For many job seekers, the cost of investing in career services seems hefty until they realize the return on their investment can include a shorter job search, a salary increase for $15,000, $20,000 or even more than $50,000 annually (the $50,000 increase happened to one of our clients this year – – with a nice sign-on bonus included). While the excitement of starting a new job can feel like mass pandemonium, job seekers should also remember that their job search expenses are tax deductible. That’s a greater return on your investment than you probably imagined!
The IRS’ website provides a detailed list on what is tax deductible in the job search process. Some of those key items include resume costs (arguably your LinkedIn profile is an online resume!), traveling costs (flying and driving to interviews), babysitting fees, moving costs (relocation of more than 50 miles away), and costs for attending networking events. Many job seekers will overlook all of these deductions and have to back-track at the end of the fiscal year. Hindsight is always 20/20 which is why we are giving the 2016 job seekers a head start. If you are beginning your job search in 2016, we recommend keeping a “job search” folder with parking receipts, mileage amounts, postage and mailings, networking event receipts, and of course the invoice for your resume services. Don’t forget the tax deduction for consulting with legal counsel should you need to hire one to review a non-compete or non-disclosure agreement before you accept a job offer.
For more detailed information on the tax savings, please refer to the IRS’ website or contact your accountant. To our 2015 clients, should you need an additional copy of your invoice, please do not hesitate to contact us!
The first time I heard about LinkedIn was back in 2008. I had a profile, but like you, I didn’t do much with it. It wasn’t until LinkedIn reached popularity in the last five years that I truly began to see the value in it. Of course its value skyrocketed when I learned as a professional resume writer just how much LinkedIn could increase professional opportunities for myself and my clients.
Today, your LinkedIn profile is even more compelling than your resume. Why? LinkedIn is how you build your professional branding. It is a gateway to many more things than just selling yourself for a job. Your LinkedIn profile should never be a copy and paste of your resume. Instead, think of it as a way for you to create an online representation of yourself and develop a reputation among millions of other professionals.
Remember, your resume gets submitted to a hand-selected number of people, but your LinkedIn profile has greater reachability to 500+ million users.
Take a moment and Google your name. You will notice that one of the first links is to your LinkedIn profile. Before other professionals meet you, they know about you and what you represent. The best part: You retain the power to create that professional image and leverage it among the millions of Internet users. LinkedIn isn’t necessarily just for job searching. It is also a way to display your knowledge, skill set, and what value you bring to other businesses and business professionals.
In order to make your LinkedIn profile more powerful, here are four important things you should do:
1. Professional Photo
LinkedIn users with a photo are 14X more likely to have their profiles viewed than those without a photo. LinkedIn provides professional insight to who you are through millions of viewers — recruiters, business professionals, employers, colleagues and various others. How you appear in that photo is how others will view you. Therefore, it is highly recommended that your photograph convey a professional image of you. This may require investing in a professional headshot, but the payoff can be much greater.
2. Broad Headline and Persuasive Summary
Many LinkedIn users will default to using their current job title as their headline. Think of your headline as the great title to your own professional novel. Your headline should be all-encompassing for your sector and industry. For example, if you are in sales and marketing, a powerful LinkedIn headline can include “Top-Performing Sales and Marketing Executive.” You’ve now hit both industries and you are also drawing attention to a reader by emphasizing your value.
Your summary is the introduction to your professional novel and very similar to an introductory paragraph in an essay. The summary should be concise but expansive enough to target your key focus areas and summarize your skill set. A great summary will provide insight into who you are, what you do, and perhaps it will discuss your business philosophy with great enthusiasm. It will also help you get found on LinkedIn and enable you to show up in more diverse searches.
3. Synthesized Details for Work Experience
Your work experience details matter and they should be keyword rich. No more than three to four sentences should be used for your job descriptions or the reader will lose attention. Consider breaking up your experience into different categories such as business development, project management and process improvement. Then, match specific duties and responsibilities to those categories. Describing your work experience has now become that much easier.
4. Customize your URL
Just as LinkedIn is your branding, so is your URL. Get found faster with a customized LinkedIn URL.
