Resume Writing 101 Continued: Who Works for Whom?

Resume Writing 101I will not go over the advantages of getting your resume and LinkedIn page professionally prepared, and there are many that are all valid for anyone earning or seeking a position over $65,000 a year.

Rather I’ll discuss a reason someone I spoke to in a workshop recently decided to write her own resume this time around rather than hire someone who she knew could do a much better job.

I hear this same reasoning from many people, “the resume company came across as if I was working for them rather than their working for me and this made me lose confidence in my abilities.”

I asked this VP what she meant by this and this is what she said.

When I had my résumé written professionally a few years ago I asked the person I first spoke to if she is the person who would write my résumé and she said no we will assign one of our writers to you. Once I paid and was assigned a writer, as a marketing professional I wanted to have some input into the design and format of my resume and I was not 100% sold on the way the writer was approaching the project. I voiced this concern to her and she said “I’m the pro here and this is how we prepare all our resumes and this is how we’ll prepare yours. Trust me it will work.” I was not happy with the results and it took me over 7 months of people telling me my résumé was the problem until I landed a new job.

To me this is no reason not to hire a resume writer; it is a reason to find someone better, preferably a person who can offer you the personal attention you deserve.

Whereas it is true most resume writer are likely to know more about what needs to be done and how to do it, resume writing is a collaborative art and you should be an integral part of the process. And I’ll take it a step further, so should the people around you who you value and trust the most.

Recently I wrote what I felt was told was an ultimate marketing document for a client’s specific needs; it was extremely creative and at the same time laser focused to its target audience’s needs. What made this resume stand out was my client had 3 of her most trusted colleges and mentors take a look at it and offer their insight and suggestions.  My client and I then discussed what they had to say and why, and then we incorporated some of their input and some industry jargon suggestions into her resume and in the end all 5 of us agreed the final product was dynamic and on the money.

This is how a resume can be written when you take a collaborative approach and are open to new ideas, constructive criticism and the fact that others know as much or more than you do about what sets your resume  apart and what puts it smack dab in the middle of the stack. There are so many facets to writing a marketing document that tells a compelling story to the employer on ‘why you’ and not someone else is the candidate to interview and hire. My belief is 2 heads are better than 1 and 2 or 3 more sets of eyes can see things that may have slipped through the cracks.

So when it comes to deciding who is best equipped to write your resume remember the advice the Knight Templar gave Indiana Jones in pursuit of the Holy Grail; “Choose wisely my son.”

As always I am happy to critique US resumes (and professional overseas CVs) and LinkedIn pages at no cost if you email it to

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