Friday, November 16, 2007

Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Professional Resume Writer

In my job editing career books, I have naturally become immersed in the careers community--and in particular with the hundreds of professional resume writers. After all, I can identify with them in so many ways. I go to their conventions, read their blogs, and talk and e-mail with at least one of them every day. In the process I have become a convert to the idea of hiring a professional resume writer, even for people with excellent writing and editing skills.

So why, you ask, if a person is an excellent writer, should they pay someone else to write their resume? It costs a lot of money (according to surveys the author Louise Kursmark did for her newest book, Directory of Professional Resume Writers, the majority of the writers charge between $200 and $700, and some charge as much as $1,800 or more, depending on the candidate's level of experience). Well, here's the list of reasons I compiled:

  1. You don’t have time to write it yourself.
  2. You don’t know where to begin.
  3. You tried it yourself and got stuck.
  4. You aren’t good with words.
  5. You lack the objectivity to present your most important accomplishments and leave out less relevant experiences.
  6. You’ve forgotten a lot of your key accomplishments and need someone to help you bring them out.
  7. You’re not good with formatting and design.
  8. You don’t know the best ways to use a resume once it’s finished.
  9. You don’t know what an employer wants to see.
  10. Your resume is too important to your career success to do a less-than-perfect job on it.
The next question arises as to how to find the right resume writer to work with. I suggest looking at Louise's book (it's going to the printer today and will be in stores by mid-December). It lists 229 professional resume writers all over the country (and a few in Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong), and groups them by specialties, location, and more, and it even gives samples of their work. Whenever anyone asks me for a referral, I always suggest Louise herself, although sometimes she's too busy to take on new clients.

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