These tips are just a start. While your resume can help you get the interview for a new job, a fully optimized LinkedIn profile can bring you more business, more connections, and can increase your professional reputation. That is a value worth achieving.
Your resume and LinkedIn profile may be even scarier than your best Halloween costume. Here are my top 5 things to change immediately to your resume and LinkedIn headline to stop spooking the readers!
1. Add Headers To Your Resume
With less than 10 seconds to garner a reader’s attention, your resume must allure and captivate the reader with those big eye-grabbing elements. Consider adding in headers that will allow your resume to stand out. They can be industry specific keywords or even things such as “Key Results,” “Key Sales Success,” or even “Key Projects.” The idea is that having the headers will allow the reader to easily scan your resume and look for the big things you’ve done!
“Since a prospective employer is looking at the resume for only [a few] seconds, you want [a font] that is aesthetically pleasing and grabs the employer’s attention at a quick glance. The resume should be sophisticated in design with clear headings that stand out.”
A-ha! Headings! Yes!
It’s true that a font’s curvature can preclude a reader from seeing the words clearly. Trust me, I used Garamond font for more than 10 years in my legal resume, but I certainly wouldn’t use it on a client’s resume today. Instead, use Calibri, Tahoma, or my personal favorite, Century Gothic. You will notice a modernized look immediately and thank me later!
3. Replace The “Objective” In Your Resume With A Professional Summary
Your objective is to find a job! Instead, use a professional summary that highlights some of your key skills with those industry specific words. I tell clients that a professional summary is much like an appetizer to the main dish. Make yours stand out with the right details about your best-selling attributes that make the reader want to continue reading. Mix it up with adding a few bullet points below about key career highlights that can really win the reader over. The idea is to stand out and stand apart from the other hundreds of resumes that are being submitted for the positions.
Yes, I am emphasizing this point, big time! When I work with clients on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles, the first thing I tell them is make sure their social media pictures are professional – that means NO Snapchat filters, highly filteed selfies, or photos of you holding a drink.
Hire a professional photographer to take a quality branding photo of you for your LinkedIn profile. It is worth the investment because first impressions are EVERYTHING! Make sure you dress to impress, and SMILE!
5. Create A Branded Headline On LinkedIn & A Powerful Summary
Your LinkedIn headline is more important than you could possibly realize. Google your name and add the word “LinkedIn” after it. Your entire headline populates on Google. Therefore, don’t just list your job title. Hand-pick compelling words and details that emphasize who you are in your industry and profession. Make it personal and jazz it up!
Your LinkedIn summary must tell your career story. Don’t forget to add in at least 10-12 industry specific keywords that will allow greater search capabilities from recruiters, headhunters, and hiring managers.
Just like how the Zack Morris brick phone has been replaced by sleek and lightweight smartphones, your resume should not look the way it did back in 1995.
Resumes are not what they were 20 years ago or even 10 years ago for that matter. Today, they require a completely different mindset and systematic approach. If your resume has the word “responsible,” or still contains an “objective,” consider it the death knell of moving onto the next step in the job search process.
With less than 10 seconds to spare, your resume must appeal to the reader. Center your headlines, and make sure your headlines stand out from the rest of the content. The reason: a reader’s eyes naturally gaze at the center of a page and the headlines need to grab the reader’s attention.
Do not use big blocks of text or long lists of bullet points. They can confuse the reader. That means long sentences are a no-no.
2. Accomplishments, Results, & Major Contributions
Resumes used to be summaries of your work history. Today, with levels of competition rising, you need to stand out and apart from the hundreds of other executives and professionals applying for the same roles.
A resume should leave room for later expansion during an interview. This is precisely why it is important for a resume to be a strategic marketing document that sells your value as opposed to it being a complex and lengthy summary of your work history. Separating key achievements and accomplishments from job functions is one sure way to be strategic.
Use no more than 4-5 bullet points, and reserve those only for qualitative and quantitative achievements that help you distinguish yourself from the hundreds of other candidates. Give sales numbers, show revenue growth, mention awards and recognition you’ve received, and accentuate what made you a valued employee.
Consider this: if you’re an attorney, you likely spend your days responding to discovery, drafting motions and pleadings, attending depositions, and arguing in court. A great way to distinguish yourself as a top-notch attorney is to consider your contributions and achievements as an academic and lead litigator on representative engagements.
