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How Much Is Your Resume Worth?

Today I listened to the Recruiting Animal Show as he hosted quite a few Resume Writing Professionals.  One of the key questions raised centered around cost of service and its value.  As a recruiter who often helps his candidates improve their resumes, I know many need help in this area.

Why don’t more job seekers invest in their resume and get professional help making it better?  Especially knowing this is a critical part of the job search process.  It may come down to cost.  Here are two surveys which I hope shed some light on Resume Services.  Please leave your votes and feel free to comment at bottom of this post.

Author’s Note: After posting this article, I’ve had numerous comments submitted below.  Any job seekers questioning the value of professional resume writing assistance (and related services) should read through the comments by the experts below.

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September 30, 2009 - Posted by | General Musings, Job Search, Resume Writing

74 Comments »

  1. The question might be asked are resumes still a critical and essential ingredient to successfully taking the next step with the many online tools and groups available?

    I think the concept of a resume has changed with the advent of the many online tools including virtual resume, social media, including LinkedIn and Facebook, YouTube, etc.. With the abundance of free resources a resume pro could be over kill for the average job hunter but those in the executive ranks, or with glaring gaps or problems with their experience have to consider it an investment worth making and a necessity in their career.

    People hire people, not resumes, and I think far too much time and energy is spent on the resume and too little on effective networking – IMHO.

    A good source of reputable firms is The National Resume Writers’ Association and the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. Both are online have ethical and quality standards they follow.

    Comment by Bill Vick | September 30, 2009 | Reply

  2. I think your Resume is a pretty vital component of the hiring process, but not the only component. Interestingly, we are publishing a series on this exact topic this week over at our blog http://www.thejobawfultruth.wordpress.com

    Comment by thejobawfultruth | September 30, 2009 | Reply

  3. In line with what Bill says, I think as the upcoming generations come into higher positions, you will see the advent of proof of concept – that is the need to show past work to validate who and what they are in many different formats. A resume will not be enoguh to show a hiring manager but recruiters will always need some filtering device to sift through people. That sifting though is more and more on the web as people become more aware of how they “Google’. Yet there is this transition we are in – how long will it last? A job seeker has to cover all bases so a decent resume, well expressed and to the point is still needed right now.

    Comment by Dorothy Beach, CIR PHR | September 30, 2009 | Reply

  4. Yes, if people are using networking effectively, they will rely a bit less on the resume to open the door. If someone has an impressive online presence, it will help fuel a successful search. However, even with the obligatory online presence, a resume is still required for most jobs. (In particular, for the “average job hunter” that Bill mentions in his comment.)

    It’s important to remember that this is not a “come as you are job market.” With many candidates for each job, it is important to have a multi-tiered approach that includes a top-notch resume, networking (in person and online) and a strong digital footprint.

    Yes, there are free resources, but those resources cannot help a candidate overcome his or her own biases or tendency to sell him or herself short. Free resources do not help if a candidate does not write well.

    If “Joe average job hunter” prefers to rely on free resources instead of investing in a professional to help manage an important financial considerations (having a job or getting a better one), so be it.

    My clients do not want to be professional job seekers, nor do they want to be average! They want more for themselves and know the value a professional offers in helping to propel a search that is more likely to lead to a successful resolution.

    Comment by Miriam Salpeter, Keppie Careers | September 30, 2009 | Reply

  5. Interesting poll, Jeff, and I look forward to seeing the responses.

    I think anytime this question comes down to pricing, it begs the question (within limits) of how vested the candidate is in his/her career.

    I know a guy who has been a jack-of-all-trades for years. When he lost his last job, he hung up a resume writing sign … right beside his Avon Rep sign. I saw his post on FB this morning that said, “don’t pay more than $100 for your resume.” He’s not doing our industry any favors.

    Resume writing isn’t wordsmithing, it’s strategizing. Strategizing takes time to understand background and goals in the context of weaving the value proposition that makes a company want to buy (pay) what you’re selling (you).

    Comment by Cindy Kraft | September 30, 2009 | Reply

  6. As the editor of a trade publication for professional resume writers, this is certainly an issue that we as an industry continue to address. Certainly the resume document itself has evolved over time.

    The resumes I wrote 15 years ago little resemblance to the resumes our industry produces today.

    But just as no self-respecting carpenter would enter a worksite without all his tools, the resume is still a “hammer” in the job seeker’s arsenal. Certainly it is not the only tool required for an effective job search, but it can still be used to open doors, start conversations, facilitate networking/referrals, and establish value by providing talking points in an interview … as well as its primary function — to stimulate interest in an interview.

    Through the process of developing the resume, clients also complete self-exploration exercises — identifying their core skills and strengths, creating CAR/STAR/CCAR scenarios that quantify their significant contributions (and coming up with the $$, ##, and %% that demonstrate these), and figuring out which parts of their experience are most applicable to their next position.

    What you will likely find is that those who have had their resumes professionally produced KNOW the value that it offers for their career development and exploration process. But if you ask the general public what they are “willing” to pay without an understanding of what they “get” out of the process, you’ll find that the answers are on the lower end of the range … while the reality is that the price for a professionally-produced resume is between $300-$800 (national average).

