Words to the Wise

February 9, 2023

Working Too Hard on Your Resume? The Answers May Be Easier than You Think – February 9, 2023

There’s a point when many job seekers realize that the work they’re putting into reworking their resumes just stops working.

It’s even more disconcerting to see that the overall effort begins to look the definition of insanity itself—doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

Remind anyone of EASY APPLY?

More like “a blackhole to nowheresville.”

If that gets you thinking about professional help, the good news is there is a lot of help out there. In fact, one study identified more than 2,800 professional resume writers in the U.S. Unfortunately, that’s also not-so-good news, because within that number there’s a lot of sway between what you pay for and what you get in return.

The first step to choosing the right one for you is asking the right questions upfront.

Here are a few you’ll want to get-at from the get-go:

  1. How much work will you be required to do? Yes, you’re paying for the service of having your resume professionally prepared, but a reputable firm acts as your partner. So, it’s important to have a give-and-take input session at the start. A top-of-the-line provider will often ask you to complete a simple online questionnaire that helps will in the blanks on your background, achievements, and future goals.

    At that point, you’ll be asked to provide a copy of your most recent resume; then, arrange a talk by phone or video to walk through the details. The upshot gives you a better understanding of your own skills, qualifications, and goals so that, when the time comes, you’ll be in a better position to crush your interview with greater confidence.

  2. How long should it take? What’s the cost? In general, it can take between 2-4 business days from initial strategy session to delivery of the first draft (although 24-hour rush service is widely available, at widely varying prices). The honest truth is that writing a customized resume, designed to get past the ATS while positioning you as the dream candidate, is something that takes time, dedication, and specialized skills.

    In terms of price, a Resume Writers Digest survey, released prior to the pandemic, pinned the mean cost for a professional written resume at around $600—the median coming in at $350. Some providers limit the number of revisions or charge extra fees per draft. Others don’t, and even go a step further by backing every package with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

  3. Does the writing help extend to cover letters? Many providers offer ala carte resume writing options, but also make package deals available that include cover letters. This is really where the rubber meets the road in terms of the quality of writer and his or her ability to drill down into the details. In the resume of every applicant, there’s always a story worth expanding on in longer form as an invitation to learn more.

    Tightly structured and concisely written, the cover letter can be the closer in securing an interview—one that builds off a dynamic resume and answers the most pertinent criteria of the job description. It’s never a one-size-fits-all proposition; rather, it’s a single-use document that makes the match.

When you walk away from the professional resume writing process, you should have a solid understanding of the skills, experience, and achievements that make you unique and appealing to potential employers.

Still have questions?

RP answers the most asked.

Let us know and we’ll do our best to help you take your first step—to your next one.

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