Expert Tip: Keep an ongoing list of key projects you’ve worked on, positive feedback from partners, and new client relationships you have built. The same goes for executives in other roles in sales, marketing, IT, engineering, and finance.
With more and more companies utilizing applicant tracking systems (ATS) to weed out candidates, it’s important to include a core skills/core competencies section in your resume that targets the job descriptions and includes relevant industry-specific keywords. Keywords in a resume include phrases such as project management, conflict resolution, and budget analysis
However, do not engage in keyword stuffing and include non-relevant skills that don’t capture your true skill set. Be honest and forthright about your skills.
A properly targeted resume will include a branding statement at the top such as “Award-Winning Pharmaceutical Sales Executive” with core areas of focus or value statements that encompass the branding. This also makes the resume more visually appealing to readers. Consider how you use the headline in your LinkedIn profile as a branding statement to effectuate greater readability and interest.
Your headline in your LinkedIn profile should be as equally compelling as the headline in your resume. Keep in mind that your resume is distributed to a hand-selected number of people, whereas your LinkedIn profile is viewable by 400+ millions of users. Thus, your LinkedIn profile should tell more of your career story and have personal flair in it. Read:Why Your LinkedIn Profile is More Compelling Than Your Resume
5. Professional Summary
An effective resume also contains a professional summary that is keyword-rich and targets successes in leadership, communications, and management that will include factual support in the resume to back up those statements.
Much like a lawyer who creates a roadmap at the outset of a legal brief, your professional summary must be a roadmap to your resume and the accomplishments, contributions, and achievements that will be included and discussed. Allow the professional summary to provide a snippet of information about you, your career highlights, and key attributes to allure the reader. If you graduated top of your class, if you were on law review, or if you were a merit scholar, consider including those tidbits of valuable information at the outset of your resume so your reader knows the caliber of professional you are.
The moral of the story: Toss away the resume from 1995. Be modern, objective, and concise in your writing. Synthesize material and formulate it to sell your skills the best way possible. Your resume must be attention-grabbing and effective to communicate your value to an employer.
At the time I started my resume writing business in 2010, it never occurred to me that there were any associations committed to the professionalism of resume writing and the careers industry. I didn’t search for them because perhaps I didn’t realize then just how much resume writing and career coaching is a true industry that is highly respected.
It wasn’t until a few years later that I learned about the myriad of professional associations for career professionals and resume writers. One that really stood out to me was The National Resume Writers’ Association (“The NRWA”). It offered an array of professional development through monthly teleseminars, quarterly mentoring calls, and even an annual conference dedicated to 3 days of mastery and skills training.
It didn’t take too long for me to be sold on The NRWA for its collegial mentality, stance on ethics, and professional devotion to bettering the resume writing world and setting apart the industry with the rigorous NCRW (Nationally Certified Resume Writer) certification.
Forgive me in advance for my brutal honesty, but today, in a world of internet marketing and virtual workplaces, anyone can call themselves a “resume writer” on a website or on LinkedIn. However, a true and dedicated professional resume writer maintains an arsenal of tools that are constantly revamping, updating, and being fine-tuned. This is done through a commitment to professional development — training, certifications, seminars, conferences, etc.
As the job industry changes, and new trends appears, the most talented writers and career professionals show their commitment to learning and expanding with the industry. Much like a lawyer who has to take continuing legal education (CLE) credits every 3 years to keep his/her bar license active, the NRWA stresses the importance of continuing education and professional development. It requires its NCRW writers to obtain continuing education credits through mastery courses, seminars, and the annual conference every 3 years. That is why the NCRW is so highly regarded in the industry for resume writing. It is not a one-and-done certification. Instead, you have to continue proving your commitment to the industry by way of advancing your knowledge every few years.
When I speak to prospective clients on a daily basis, the first place I tell them to research a resume writer is via The NRWA. With nearly 20 years in existence, The NRWA has set the precedent for professional development as the only non-profit association for professional resume writers. Since being founded, for-profit organizations have taken to the mentality of The NRWA, by boosting the credentials of resume writers through professional development seminars, alternative certifications in career coaching and writing, as well as annual conferences. Some of the for-profit professional associations that I am fond of (and hold memberships in) include Career Thought Leaders (CTL) and Career Directors International (CDI).
