[su_dropcap style=”flat”]I[/su_dropcap]N PART I, I made some brief observations about the roles and functions of professional resume writers in a jobseekers’ search process. In this installment, I want to wrap up by highlighting the last two pictures out of the five that I’ve chosen. Many people find it hard to trust resume writers because of negative stereotypes – glorified secretaries, used car salesmen or corner-cutters who will say anything about their clients for a buck. And, as with all professions, there will always be “bad apples” that give the real professionals a bad rep.
The reality is that jobseekers need to have help in navigating their career transition and there are many reliable resume services available. Understanding the role such professional writers play will help jobseekers see the value in hiring and working with one. So would be good to take a pause and consider the last two aspects – the five will provide jobseekers with the right perspective for managing their expectations.
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- Executive Chefs: As with the craftsman in the workshop, so with the chef in the restaurant kitchen – the practical artist at work, another master at his trade. However, many feel that they can buy a book or watch a YouTube video to learn enough to cook a gourmet meal. A few people may actually be able to do so! But the reality for the vast majority is they won’t – they don’t have the training, skills or experience – the acquired taste that a master chef has. Anyone can read instructions and follow steps, but to know what really works and how things are done – this takes lots of time and careful effort. Good resume writers will come from a similar background and have the same seasoned approach. They will know instinctively how to identify and package much of the best bits of your career. They create smooth narratives that flow and make sense to the general reader. So jobseekers must look beyond the quick fix or plug n’ play solutions, and work with a professional service who will produce a flexible tool that gives confidence and gets traction. There will always be rapid shifts and changes in the job search – and to navigate them, jobseekers need the right attitude and tools they can trust and easily use.
- Artists: With this metaphor, I’m not referring to the great artists in history – Van Gogh, Da Vinci, Mozart and many other men and women. Rather, I mean more the retail artist, such as jewelry designer, interior decorators or even beaders. In this sense, the real point to such artistry is to apply unique and personal taste through different venues. Such artists are directly focused on the consumer and deploy highly developed intuition to what works or looks good. They design solutions or products that will appeal to the right audience and also reflect their clients well. Exactly so with resumes produced by an experienced resume writer – verbal artists who capture and communicate a true sense of professional potential, core values and top achievements. As the client, you should be able to clearly recognize yourself, while still seeing the edge gained from a provocative narrative. All these advantages add up! And it is a win-win-win situation – the client enjoys new confidence for the job search, the employer appreciates a document that clearly “puts the cookies on the bottom shelf,” as is said in advertising and the writer get to help people and earn a living. All three are satisfied with their goals achieved.[/message]
To wrap up – some solid tips for evaluating and hiring a good professional resume writer.
- Check out both website and LinkedIn Profile – see what kind of recommendations or testimonials the writer or service has. It is not an absolute indicator, but it is helpful in understanding their strategic approach, search philosophy and service offerings.
- On the website, review their processes and pricing, if available – if not, contact them to discuss. This kind of research will help you build confidence. Also be aware – resume services will typically have a worksheet or questionnaire for you to fill out with the raw material, or may sometimes offer an interview. Once this material is gathered, the writer will use it all in crafting the new narrative.
- Always speak directly with the writer to get a sense of their personality and see if there is any chemistry for trust and working together – this can also help in avoiding the “plug and play” contract writers. Keep in mind that resume writers does not have to have had every job they may write about – the goal is to package your narrative clearly, concisely and provocatively.
- Always manage your expectations – the resume will not be a magic wand – it is a tool that works only as well as you use it within the context of the job search. This is hard to do as most people have not spent enough time in job transitions to get used to how they work.
- Don’t look for a guarantee for your new resume – nobody can guarantee life itself, let alone career transitions. Indeed, avoid any writer who says they can guarantee you jobs or interviews, since they either don’t understand how life has too many moving pieces to make that claim or they’ will say anything to get your business.
- Be prepared to invest both time and money to get the job done right – don’t be penny wise, but pound foolish. The right resume writer will give you confidence to pilot the rigors and trauma of the job transition – and typically that writer will be seasoned from years of helping jobseekers.
- Successful jobseekers always focus on nurturing their self-confidence – without a strong sense of confidence, the job search will be a non-starter. The right job offering will eventually come, but the steps and tools to get there must be planned and in place. The job search is not the place to wander without a map, so get the right support team to help!