    – Bridget (Weide) Brooks
    Editor, Resume Writers’ Digest

    Comment by Bridget (Weide) Brooks | September 30, 2009 | Reply

  7. In 2009, this isn’t your mother’s (or father’s) job search process any more! Most people can’t just do their job and, in their spare time, keep up with all the things they need to know about the job market and thow together a quick (but effective) resume to get their next job.

    As an outside observer, running employment portal Job-Hunt.org since 1998, closely watching the job market, I’ve seen it get increasingly more complex, both technologically and, of course, competitively. And the speed of change has picked up, particularly in the last 18 months.

    A one-size-fits-all resume hasn’t worked for years. And, a successful do-it-yourself resume has become more difficult because of all the newly-developing technical and marketing requirements.

    To “complex-ify” things, now with LinkedIn and Twitter and blogs and Facebook and MySpace and Plaxo and ZoomInfo and… and… important parts of the process (aka “personal branding”), the knowledge and skills required to successfully manage and keep up to date with all this is becoming more difficult for the average person to do.

    We’re heading into an era a specialization/micro-specialization, and, unfortunately, a DIY resume isn’t going to work for most people any more. I wish it would!

    So, hire a professional, but get references first (and check them!). Google the resume writer to see what is being written and said about the person – do “due diligence” before paying someone.

    OR, see if you can get good free help from your local state employment office or your college’s career center.

    Comment by Susan P Joyce | September 30, 2009 | Reply

  8. To add a few cents to my resume-writing colleagues above:

    A cheap resume can be very costly–not just in terms of the $50 or whatever spent, but the opportunities it costs you.

    An expertly prepared resume should deliver significant value by enabling you to compete for and win better jobs, and shortening your job search by weeks (with the lost income that implies).

    Invest in quality and you won’t regret it. Your career is more crucial than calling a plumber, with similar consequences if you take the do-it-yourself route.

    On another point: who wants to be the “average job hunter”? Who wants to hire “average”? There are many roads to success, but “average” isn’t one of them.

    Best regards,

    Robert Dagnall

    Comment by Robert Dagnall | September 30, 2009 | Reply

  9. The sales tools that candidates use obviously have and will continue to change and capitalize on the the technology available. Eventually something will evolve into the “new” de facto standard “resume” “profile” “executive portfolio” or whatever.

    Whatever that turns out to be, as Bill Vick has said, organizations hire people, not paper (electronic or otherwise)and no matter what form or shape a candidate’s on or offline presence takes, it is my strong belief that they that they should have a professional create the sales collateral while they are spending their time expanding their personal and professional network.

    Comment by Dave Opton | September 30, 2009 | Reply

  10. I was at a Christian Business Leaders breakfast this morning with about 20 men and one other woman and a recent client played show and tell with the resume he had been using until he had met me at a prior breakfast and had me recreate his resume. He displayed the new version and shared how different the strategies were and how much more confident he felt approaching his upper management job search with his new resume.

    As many of my colleagues said above, you need a multi-tiered approach which includes the resume, effective online and actual networking strategies and a digital presence that reflects your unique talents.

    There are many services that each of us use every day, not because we couldn’t do them ourselves but because a trained professional with extensive experience can do it better. I don’t change my own oil, cut my own hair, install my own fireplace, … you get the picture. I want someone who invests time and training into getting it right to do it for me. A job search put much more of your future on the line than any of those examples.

    Comment by Julie Walraven | September 30, 2009 | Reply

  11. A professional sales presentation usually starts with providing a buyer with some form of product information or brochure; and the sales person wouldn’t dream of handing the buyer a half baked product brochure. In many cases 10’s of thousands of dollars are spent creating these marketing documents. What is a resume? I believe a CV / resume should be a “marketing document”, a “sales presentation” and the outline to a persons “career business plan”. How much is this worth?

    I don’t believe too many people have been hired solely because of a great resume BUT I am certian many people have NOT been hired because of a bad one.

    Comment by Ron McManmon | September 30, 2009 | Reply

    • I have a career business plan stated right top, front, and center on my resume. How else are you going to get an idea of what somebody wants to do in life?

      Comment by Alex J. Avriette | October 1, 2009 | Reply

  12. Wow. The results of these polls demonstrate ignorance, IMO. Would you cut your own hair? Mend your own broken arm? People think they can “get by” with some resume help from a friend and some can, but I think it is important to recognize when it’s time to call in a professional. There are all ranges of pricing for “professional” resume writers but know this: you typically get what you pay for, just like with anything else. A bargain isn’t always the best product.

    I consider this to be a fair statement:

    “I don’t believe too many people have been hired solely because of a great resume BUT I am certian many people have NOT been hired because of a bad one.

    Comment by Ron McManmon”

    Comment by imjustagoyle | September 30, 2009 | Reply

  13. This is just insane! I cannot believe that some job seekers wouldn’t invest more than $50. It would be interesting to know what line of work these folks are in, how much they make per year, and the level of education they have attained.