As I finish up my first year as a board member for The NRWA, and head into year two of re-elected leadership, I am also preparing for my third consecutive annual conference (held next month in Annapolis). Last year, the annual conference was held in Charlotte, and the year before, it was held in Denver. My first year in Denver was the catalyst that pushed my business and my passions into high gear. In 2014, my husband (who was then my boyfriend), traveled with me to the conference in Denver. I remember after 9 hours of breakout sessions, walking into the hotel room, and saying to him, “This is what I needed to attend to move my business into the next level.”
5 months after I attended my first NRWA conference, I left practicing law full-time, moved into the full reigns as an entrepreneur and never looked back. My passion for this industry has grown immensely through leadership in the Association, where I proudly partner with talented colleagues who are just as driven about their businesses, this industry, and the Association as I am. Life is certainly about the people you surround yourself with, and the leadership in The NRWA is truly top-notch.
In life, the only way to be great at what you to is to consistently challenge yourself to be better through advancing your own knowledge, skills, and education. A resume writer who attends conferences, summits, and other professional development seminars is committed to not just his or her career success, but yours as well.
The next time you are researching for a resume writer ask him/her these important questions during the consultation: 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?
At the end of the day, knowledge is power for you and your writer. Hold onto it, challenge it, and advance yourself.
Learn more about The NRWA and search for its professional resume writers here.
Jim Rohn brilliantly stated, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Our lives and careers are greatly influenced by the people we spend the most time with — those people include parents, children, siblings, friends, and professional colleagues. What happens when you recognize that one (or more) of those people can be sabotaging your career and personal happiness? There are key personalities that are considered “toxic” for us and sometimes it takes those defining moments to withdraw from the relationships for your own personal happiness and progress.
How do you recognize when it’s time to cut the cord and not look back?
Research points to specific personalities that are toxic for us and quite often, these personalities are inter-connected: the negative “Debbie Downer,” the one who argues and causes friction consistently, the one whose life is in constant turmoil and plays “victim,” the one who can’t accept responsibility or take ownership of his/her wrongdoings, the “user” who simply only wants to take and not give, and then there’s the personality who is a bad influence on our actions.
I want you think about a defining moment in your life when you realized that your own personal happiness mattered more than continuing this toxic relationship. Maybe it was when you moved forward from one job to the next. Maybe it was when you ended a very unhealthy relationship or friendship that simply did not pave the road for personal fulfillment. Perhaps this person was so utterly destructive to everything around him/her that you realized it was best to withdraw from all contact.
Many times it is hard for us to take off the blinders and recognize that the toxic personality is from someone who is in close relation to us. It can be someone who you have a deep personal relationship or friendship with or it could even be your boss. Remember that remaining connected to toxic people precludes us from moving forward with our personal progress and goals. Sometimes it’s best to cut the cord for the sake of our own happiness. We don’t owe explanations. We owe the happiness to ourselves.
Here are a few tips to establishing boundaries to relationships and ensuring that we connect to the right people:
Recognize how this person is affecting you. In work situations, it make require deep introspective thinking and realizing that you are better off pursuing different career avenues. In personal relationships, it may require disconnecting from this person in all forms of communication and creating a wall of distance. Not every situation needs to be confronted. Sometimes it’s better to just take the higher road and walk away.
2. Consult With a Coach or Other Professional
It may take a few sessions with a career or life coach or a licensed mental health counselor to help point you in the right direction of the types of environments that best suit your personality and how to best cope with toxic personalities. Many times, toxic personalities cannot recognize the destruction they bring to situations.
3. Journal Your Feelings
Don’t be embarrassed to journal your feelings. Journaling is a great way to release personal tension and to help redefine your focus on what is important to you. It also promotes personal self growth and allows you to reflect on your own progress.
4. Change Your Circle and Look for Common Interests
Look at your inner circle. Look to who you are spending time with and cultivating relationships with. It may be best to re-define that circle and expand into new ones that align with your common interests. This can bring forth new networking and business opportunities, new friendships, or even new career opportunities.
