Should You Hire a Resume Writer?

Resume WriterMany job seekers struggle with one major aspect of the job search: selling themselves. It can feel weird to talk yourself up during an interview—and, to most, it feels like you’re “bragging” about your accomplishments and past experiences, which can feel uncomfortable.

But an employer won’t know how you’ll benefit the company unless you tell them, which is why you must effectively sell yourself at the first chance you get: your resume.

No one really teaches you how to write a resume. Sure, your mom might have sat down with you during high school and helped you create one for a part-time job, but that resume won’t suffice once you’re looking for an internship or entry-level job.

Plus, there’s conflicting advice out there about how to write your resume. Do you include an objective statement or not? Should you stick to one page, or can you go a little longer to show off your extensive experience? Do you use templates to organize the information, or are templates tacky? These questions can be daunting when you’re competing with hundreds of other job candidates for each open position.

So, the question is: do you hire a resume writer to help you show a potential employer why you’re the best candidate for the job? Here are a few things to keep in mind about resume writers:

  • Yes, they cost money. I realize that many job seekers don’t think that they have an extra dime to spare on things like career coaching and resume writing. However, if you look at it as an investment in your future, you might feel that the money is worth it in order to land a paying job in your field. Would you rather be unemployed for six months, or spend a hundred bucks to land a job in two? The choice is up to you.
  • They can help you write about yourself. A good resume writer works with you to identify strengths, accomplishments and skills in order to show your fit for an open position. This is the most difficult part of resume writing for most job candidates—and it can help to have an outside opinion to help you put your best foot forward.
  • Not all resume writers are created equal. If you choose to hire a resume writer, do your research. While some folks know exactly what today’s employers want, others might be out of touch with the latest resume trends. Look at their testimonials and reviews. Ask your network who they would recommend. You don’t want to spend your money on someone who doesn’t do you justice. You want a professional resume writer that can make you shine among other candidates vying for the job.

Have you used a resume writer before? What was your experience like?


Guest Expert:

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

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Comments

  1. Perry Newman CPC CSMS says:

    Heather:

    As a professional resume writer and career transition coach and an original member of the Career Rocketeer team I agree with the premise of your Guest Expert post today.

    In fact I and many CR team members have written on numerous occasions exactly what you wrote. Moreover I acknowledge that this valuable point of view bears repeating from Guest Experts from time to time and thank you for doing so.

    My only misgiving is when you write… “Would you rather be unemployed for six months, or spend a hundred bucks to land a job in two.”

    I get your trend of thought here but I for one find this statement naïve, or at the very least misleading if you expect people to accept it literally; plus I take personal offense at how little value you put on my and my colleagues professional services.

    Since most readers here fall into the higher echelon of their profession I do not think they will find a professional resume writer who charges $100 (or less), let alone one who will deliver a marketing document that will magically get them a new job in 2 weeks or less.

    Rather a more realistic ROI and compelling reason to hire a professional resume writer is this. The average person who hires a professional resume writer is seeking a job paying at least $750 a week and most readers of this blog earn substantially more ($75k to $250k). And even if one were seeking a job paying $500 a week they will get a 100% ROI if they invest up to one week’s salary in a professional resume that gets them a paycheck two weeks sooner than the national average.

    What I tell people who look to engage my services is that I and most professional resume writers I know are not miracle workers, and in most cases I can’t get you back to work in a week or two, especially since the recruitment and interview process in most cases lasts 2-4 weeks. However from my experience with my clients I can say that a professional resume has cut anywhere from 4-20 weeks off the national average of 36 weeks for a job search and without burning bridges with perspective future employers in the process.

    Now as a job seeker you do the math; figure out your ROI based on investing ½ week’s salary to return to work a minimum of two weeks sooner.

    • Francis says:

      I’ve been wondering about this very subject. What are some qualifications that one should look for?
      Thank You

      • Francis:

        This is a very good question.

        I addressed this in my weekly post on Career Rocketeer this morning (Monday 8/22/11) where I wrote about 10 factors I feel qualifies a person to write their own resume and by extension to write a resume for someone else.

        I hope this will shed some light on the matter for you.

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