    Those who can write, often seek a professional writer. Those who cannot write, think they can! I have had marketing executives, journalist, editors, and copywriters hire my assistance because they understand the value a writing professional can bring to the project. Further, inviting another perspective will only help. $50!? How much time can that really buy you?

    Comment by Rosa Vargas | September 30, 2009 | Reply

    • There is no question in my mind that a professionally-produced resume should be paid for. It’s common sense! The question that always comes to mind is “What happens if I fail to land the job?”. This I believe is the fear most individuals that don’t lean toward such a service have.

      It’s difficult to imagine paying for a service without a guarantee you will get a job. It’s like any other service one would pay for; you expect a garauntee. It’s common sense!

      Although I am aware of the importance of this service, in many cases a high end resume may not always match the indiviual character or personality that an employer may be looking for. The fact of the matter is that many in this job seeking world today just don’t have the funds to use in such a service not to mention the history work related data required. Call it what you want but it’s a fact.

      Personally, I am all for such services.

      Comment by HR | March 1, 2010 | Reply

  14. In addition to what others have said above, many resume writers offer value added services that complement the primary resume. Cover letters, portfolio documents, biographies, leadership profiles, case studies, etc., that will help market a jobseeker. These can be more complex, and therefore even more challenging to write.

    The process the jobseeker goes through with some writers, especially the in-depth interview, further prepares the candidate in a manner they can not achieve on their own. It is a collaborative partnership that most clients find empowering on many levels.

    August Cohen, aka one of the “Resume Chicks”
    -Certified Advanced Resume Writer
    -Nationally Certified Resume Writer
    -Certified Professional Resume Writer
    *Nominated for 3 “Toast of the Resume Industry” awards

    Comment by August Cohen | September 30, 2009 | Reply

  15. I’ve never used a “professional resume writer” as such, but I did run the latest iteration by my editor (I’m a sometimes-writer, so have a fairly active relationship with my editor). She asked what certain terms were and noted a couple verb tense inconsistencies, but for the most part, what’s in there is what I’ve written.

    For what it’s worth, a zillion headhunter types have taken my resume, and bolloxed it up by reformatting it to fit into their stupid stationery. I work as a contractor, 90% of the time. In interviews, I’ve literally had to grab a paper copy or hand somebody a pdf on a USB memory stick so they can read the “un-formatted” copy that I initially gave the headhunter.

    The other thing that’s kind of a pain in the behind is that, as a contractor, I am frequently somewhere less than a year, and this has been going on for many years. I have a very hard time getting even just the last decade down to something less than three full pages. Nobody I’ve ever run across, be they headhunters, employers, or whichever, has ever done much better. I just have nowhere to put twenty or so positions. Instead, I summarize, one to three sentences, and limit the resume to just the last ten years.

    I suppose because of that, I’ve even started using revision control to keep track of the “version” of the resume, and allowing me to go back to an older copy or to figure out who got which version. It has also required me to spend a lot of time actually writing the cursed thing (at least once or twice a year it gets a kick in the behind). So, maybe I’ve had more practice than some people. I’m probably also one of the few engineers who can effectively write for a customer.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to pay if I thought somebody could do better.

    Comment by Alex J. Avriette | September 30, 2009 | Reply

  16. I echo what my colleagues have already said and add …

    $50 for a project that takes a MINIMUM of 6-10 hrs equates to $5-$8 per hour. Min wage=$7.25. Think about it. Do individuals really want to entrust the direction of their livelihood and how they spend almost a third of their lives (at least 8 hrs a day/5 days a week) to someone working at or below minimum wage? I think not.

    And that’s not meant to disrespect minimum wage positions or wage earners in any way, shape or form. It’s meant to illustrate the reality of what people are saying by indicating they’re unwilling to spend more than $50 for a professional who brings knowledge, strategy, daily reading and study about an ever-changing industry, professional memberships, continuing education, certifications and a supportive, informative, extensive network of colleagues along with an intense passion for what they do to the project.

    It’s not a line item cost on a budget. It’s an investment in yourself. Landing a job only 3-5 days sooner with a professionally created document means the job seeker earns more and the resume just about pays for itself.

    For example: $15/hour x 8 hrs = $120. Three days sooner nets $360. Five days nets $600. ($15/hr equates to a little over $30,000 per year.)

    Invest in yourself. The ROI is phenomenal.

    Dawn Bugni, CPRW
    Certified Professional Resume Writer
    also one of the “Resume Chicks”
    and passionate about my client’s success.

    Comment by dawnbugni | September 30, 2009 | Reply

  17. I would like provide insight I have gained over the years as both a professional resume writer and former Fortune 500 Hiring Manager.

    First, a resume is not just a piece of paper with your “job history” placed into a pretty format. It is a strategic marketing document – a document, that if written correctly, will showcase your value to the next employer and garner you interviews.

    Here is a wonderful quote to ponder that I have on my website that speaks to the value of a professionally prepared resume:

    “Some job seekers regard the resume as ‘just a piece of paper.’ Think about this – a $1 bill and a $1,000 bill are both ‘just paper,’ too. But, like a resume, their value is determined by what is printed on that piece of paper.”