Your career and personal happiness matter. Don’t allow others to take away your self-worth or pride in your goals and progress.
Struggling with toxic co-workers or a toxic work environment? Book a career coaching session with me, and we will identify how to move forward for greater progress in your career. I can be reached at: email@example.com
The heat is being turned up, family vacations are starting, and suddenly there is a striking realization that 2016 is halfway over. Perhaps you are sitting on the beach right now sipping on a delicious cocktail reading this article.
Are you where you thought you would be? Are you feeling stuck? Are you making your game plan for the remaining 6 months of the year? Is your job search stagnant or is it on-track for attaining your next position?
Very recently, I joined a kickboxing studio. I wanted to change up my workouts and get back to that high-intensity cardio training. I was growing bored of hitting the gym, lifting weights, and doing intervals on the treadmill. How many times can I hear the same songs on Pandora over and over again without feeling like a rat on the treadmill?
I felt stuck in a rut with my workouts. It seemed so easy a few years ago when I was running races and mixing it up with strength training. Every day was a different workout and I loved it.
After reflecting, I determined that what was missing was the extra “push.” You see, I need that push when I workout.
I crave the feeling of getting my adrenaline running, making the endorphins peak, and “redlining” my internal engine. I’ve done CrossFit (and loved it!) and Orange Theory, but I just wanted something that would challenge me in a different way. Truth be told, I’m a “balls to the wall” kind of person in all facets of my life. I need the workout that makes me feel like I am not going to make it through the end.
So, here I was, taking upper cuts and knee kicks to a punching bag at 9:30am when I thought to myself, what drives people to want more? Whether it’s a healthier lifestyle, a better job, a more fulfilling career, or even a stronger relationship, you must be fully invested in it to make it work and attain that goal. Here are some of my top tips to help you create stronger drive from within.
Make a list of short-term and long-term goals.
It’s very important when creating goals that you focus both on the short-term and long-term. Short-term goals may seem easier to obtain, but the reality is that you want long-term results. Thus, it is important to focus on both.
Wake up early and don’t hit the snooze button.
Statistics show that the most successful individuals rise early and start knocking those to-do tasks out of the way. There are only 24 hours in the day. Don’t waste them sleeping.
Take ownership and accountability.
Don’t shift the blame on others for your lack of motivation, ambition, or success. Look inward and ask how can YOU improve yourself? Focus on the things you need to do to make yourself more motivated in your daily tasks and bigger goals. Connect the dots and look at the patterns that are preventing you from achieving your desired results. Reflect on where you were 6 months ago, a year ago, 2 years ago. If you feel that you haven’t moved forward or progressed, list the steps that you need to take to make progress.
Focus on personal growth.
Sometimes we are hindered in our careers because of a lack of internal personal growth. A lack of personal growth can cause us to feel stagnant, uninspired, or depressed. Take a break from social media. Focus on improving things in your daily routine. Add more structure. Step outside of your comfort zone.
Update your LinkedIn profile this summer! Make a promise to yourself that you are going to use LinkedIn the right way! With over 400 million users, LinkedIn isn’t just about applying for jobs. It opens up new avenues to connect with recruiters, industry experts, and professionals. There is a specific method to utilizing LinkedIn the right way. Consider booking a consultation with me to discuss some of the important strategies to improve your use on LinkedIn.
Stay away from job boards like Indeed and Monster. Instead, ramp up your networking skills. Consider attending professional in-person networking events. Reach out to recruiters and ask for in-person meetings. The more you put yourself out there, the better your chances will be.
Update and keep track of your accomplishments. To stand out from other job seekers, you must be able to differentiate yourself. Consider having your resume professionally written by a resume expert. It will mean the difference between a 5-figure lateral move and a 6-figure career jump!
There are many things you can do each day to increase motivation, but it must start from within. Let this summer be the starting point for you to see what drives you and what you need to continue on the path to success.
“Hello from the other side
I must have called a thousand times.”
Ah yes, you just can’t get those Adele lyrics out of your mind. You’ve memorized what to say when you get called for the interview. In your mind, they’ve called a thousand times….to the wrong candidate.
