This may seem like a self-serving series of posts. After all, I’m an executive resume and LinkedIn profile writer-strategist myself. I will make you a promise.
If you continue, you’ll be much better able to assess and select the best executive resume writer . . . and LinkedIn profile writer . . . and biography writer . . . for you.
The Value in Working with a Certified Professional Executive Resume Writer
Follow up with Parts 2 and 3 of this three-part series:
Did you land on this blogsite after doing a Google or LinkedIn search on “executive resumes”, “executive resume writer”, “LinkedIn profile writer” or something similar?
Google probably hit you with a mind-boggling list of at least 20 million search results for “executive resume writer”.
It’s more important than ever for you to be armed with a resume and LinkedIn profile that brand and truly differentiate you from others vying for the same jobs.
Highly-targeted, brand-reinforcing job search materials can make all the difference. They’ll help you land interviews with your target employers, pre-qualify you for top compensation and land you faster in your next gig.
More and more online resume and LinkedIn writing services crop up all the time. Job seekers have a real dilemma sifting through the sea of choices and figuring out who to work with.
It’s confounding, to say the least. How are you supposed to know which ones are legitimate and where you’ll get the best value for your investment?
Why not just use a resume template?
Should you speed the process by buying a “write your own” template at a cut-rate cost?
You could. You’ll save money and it may work for you, if you truly understand resume writing strategy and what information to include and NOT include. And, among other things, if you know how to define your personal brand and get that into your resume.
But I don’t advise it. You’ll probably end up frustrated and out a chunk of money that could have been invested in working with a superior provider. It’s a rare executive who knows how to write a standout resume and LinkedIn profile for today’s job market.
Please note as you read this 3-part series that for brevity, I most often refer to resumes and resume writing. But all of this also applies to LinkedIn profile creation and writing, biographies and other job search materials.
Executive resume and LinkedIn profile writers get a lot of bad press.
People can be distrustful of us and perhaps with good reason. So much misinformation about what we do (or don’t do) is floating around out there by people who make sweeping generalizations about us as a group, but don’t really know what we do . . . and how much we help job seekers.
I often see blog posts and articles warning that professional resume writers are swindlers and resume writing credentials mean nothing. They lambaste us in general and place an arbitrary cap on what job seekers should pay for resumes and job search services.
Surprisingly, some people still don’t realize we exist as a profession – that there even is such a thing as a professional resume writer.
Ever since the first careers industry credentialing organization, the Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARW), began about 25 years ago, we’ve been sharing and learning best practices from each other, and offering clients the best strategies to accelerate their job search.
And too many job seekers have had terrible experiences with resume writing services. I’ve done damage control for countless executives who paid top dollar for mediocre-at-best resumes.
Some executive job boards add fuel to the fire.
Toss in the behind the scenes battle between executive resume writers and some very well-known job boards. Their resume critiquing practices routinely trash the resumes created by some of the country’s best writers. They do this to sell their own resume writing services.
Fact is, there are indeed thousands of fly-by-night, disreputable resume services ready to take advantage and fleece unsuspecting, bewildered job seekers.
Laura DeCarlo, the President of Career Directors International, a careers industry professional association, warns: “It’s not uncommon for scammers to:
- Publish professional looking websites that copy content from real practitioners.
- Create fake professional associations and certifications — along with logos — and list both.
- Show thumbnails of industry books, implying they are included in them.
- Provide made-up testimonials.
- Call themselves award-winning in their specialty with no actual award ever granted.
- Display resume samples stolen from other writers on the internet.
- Claim memberships they don’t hold and certifications they didn’t earn, complete with copied logos.”
Those of us in the careers industry come across these bad eggs all the time. It’s well worth the effort to do a little legwork to find a reputable, talented professional. Their services can have a profound impact on your success.
Some background about resume writing credentials.
A number of reputable career professional associations offer certifications. These credentials typically demonstrate a higher level of experience than those without. They indicate that the writer stays current with industry trends, communicates regularly with others in the industry, and attends conferences, webinars, teleseminars, etc.
Some of the executive resume writing credentialing processes are extremely grueling. And some require several years’ professional experience before they can even be attempted, so they weed out incompetents. Also, beware that there are plenty of phony resume writing credentials.
More about careers industry professional associations in Part 2 of this series.
The true value in working with a professional.
The best resume professionals know how to develop a personalized strategy around each client’s unique value to the employers they’re targeting. They:
- Ask their clients the right questions to uncover the compelling information that defines their career distinction.
- Help their clients prepare for job search with information-mining exercises that give them deep insight into their target employers’ needs and what makes them a mutual good-fit.
- Brand and differentiate their clients’ unique promise of value to their next employer.
- Incorporate the right key words, relevant to each clients’ target job, but still craft resumes that are an interesting read.
- Showcase the critical information hiring decision makers want to see and align everything in the resume around the requirements for each client’s target job(s).
- Create digital and paper documents that “sit” perfectly on the page, immediately capture attention, best position clients’ “selling” points, look appealing, and reflect the right brand image for each client.
- Know what recruiters and employers want to see in a resume, how it should look and how it should be formatted.
Try not to make cost your major deciding factor.
Understandably, cost may be a major consideration when choosing an executive resume writer, but if that’s your first and only concern, you’re only thinking about the paper or digital document you’ll walk away with.
You’re neglecting to assess all the critical factors that go into crafting a winning executive resume, and overlooking all the benefits beyond the actual resume.
Working one-on-one with an experienced professional who understands today’s executive job search landscape, helps set you up to succeed in your job search. It prepares you to communicate your unique value when you network and interview.
Many of us have been career professionals for many years. We’ve amassed a wealth of knowledge to help our clients demystify today’s executive job search experience.
We’ve extended the kinds of services we offer to include online identity building, online branding, social media/social networking, and other strategies to help clients stand out from their competition. And we know what hiring decision makers want to see in resumes, social networking and online presence.
The best executive resume writers are also really good at confidence-boosting.
Executive job search is one life’s daunting challenges. Many job seekers go into it doubting their credentials and the value they offer. They need a cheerleader.
We help our clients uncover and focus on what makes them a good fit for their target employers. Many of our clients have just been laid off or have been floundering in job search for some time. Having someone to champion them through is a powerful bonus.
Deciding on which resume writer to work with requires the same thought as making any major financial decision. Along with asking friends and colleagues to recommend a writer/strategist, do some research and weigh all the issues and finer points.
It’s all about knowing just what you’re getting for your investment.