    Second, as a certified professional resume writer for 22+ years, I can attest to the fact that this economic melt-down is like nothing I have ever seen before. It is SO competitive out there. Job seekers need to understand that now, more than ever, it is important to put your best foot forward.

    Here is great analogy.

    If you show up to an interview in a suit and tie, and everyone else is wearing jeans and polo shirts, you can always take off your jacket.

    However, if you show up to an interview in jeans and a polo shirt, and everyone else is wearing a suit and tie, you can’t suddenly put on a suit. The interview will be over before it even starts.

    My point? Your resume, like the way you dress, is the first impression you make with an employer – whether you are applying blind or have connections within a certain company or industry. You are not there to “speak” with the employer about the wonderful contributions you have made throughout your career. That is what your resume does for you.

    Third, here is the comment I hear from 100% of my clients in this economy:

    “I haven’t ever had to write a resume. I have always been sought out. I spent hours trying to write the resume on my own, but I haven’t gotten any results. That’s why I am calling you – I have no idea how to market myself in the right way.”

    What is my response to my clients? “Don’t feel bad that you don’t know how to write a resume – it’s not something you do on a daily basis. You have expertise in your industry and resume writing is my expertise.”

    Truly effective resume writing involves a great deal of strategy with a keen focus on the candidate’s goals married with the industry or position requirements.

    Further, as a career strategist, I provide valuable information to my clients on what is happening in the job market. Not only do I pay attention to what is reported in the news, I also write resumes for candidates of 15 executive recruiters.

    The recruiters and I speak frequently – many of them once a week. There is nothing better than having a finger on the pulse of the employment industry from the individuals who are on the front lines every day and know what employers want. Most job seekers do not have this kind of access. Your resume writer should.

    As another of my colleagues mentioned, thoroughly vet your resume writer. Visit his / her website, check out recommendations on LinkedIn.com, and Google their name and business name.

    Is the writer quoted by major media and career websites as an expert in the career field (and I’m not talking about article submissions – but quoted in actual articles written by journalists)?

    Check out the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) and enter the business name to determine whether there are any complaints. However, don’t be swayed as to whether the business is a member – the BBB still reports complaints whether a business is a member or not.

    Do your due diligence! Generally, a cheap resume is just that – a cheap resume.

    In closing, job seekers are not just paying for words written on a piece of paper. They are paying for the expertise of a professional who invests money in continuing education and time building partnerships with hiring professionals to ensure the job seeker wins the competitive “interview war.”

    Kathy Sweeney, NCRW, CPRW, CEIC, CCM
    The Write Resume

    Comment by Kathy Sweeney, NCRW, CPRW, CEIC, CCM | October 1, 2009 | Reply

  18. Wow…the poll results really surprise me.

    My resume writing fees start at $450 and package rates start at $650 — and I have steady work. That challenges the results because I am obviously earning more than $50 per document.

    Resume writers are skilled professionals — like attorneys, electricians, physicians, mechanics, etc. — and if we start accepting $50 a document, then we are cheating ourselves. I don’t know a single attorney that will sign their name to a court document for $50, so why should we?

    Here’s the thing though…the clients who hire professional resume writers consider resume writing an important investment. As with anything, you have to invest time or money.

    Imagine you are out of work and it’s been six weeks since you’ve had a single phone call. Now consider the option of hiring a professional resume writer. How could your life change? How would your life improve?

    Here are some figures to demonstrate.

    The average duration of unemployment in the USA is approx. 25 weeks (source: bls.gov). The average duration of unemployment for my clients is approx. 12 weeks. I can’t offer figures for other resume writers because I haven’t asked.

    Before the economic meltdown, the numbers were 18 weeks and 5 weeks, respectively.

    Anyway, if we use a $40,000 annual salary, the difference in annual earnings is more than $9,000! That is a lot of money.

    And on top of that, I have more numbers to share.

    The majority of clients who have their resumes professionally written see the ROI in the form of higher salaries.

    For example, I wrote a resume for a woman who was earning $32k annually. After we revamped her resume, the salary she was offered in her new position was $50k!

    That’s more than a 50% increase!

    The $450 she invested in her new resume was less than ONE PERCENT of her new salary (not including her better health coverage and other benefits she gained).

    I think she got a great deal! Not many services boast that kind of ROI.

    The piece of advice I want readers to take away from this is that they really should consider hiring a professional resume writer. We are full of enthusiasm and pride and we want our clients to succeed. We do what we do because we love our jobs. We do what we do because we like to change lives.

    Give us a chance! 🙂

    — Jennifer Anthony, Nationally Published Resume Expert & Career Strategist

    Resume Rockstars:
    http://www.jennwrites.com/the-best-professional-resume-writers/

    Comment by Jennifer Anthony | October 1, 2009 | Reply

  19. The problem, as I see it, is that many jobseekers don’t realise that they need professional help in writing their resume / CV. For many, the last time they needed to put a CV together, the CV got them a job, so they write pretty much the same thing again this time.