Many job seekers believe that in order to acquire the next best job, all that needs to be done is to apply and hit “send” on that application and wait to hear back from the company. Unfortunately, that is the wrong approach. In today’s job search times, much more is needed from applicants if they truly want to score the most coveted positions in their industries.
Here are some tips to get you started in re-thinking your job search strategy after you hit “send.”
1. Request In-Person Meetings.
Reach out to companies you want to work for. Follow these companies on LinkedIn. Review their company mission statements and learn who the key players are. Ask for an in-person meeting. Ask for their email address. Send your resume directly to the hiring manager or executive partner and follow-up always. It shows initiative and a proactive stance.
Consider having a sell sheet, an innovative 1-page resume that is more like a brochure into who you are and the value you command.
2. Connect with recruiters on LinkedIn (once your profile is completed and fully optimized and resonates key business professional).
You now have a resume that strategically markets you and your skill set (after all, you’ve hired a top-tier resume writer to get your job search going the right way). Taking advanced steps is a requirement in the job market. It is all about strategy and actively pursuing the opportunities.
3. Search for jobs on LinkedIn. It is the #1 place to job search today. You can even use your LinkedIn profile to apply for jobs. Stop lingering around job boards. LinkedIn is where it’s at for professionals and you need to be on top of your game.
4. Network like there’s NO tomorrow!
Look to attend networking events in your area if possible. It is a great way to get introduced. Join groups on LinkedIn and see who is posting articles and job advertisements. Consider attending local Chamber of Commerce meetings, business to business events, and even happy hour events for professionals. But remember one thing: just like Patty Stanger says when it comes to dating advice, “Two drink maximum.” Be social, but do not let loose. You are there for the purpose of obtaining your next job, not your next weekend outing.
These are some strategic things you can do outside of hitting “send” on the resume and waiting to hear back. By taking charge, and going after those jobs you want, you will find that persistence will pay off, and the next job will be in your lap before you know it!
I remember the day when I told my friends and family that I was leaving the practice of law to become a full-time resume writer and career coach.
I had already developed my reputation, my expertise, and my passion for resume writing. I had a list of certifications behind me, publications, and the talent to go along with it. All that I needed to do was take the first step. It was downright scary to give up the security of a steady paycheck, a 401K matching contribution, and countless other benefit perks.
Once I make a decision, there’s no stopping me. No one can talk me out of it. No one can discredit me. And, certainly, no one can turn my sails in another direction. I’m what many will call fearless and faithful to myself.
Have you ever felt that you wanted to make a change but didn’t know how to get started? Are you scared to leave your job for a job that might be better or possibly worse? Are you fearful or are you faithful?
As they say, “You don’t know until you try. ” That’s where faith comes in to overtake fear. Dr. Martin Luther King was right. “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Sometimes we don’t know where the staircase will lead to, and that’s okay. We need confidence, ambition, passion, and a will to keep on moving no matter what obstacles come our way.
You can’t always see the top of the mountain, but you don’t know until you begin climbing. With each step you take, you find yourself motivated to continue because there is no looking back.
Faith can be found in all facets of your career, whether you’re a young professional or c-level executive. Faith exists in pursuing your MBA and taking the step to advancing your position within an organization. Faith also exists in leaving one job after 15 years to pursue a better opportunity at a start-up company.
Applying This To Your Career and Life
Take a piece of paper and write down three (3) goals you have for yourself and your career that you want to achieve within the next year, but that you’ve been reluctant to do. Next to those 3 goals, make a column, and list the reasons WHY you have been reluctant to take the staircase. You’ll begin to see a pattern – questioning your abilities, not being able to know where it will take you, or questioning if you can afford to do it. In the next column, list the first step you will need to take for each goal. In the next columns, list the second and third steps you will need to take.
The idea of this exercise is to know what goals you want to achieve, and the steps required to climb the staircase. Knowing the process you must take will allow you to develop your own personal strategy. Remember, this is not a sprint, but a marathon that requires strategic planning, preparedness, and faith to make it to the finish line.
If you’re ready to take the next step to a better career, it’s time to prepare for the climb up the staircase. Sometimes it simply takes the right top executive resume writer and career coach to develop that faithful plan for you.
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.