Wrapping paper and tape litter your
floor. Your hands are aching from
carefully placing gifts into packages.
Ahh, you’ve finally finished shopping
for the holiday season. Time to put on
your slippers and relax.
But wait, isn’t there one more special
person who deserves a holiday present?
Someone you deeply care for, who is
looking for a new job and can use an
That’s right, ‘tis the season to buy
yourself a professionally written
resume. You won’t need to tie ribbons
around it. And it might just be the one
gift that more than pays for itself.
Maybe you’re one of the lucky people
with extensive training in marketing and
communications. Or you’re a talented
writer for who words flow like the river
over Niagara Falls. If so you could
probably write a really good resume for
yourself (and others, for that matter).
But what if putting your thoughts on
paper is hard for you to do? Also how
can you be sure that your resume will
capture the attention of decision
“Qualified resume specialists take the
pain out of producing your
self-marketing documents,” says leading
Canadian expert Martin Buckland, a
Professional Resume Writer. “They help
you focus on bringing out the highlights
of your work experience in compelling
ways that boost your response rate, make
you stand out from the crowd, and land
atop the applicant pile.”
Typically a resume writer will ask you
if you have a current copy of your
resume as a starting point. If not don’t
worry: in any case the writer will speak
with you by phone to ask you details
about your work history, key
accomplishments, education and special
skills you possess. They’ll also inquire
about the type of jobs you’ll be
applying to: what do the roles involve,
what level are they at, in what industry
Then they’ll take anywhere from a day
(for Rush orders) to a week in writing a
draft version for you. At that point you
get to look it over and provide your
initial comments. This back and forth
may continue several times until you’re
satisfied with the final document.
Buckland describes the end result of a
resume writer’s efforts. “You, the
client, should expect to have in hand a
personal selling tool that captures your
best work contributions, positioning you
as the candidate of choice for the jobs
you are applying for.”
Your completed resume should be free of
spelling and grammar errors. It ought to
be laid out attractively, not crunched
up with no white space showing.
“Personally I prefer
to list my client’s hard skills in a
table that appears in top third of their
first page,” adds Buckland. “This will
generate hits if the resume is scanned
electronically using Applicant Tracking
He also changes the “Objective” section
to include a catchy profile summary and
a brief statement of your preferred work
environment. “This ‘projective’ makes it
easier for employers to quickly grasp
who you are and how you can make a real
difference for them,” Buckland says.
Here are some questions you can ask
yourself when comparing resume services,
according to Buckland:
- Does the writer
have a good grasp of the industry and
profession you are in?
- How much
experience do they have in producing
- What kinds of
recommendations and testimonials do they
make available to you?
- Will they cater
to your needs e.g. do they speak with
you at your convenience, maybe after
hours if necessary?
- Are they
credentialed appropriately? (Many are
not, yet they may still have the
experience and testimonials to back them
- Do they display
sample “before and after” resumes for
you to view?
You could also ask if the specialist is
equipped to assist you with your job
search and interviewing skills, if these
are important to you. As well, can they
help you build your personal brand
online if you’re looking for this extra
Resume writing fees are like anything
else – it pays to shop around. The
important thing is to find a service
that’s reasonably priced and provides a
You might be tempted
by ads that make extravagant claims
about their services, but charge a
bargain-basement fee. Then again some
firms grossly over-charge but offer
exaggerated, unsupportable guarantees.
In either case if it sounds too good to
be true, it probably is.
It could really be worth it to gift
yourself a professionally-done resume.
Let’s say it ends up getting you many
more interviews than your self-written
one. Ultimately you shave six weeks off
of your job search. The extra income you
earn (that you might not have if you’d
stuck with your homemade resume) should
more than make up for what you spent.
A cautionary note though from Buckland.
“Remember that your resume can help you
get job interviews, but it is you who
sells yourself to the employer in
person. Make sure you do a comprehensive
job search and polish your interviewing
skills too.” Smart closing words from a