    Some may look online or in books for help in getting started, others might ask around informally, but the vast majority don’t think they need help, or even consider that resume writing practice may have changed over the years. After all, why pay for something that you can do yourself? (Along the lines of the belief that if you’re a native English speaker, you can teach English.)

    I don’t think that resume writers suffer particularly from a bad image, but they do seem to be preaching to the converted. We all know that professional writers can make a huge difference, but how to get this message across beyond a narrow circle of clients?

    Comment by Clare | October 1, 2009 | Reply

  20. Jeff asked me to repost this here:

    Some people view expenses as costs, some as investments…question is, how to appeal to the latter? How to educate the former?

    Robert

    Comment by Robert Dagnall | October 1, 2009 | Reply

  21. –I don’t think that resume writers suffer particularly from a bad image, but they do seem to be preaching to the converted. We all know that professional writers can make a huge difference, but how to get this message across beyond a narrow circle of clients?–

    One way might be through the Career Thought Leaders Consortium. As we raise visibility and credibility through best practices and standards, perhaps that education to the masses will become a natural by-product.

    http://www.CareerThoughtLeaders.com

    Cindy Kraft, the CFO-Coach

    Comment by Cindy Kraft | October 1, 2009 | Reply

  22. After 15 years of writing resumes and assisting job seekers, here are a few things I have found to be true:

    1. You can land a job with a bad resume, and you can stay unemployed with a good one. Resumes are tools, and even bad tools can produce a good result when wielded by an expert. Conversely, there’s no point in putting the top-of-the-line tool in the hands of a fool. In other words, a resume is just part of the job search process. It is not the golden ticket.

    I think most resume writers forget that, and most job seekers are ignorant of that. Therefore, the relationship goes sour.

    2. It doesn’t really matter whether you like resumes, whether you think resumes are becoming obsolete, whether you wish 140 characters on Twitter were all it took to get you a job. The truth is that no matter what happens with resumes in the future, there is always going to be some moment when someone says to you, “Do you have a resume (or profile or career history, whatever you want to call it) I can review?” Put it in a pdf, post it on a website, produce it in a video. It’s all the same. You matching your accomplishments/experience with the needs of the employer.

    3. I don’t need an accountant to file my taxes, but I recognize that accountants know more about the tax code then I do, so I choose to make the investment. Someone else might not.

    That’s all it comes down to with resume writing. Of course you can write your own resume, and of course you can find cheap services out there that will throw your document into a template or let you do it.

    But if you want to know how to craft a resume that meets your target audience and builds a strategy about what will work best for you, then shop around and find a professional you can invest in.

    Comment by Sheree Van Vreede (@rezlady) | October 1, 2009 | Reply

    • I think my valued resume writing colleagues have pretty much covered the ground on this topic.

      I’ll try to provide a value-add, or at the least, my brief spin on the matter.

      Clients who invest in themselves to hire me are getting much more than a resume. They desire career introspection – an ability to clearly articulate their value not only in a highly tailored, laser-focused (non-fluff) document, but during casual conversations, formal interviews, while on the phone, in the elevator, at the store, and in any time-meets-preparedness situation.

      They leave our processes with dozens of pages of value driver talk points that propel their career conversations.

      Strategic “content” is at the crux of all professional resume discussions. MSWord, pdf, VisualCV, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. all are simply vehicles in which we drive that content.

      Like decisions to invest in fine wine, tailored clothing, exclusive restaurants, upscale neighborhoods, private schools, high-quality hairdressers, the best-in-town dentists, cool cars, and so forth, the decision to invest in a career resume service is based on perceived value to you.

      We all want ‘the best’ for ourselves, our family and friends. That’s why we seek referrals for services and products that impact us personally.

      Low-quality, commoditized products/services may fit a perceived budget in the short-term; over time, though, regret seeps in, and we end up starting the process over. This time, though, time is not our ally, we’ve exhausted even more of our budget, and we are behind the curve to produce a quality, focused, introspective career vehicle that will transport us into a better future.

      My 2 cents.

      Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter
      Master Resume Writer
      http://www.careertrend.net

      Comment by careertrend | October 1, 2009 | Reply

  23. Interesting poll numbers, Jeff.

    A recent analysis of our online Resume Builder program revealed that job seekers are increasingly attracted to online resume writing tools. Here, too, they eschew services, i.e., PDF resumes, Twitter resumes, etc. that don’t create meaningful value and results.

    Interestingly, nearly half (48%) of those surveyed (your poll results – 10/01/09) are unwilling to spend more than $50 for resume services! Why? Could it be that the perceived value of a resume writer’s services is clearly less than the cost to deliver said services.

    The resume writing business is in a state of flux, and not until the perceived value of a resume writer’s services ‘exceed’ the cost to deliver the services – will people be willing to spend more than $50!

    There’s much to consider!

    Jeff Tokarz
    Founder / CEO
    writeCLICKresume.com
    http://www.writeCLICKresume.com

    Comment by Jeff Tokarz | October 1, 2009 | Reply

  24. I think resumes are still critical for most professionals in the job search. Whether you like it or not we still live in a time where a piece of paper can either get in the door or maybe get thrown in the circular file.

