You’ve decided to invest in resume writing services, but you aren’t sure whose process is right for you. With thousands of resume writing services out there, this article is not here to tell which one you should pick, but provide you with important information about the resume writing process that you should be considering when deciding who to hire.
The Intake Process of Your Resume Writer
The process of writing a resume from scratch is a challenge for even the most talented resume writers out there. Why? A resume writer has not lived your life or lived your career. Thus, a resume will only be as good as the information that’s acquired from you, the job seeker/resume client. That means providing enough detail about your career background, results, achievements, and career goals in the pre-writing process, also known as the intake process.
Each of the resume writing services out there offers a different process and a different style of working with clients. When prospective clients approach me, I am transparent that resume writing is a personalized service and you must go with the writer whose process best suits your individual needs.
My process, in particular, requires both an intensive questionnaire and an intake call.
You may wonder, why both?
I think of the resume writing process like managing a case through litigation. When I litigated insurance fraud cases, I would never just jump into taking a deposition of a witness. Instead, I would propound written discovery and collect as much background information as possible through interrogatories (sworn questions) and requests for production (documents). Once I had all of the preliminary information in front of me, and I did my research, then I would move into deposing the witness. It helped me to better structure and prepare my case for a judge. The same goes for writing a resume. I need to get all of the preliminary information about the client before I can ask questions on the phone in the intake process. That intake call is geared for discussing how I want to brand that client for his/her job search, and how that client wants to approach his/her job search.
Keep in mind that some resume writers will move straight into the intake call and avoid using questionnaires. It’s not that the process of doing this is wrong, but having a questionnaire does allow for the client to later use it to prepare for an interview, or as a review guide when they want to refresh their recollection about a project they worked on. I also like to think of the questionnaire as a great way for a client to write down their own thoughts especially when that client is not skilled at answering questions on the fly about a 20+ year career background. My questionnaire is something that I give a client 10-14 days to complete, and encourage the clients to work on in parts. Many clients will proudly say at the end, “Wow, that was tough, but it really helped me dig deep into my career background.”
Some clients have struggled with the questionnaire process or may not want to engage me because of it, but for the ones who have completed the questionnaire, it helps them to get their career in order, especially if they have never had a resume or haven’t updated their resume in a decade or longer.
Creating a Deal Sheet for Your Resume
A deal sheet is a list of major transactions that you have worked on in growing revenue, slashing costs, negotiating contracts, or even improving processes at an organization. If you have not updated your resume in a long time, making a list of separate deals, transactions, and representative engagements you’ve effectuated at an organization can be helpful when it comes time to updating your resume. Think of it as a “brag book” for the results you’ve procured at these organizations. When compiling a deal sheet, think about your role on the project, the type of project it was for, the type of result that occurred, and the experience you garnered on that project. Keep in mind that if you have signed a confidentiality agreement, you will need to be careful about disclosing the name of the entity that you represented. Instead, consider referencing the type of company it was rather than providing names and clear transactional values.
Interfacing with Resume Writers & Resume Writing Services
Another important facet of resume writing services is the phase after the new resume is delivered. The resume writer is putting together the marketing snapshot of your career that you will ultimately disseminate to companies, hiring managers, and key persons of interest. If the person on paper does not match the person in the interview, it will be a hard sell for a job offer. That means the resume must be written in a vernacular that will match the job seeker’s own voice, tone, and personality. Back-and-forth emails can often lead to miscommunications in the initial phase of editing the resume. A collaborative editing process benefits both the resume writer and job seeker to highlight those things. A resume writing services process that encourages a phone call or strategy session after the resume draft is delivered can help establish the tone and style that the job seeker is wanting. It can also help explain the mindset and strategy of the resume writer in drafting the new resume.