and maybe even save lives! Bottom line, it is worth the investment. Same with professional resume writers – jobseekers need any edge they can get in the job competition. Plus working with a resume writer will help their clients avoid a lot of unnecessary emotional stress and position them better in the game.
  2. Sports Coaches: In another arena, a personal trainer will be helpful for the same reasons. If you want to lose weight, get into shape or prepare for a marathon, hiring a professional will bridge the gap between intention and follow-through. Big goals require tough choices, self-discipline, focus and the right processes. In the movie, “Chariots of Fire,” the character Harold Abrahams wins a gold medal at the 1924 Olympics in Paris after hiring a professional coach who gives him that extra advantage against his competition. Again, by nature, such trainers see things the athlete can’t yet and provides the right strategies and tools to overcome the challenges in the race. Likewise, resume writers can help their clients get past the hurdles and traps that always appear. However, like coaches, they can’t guarantee jobs or interviews, they can certainly increase the probability of getting them.
  3. Craftsmen: There is definitely an air of the workshop around resume writers. Like carpenters, tinkers, electricians and other craftsmen, they have very specific skills and very specific “tools.” Of courses, anyone can buy a DIY furniture kit from IKEA, but for a really nice piece of furniture, you’ve got to go to someone who has the expertise and the right components, and who takes the time to produce something really useful and worthwhile. The process may take longer and cost more, but the value will be exponentially higher for something hand-crafted that lasts for a long time. Just so with a professionally written resume – the packaging, flexibility and content will make it priceless. And since so much of your career transition rides on getting the right opportunities and job offers, you should be wise and make the investment in both time and money to work with a professional. Another good thing about a professionally produced resume is that with proper care, it should last your entire career.[/message]

In the second installment, I will showcase two other important metaphors – Executive Chef and Retail Artist – to help explain how resume writers are crucial for jobseekers. Plus I’ll have some basic tips about how to evaluate and choose a professional resume service provider.

As always, there is some much that could be said about the job search, career transitions and employment strategies – but any advice must also be applicable to the people actually in the middle of things. Good resume writers will have the perspective and tools to help their clients navigate what is one of life’s traumas in our business environment.


Steve Burdan
Steve Burdan
AS A Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), Steve brings over 24 years of writing and supporting clear, concise and effective Resumes, LinkedIn Profiles and other career tools for clients at all levels around the world. He is fully familiar with critical job dynamics and responsibilities in many sectors, such as Sales, Marketing, Operations, Financial Services, Corporate Finance, IT, Consulting, Supply Chain, Customer Service, HR, Advertising, PR, Education, Non-Profit, Government, Military Transition and other niches. Steve always puts a premium on accurately identifying and packaging best-of-best skills, abilities and achievements to create a a more flexible tool and smoother career narrative, and thereby enabling clients to get better traction and results in a successful job search. HE has interviewed, coached and counseled top executives, managers and professionals in environments ranging from start-up to Fortune 50. He has a solid understanding of cross-cultural dynamics – having lived overseas for long periods of time. Earlier in his career, Steve was employed in retained search where he polished his abilities in interpersonal communications, customer service and timely project delivery. He also worked as a college recruiter for an adult degree program. Steve has an extensive academic background that includes multiple degrees.

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