    Yes, you can get a job with a bad resume if you network really hard. But why take the chance on leaving your resume in a “blah” state. Jazz it up. Make sure it catches the attention of those you are sending it to.

    Aside from the numerous qualified resume consultants out there, we have tons of free online resources for resume writing advice. It ain’t rocket science people. Do some research, come up with something decent and then stick with it.

    Comment by Gil Vander Voort | October 1, 2009 | Reply

  25. I’m a professional writer, though not a resume writer. I think the amount of money I’d be willing to invest would entirely depend on what I got in return. Are there guarantees of continued rewrites until you hit a certain number of callbacks? Do you have to pay each time you tweak or rewrite a resume for a different job application? Do you get ongoing consultation, or just a single rewrite? How much time does the writer spend understanding the candidate’s voice, perspective, objectives, industry, desired position, etc?

    If I were going to pay more than $100, I’d have to be looking for a job intently. I don’t think everyone who answered this poll is actually job-seeking at present. So are you talking about the fee you’d pay to maintain upkeep on your resume while you have a job? Are you talking about the fee you’d pay before you actively begin a job hunt? Or are you talking about the fee you’d pay after you realized you weren’t getting bites on the resume you currently use (and you were getting desperate)?

    I wouldn’t go out now and pay someone $400+ to play around with my resume. I happen to think it’s just fine, and I’m not looking for work. If I suddenly found myself in need of a position that would single-handedly cover income for my family of 5, however, I would definitely consider hiring help. I would have a lot more at stake.

    I also think it depends on the type of job you are seeking. My husband is in a very complex area of network security. To help him with his resume, you’d need to know something about what he does. How would he know if a professional resume writer can truly assist him? The majority of his resume is technical gobbledygook to most people, full of acronyms and numbers. He’d need a resume writer in a technical niche.

    I don’t know. I personally have helped many friends rewrite their resume (for free!) and have close to a 100% success rate. This isn’t my area of expertise, but I help clean up the basics and inject the quantifiables. I’m a marketing writer, so I write to sell. And a resume is essentially a sales document for people. If I tried to market that skill and charge money, I’d do it per-project rather than by the hour. The rate would depend on what shape the resume was in to start with, what the objectives were, and how much research I’d need to do.

    Just my two cents.
    -Sarah

    Comment by Sarah Close | October 1, 2009 | Reply

  26. The comments on this post are so well-crafted, thoughtful, passionate, and useful. Bravo!

    Here’s a “disruptive” perspective: A resume is not what a jobseeker pays for (or invests in…), even though he thinks a resumes is what he has purchased!

    Let’s redefine what a resume does. We know a resume is supposed to get interviews, not jobs, but what does a resume REALLY do? Knowing the answer to that question completely changes the value / pricing paradigm.

    Consider this…

    The 2-page precision resume project I am working on right now, for a very senior executive in a global company, has taken over 25 hours of writing to get to our 3rd draft (20+ to get to the 1st draft) and we’re not finished revising yet.

    That resume is the culmination of 10-15 additional hours of personal brand and accomplishment (proof of performance) coaching to define/refine a personal and professional brand and extract an ROI-driven value proposition.

    When we’re finished with the resume, we’ll start on another 30 hours or so of work to develop the rest of his executive portfolio. Here’s what that looks like:

    I will write micro and macro case studies of his accomplishments, an executive bio, a testimonial tear sheet, and a one page executive summary. I’ll also produce a cover letter, networking intro, and a 30-second elevator pitch.

    I’ll write and/or edit and brand his LinkedIn profile, get him on Twitter (and develop his Twitter bio and handle) as well as do some coaching on blogging, blog commenting, and other ways to raise his social networking / Google value profile as a thought leader/expert in his field.

    All along, he’ll be researching target companies, networking, having conversations w/recruiters and leaders, and we’ll be course-correcting strategies and re-targeting document content as we get the results of this fieldwork.

    We’ll also do interview prep, post-interview debriefing, follow-on letters, and strategic entry/90-day plan coaching when he lands.

    So, after a project that takes 50+ hours of my coaching and writing in 6+ months of intense prep for a career move, he’ll be on the road to success.

    Whew! I’m tired just writing about the process!

    BUT, here’s the kicker – the “it’s not about the resume” fact. The core deliverable is NOT the resume or any of the written career communication in his portfolio. The core deliverable is completely intangible!

    None of the above means anything unless my client can authentically and enthusiastically articulate his value, core competencies, and what happens in ROI-terms when he puts those together for the right company. That’s what makes the magic happen, attracts opportunity, and makes the hire.

    Delivering that clarity is what a great resume professional (and/or personal brand strategist and coach) does. Admittedly most will do it with fewer deliverables and less coaching unless they are working at high exec levels, but at the core, the goal is the same – dig DEEP to extract value, present it clearly, and get the client so invested in his understanding of himself that he can market his candidacy in his sleep.

    Consider this additional critical value: a deep-dive resume process has the advantage of prepping a client for the many ways personal marketing information is translated today. The resume is fast becoming a subordinate vehicle to career messaging, supplanted by LinkedIn, Visual CV, on-line job apps, and many other social media outlets.

