Many times when a consultation call begins with a job candidate, I will hear, “There are so many resume writers out there to choose from. What makes you different?” Just as people come in all shapes and sizes, resume writers do as well. There are a series of questions which I recommend asking any resume writer during an initial consultation call or discovery session. Here are some helpful ideas and insight:
1. What is your overall background in writing and what led you to start a resume writing business? How long have you been doing this for?
A strong writing background is vital to resume writing success. After all, proper grammar, syntax, and communication skills lay the foundation for being able to communicate value on paper. Learning about the resume writer’s academic credentials and own career trajectory can give you great insight into their background and what makes them well-suited to help you with your career path.
2. How active are you in the industry? Are you published? Do you belong to The National Resume Writers’ Association and other organizations? Are you an active member? Do you attend annual conferences and summits to advance your knowledge and training?
This series of questions will give you a lot of insight into the writer. Consider the certifications, level of writing expertise, and amount of comprehensive experience in total. Staying on top of industry standards is extraordinarily important for any professional, and resume writers are no different. A resume writer who attends conferences, summits, and other professional development seminars is committed to not just his/her career success, but yours as well. Consider if the writer is doing all he/she can to learn about new trends in the industry and share them with clients, colleagues, and others. Professional associations have annual conferences – find out when the last one transpired and ask if your writer attended the conference. Teleconferences are another way for writers to get involved and stay on top of their knowledge game.
Publications are extremely important as well. Consider if the writer partners with top career blogs, leading magazines, and social media avenues to share their innovative writings and ideas. Consider what the writer is doing to establish a strong presence in the industry through larger involvement on a national or international level. Expertise is garnered by advanced training and knowledge and a sharing of that knowledge.
3. Do you have a staff of writers or do you do all of the work in-house?
Every resume business will have a different platform. Consider which ones suit your needs and don’t be afraid to ask if there are others involved in crafting your resume. Many times, the benefits of hiring a firm with a team of writers is faster document turnaround. However, some job candidates prefer the one-on-one service with the resume expert who is also the business owner and therefore don’t mind a longer wait period.
4. What resources can the writer provide to you to make an informed business decision?
A professionally written resume is one of the best investments you can make for your career, but also a hefty one. Pricing varies between resume writers greatly, depending on market competition, certifications, and years of writing expertise. Consider the resources available on the writer’s website, and resources made available through organizations.
5. Look at samples, testimonials, and feedback.
When in doubt, do your research. Google your writer’s name, learn about your writer, and don’t be afraid to ask for resume samples and written testimonials outside of the writer’s website.
Being a well-informed buyer of resume writing services is important not just for you, but for your career future as well.