For many people, writing sucks. And, no matter how much you love talking about yourself, writing about yourself in a resume can be a dreadful task. Many entrepreneurial career coaches and writers have capitalized on this over the years by selling their services to write your resume for you. Through these angels, IT contractors have the ability get past that barrier preventing them from applying to an exciting contract position.
Sounds like a dream come true, right? Maybe. While there is no doubt that there are some talented, quality resume-writers out there who will land you a job interview, there are also some brutal, harmful services. Here’s what to look for in a great resume-writer:
- They charge a decent amount of money. An extremely high price could be a sign you’re being scammed, but if somebody is claiming to write you something for $50, then it’s going to suck. This is your top job searching tool and you need to invest in it.
- They have a solid process. Look for a professional who has a specific process to write your resume that includes an interview to truly understand your experience. That process should also promote that they will never make-up experience and will talk to you before adding new content.
- They Know YOUR Industry. IT, especially, is a unique field with specific skills and the person writing your resume has to understand them. They should also understand your specific industry. Contractors working for the Federal Government have a completely different style resume than those working in the banking industry.
- They personalize your resume. Not necessarily branded with “your colours” but you want a writer with samples demonstrating they do not work from only one template. At Eagle, our recruiters often come across resumes that look the exact same, except for some information within projects. These resumes are often flagged as potential fraud.
- They focus on careers and resumes. There are extremely talented writers, but are they specifically resume writers? Try to stick with people who are resume-oriented and dedicated to finding you a job, rather than writing anything under the sun.
- They have credentials. Of course there are certifications for resume-writing, there’s a certification for everything. Learn more about the Certified Professional Resume Writer credential here and decide if this is an important criteria in your search for a writer.
Many job seekers and contractors have different points-of-view regarding professional resume writers. Even if you find the best in the business, you’re still paying a lot of money for something you really could have done on your own. You can find plenty of free templates online and nobody can write about you better than you can… you just need to make the time. In addition, you need to frequently update your resume so you can target specific jobs, so regardless, you’ll have to do some writing anyway.
Some of our contractors recently told us that they’ve had success with services like JobScan. JobScan offers two different products. First, they will scan your resume alongside the description of the job to which you’re applying and provide feedback. The results tell you how well your resume will do in an ATS, which keywords are lacking, what clichés and fluff you need to eliminate, as well as provide tips on which skills you might want to add. JobScan can also look at your LinkedIn profile to give you suggestions on how you can make that more attractive to recruiters. The complete service does have a subscription fee and given its popularity you may want to do a full review to decide if it’s for you.
Do you have any tools or tricks to find the balance between a quality resume and time? If so, we’d love to hear them! Please share your advice in the comments below.