    Moving into the future, what will jobseekers do when a resume is a just a subordinate document requested less and less frequently? How will they differentiate and support their value to a company? How will they articulate their value on today’s social networking sites and in other venues not yet invented? How will they move forward with clarity and confidence?

    That’s where great resume writers really shine – in the things that aren’t about writing! The help great resume writers give clients is not the resume; it’s the PROCESS that delivers that self-knowledge and confidence. That’s the value, and that’s priceless.

    If our clients get jobs faster, with higher compensation and the right fit, what’s our value? $50? $500? More? I believe it’s a heck of a lot more, and the ROI pays back every dollar. The job-seeking public needs to know the truth about resumes so they can make informed choices and appreciate the true value of the process, which typically delivers far more value than what is charged by the writer for “a resume.”

    Here’s why I can speak with authority on this subject: I’ve been involved in the careers industry for 20 years. I helped found the National Association of Resume Writers and served as a grader on their certification commission for the Nationally Certified Resume Writer credential (the standards are so high that the fail rate was higher than the pass rate!). Until recently I served on the board of the Career Masters Institute (now Career Management Alliance) and I’m now a founding member of the new Career Thought Leaders Consortium. My work is featured in over 30 career books.

    I say these things NOT to focus on me, but to show I know good career writing and good writers. My colleagues (most of whom I’ve known and admired for many years, and many of whom have commented on this post) are talented career-industry professionals, dedicated to excellence and to their clients’ success. Not one of them is worth just $50!!!

    Respectfully,
    Deb Dib, the CEO Coach
    RCPBS, CCMC, CCM, NCRW, CPRW, CEIP, JCTC, Certified 360Reach Analyst

    Unabashedly passionate about helping visionary, gutsy, fun executives with a conscience land faster, earn more, have fun, and change the world

    http://www.Twitter.com/CEOCoach
    http://www.ExecutivePowerBrand.com
    http://www.CareerThoughtLeaders.com

    Comment by Deb Dib | October 1, 2009 | Reply

    • Well said, Deb. I don’t know any resume writing professional today who doesn’t invest extensive hours in coaching their clients on recognizing, appreciating and conveying their value, and managing their job search plan. I really like your idea posted in the Twittersphere to “get open-minded HR/recruiting pros 2 connect w rez industry pros & break barriers 2 understanding? We’re all in this together!” I think it’s long overdue.

      Comment by Karen Siwak | October 2, 2009 | Reply

    • I’d be remiss of I didn’t comment on Deb’s spectacular post; I should have done so sooner.

      You echo my thoughts on the subject 100% when you write:

      “A resume is not what a job seeker pays for (or invests in) even though he thinks a resume is what he has purchased!”

      In one line, you sum up what just may be THE principal barrier we in this profession must overcome. The misperception that all a client is getting from their investment is a professionally edited document.

      I don’t say this to boast, but rather to illustrate just how pervasive this common misconception is. During the entire Q3 of 2009, every single client of mine has landed a position as a direct result of my re-engineering process. I am able to claim, and verify, a 100% success rate, a rarity in any industry, and something I certainly don’t expect to sustain indefinitely. But the point is, even with a 100% success rate, glowing testimonials from clients ranging from Manufacturing Managers to the highest level Fortune 500 Executives, I still fail to convince the vast majority of potential clients to invest in themselves and their futures.

      It’s the proverbial Catch-22. A client only realizes the true value of the breadth and depth of service we provide, once they’ve gone through the process. Yet getting them to commit to the process is most often near impossible.

      Which speaks to another observation Deb makes, one brilliant in its clarity and simplicity:

      “Moving into the future, what will job seekers do when a resume is just a subordinate document requested less and less frequently? How will they differentiate and support their value to a company? How will they articulate their value on today’s social networking sites and in other venues not yet invented? How will they move forward with clarity and confidence? That’s where great resume writers really shine — in the things that aren’t about writing! The help great resume writers give clients is not the resume; it’s the PROCESS that delivers that self-knowledge and confidence. That’s the value, and that’s priceless.”

      Deb, you just hit it out of the ballpark.

      A truly great resume writer isn’t selling you a product. They are guiding you through a process of self-discovery. The resulting resume is simply the medium through which you will communicate, with brevity and clarity, the substance of this self-discovery — that which makes you UNIQUELY qualified to add measurable value to a prospective employer.

      Jim Bradshaw

      jb@leapcareer.com

      Comment by Jim Bradshaw, Sr. Resume Consultant, Executive Recruiter | October 7, 2009 | Reply

  27. I think a lot of it has to do with where you are applying. You have to know (research) the company and their values and organization personality. Some larger companies have staff in HR to review resumes for keywords. Your resume might go through 2-3 people before ever reaching the person who decides to interview you or not. At my organization, Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council, resumes go directly to the person who is doing the hiring. Resumes that are written by someone else can sometimes seem too impersonal and come across as not genuine.

    Comment by Michelle | October 1, 2009 | Reply

  28. I know many of my esteemed colleagues on this post – and their remarks are spot on.

    The value of my resume service (I only concentrate on resumes for now) is the value added from my clients change in perspective – I have had many of my clients make a paradigm shift in their focus from a whoa is me – to a positive, effective approach to their job search.

    I have a niche – focusing on Federal jobs. Many clients come to me after unsuccessfully trying to apply for a Federal job for 6 months to a year or more. I help them succeed where they failed, based on my knowledge of how to apply to Federal jobs (this is much more complicated than the typical non-Federal application) and how to showcase their accomplishments and abilities to show how they are the one to hire.

    For me to learn how to write Federal resumes at the highest level took two 40-hour courses, years of apprenticeship under two more senior resume writers and avid reading and practice. This was after I had succeeded in technical, financial and leadership positions in industry for over 20 years after obtaining a BS degree from one of the top universities in the nation. I use this experience, preparing thousands of successful resumes, to help my clients succeed.

    If one wants to pay $50 for a resume, they typically can expect to get a writer who is new, not certified — or worse a scam company with writers from overseas. I typically take 6-40 hours for each package I write (depends on the level of client). The ROI is high for my clients – they had nothing without my package – and now they succeed in getting the position they want!

    I ensure the resumes I write reflect the client – and they are very personal. If you get a good writer, they can just help you identify your skills and accomplishments – and put them down in a way that will show to a potential employer who they are.

    As noted above, I can paint my house. However, I hire someone to do it – since the job a professional does looks better and will take a painter much less time to do so. I also go to a doctor, use a lawyer, use an accountant and go to a hairdresser. I respect my professionals’ time and efforts, understanding the training and experience required to write a resume package.

    If someone can be totally objective about themselves (few can be), are a great writer (many are not), understand all the requirements to apply for a job (Federal jobs have specific requirements and if you do not follow them your application will be thrown out), know how to write a Resume specifically AND know all the latest trends for resumes, LinkedIn profiles, Twitter, Facebook and other social media – by all means do the resume yourself.

    If a resume you produced without a professional succeeds in quickly getting you a job, you win – you just saved $500! However, if you have a poor resume, it takes you more than a week extra for you to find a job – you have now lost significant money. Also, if you undersold yourself in your resume, you may have cost yourself significant money in the job offer itself.

    Robin Schlinger, CPRW, CFRW, CARW
    Owner
    http://robinresumes.com

    Comment by Robin Schlinger, CPRW, CFRW, CARW | October 1, 2009 | Reply

  29. This comment section turned into a forum for resume writers to sell and justify their existance. I am going to buck this trend and give the non biased other side.
    I have been a recruiter and coach for thirty years and I always recommend against hiring an expensive service. It might help to spend $50 for a proof read since even a single typo can kill you but write it yourself. This is especially true if you are unemployed and have the time. You can easily find everything a “professional” resume writer knows on the net. Many employers frown on “professional” resumes. Hear are basic guidelines for the perfect resume from my blog. Save a few hundred bucks. I’m sure you have other needs for it.

    Resume Guidelines
    Mark Warren

    What is its purpose?

    A resume has only one purpose and that is to get you an interview. It should not be written to provide a complete history of everything you have ever done, everything you have learned and everything that in your opinion you are good at. If the resume answers everything about you an employer has no need to meet you. He may make incorrect assessments and decisions. Your resume should only wet an employer’s appetite not give him everything he thinks he need for an interview decision.

    Basic Resume Rules

    1) A resume should look clean and uncluttered with plenty of white spaces. Use only two font sizes preferably .11 & .12. The first place an employer wants to go is “work history”. Make it easy to get to. Don’t create an obstacle path of useless information. (see #4)

    2) A resume should never be longer then one page for a beginner to intermediate candidate and never longer then two pages for the most advanced. Under no circumstance should a resume be longer then two pages. Anything beyond two pages will not be read. If you can’t sum up your qualifications in two pages it sends a message that you lack focus and are disorganized.

    3) The resume must have accurate and consistent employment dates. It must detail months of employment not just years. Make sure that it is in chronological order. Account for and be able to explain gaps in employment longer then two months.

    4) Sections containing “career objective”, “career summary” and list of strengths and skills should be eliminated for the simple reasons that they are usually fluff, personal opinions not based on facts, do not relate specifically to the job being interviewed for and frankly employers do not read them.

    5) All certifications, licenses and special training should be listed following “education” and should only be included if they relate to the position the candidate is applying for.

    Exceptions –

    An objective can be used if it is written specifically for the job you are applying for. Skill sets and technical expertise list can be used if included in the employment history section of the resume and listed within the description of the job where they were actually used or applied.

    6) Each position in the employment history section should be formatted as follows.

    * Start with the Company name followed by title.

    * A one or two sentence description of the company and its business

    * A brief statement of duties and responsibilities (a mini position description)

    * A list of 3 – 5 action bullets describing specific and accurate achievements. If possible these

    should demonstrate leadership and personal accomplishments not just participation or

    simply doing the job.

    * A short list of technical skills and abilities required to successfully perform the duties.

    7) Never include compensation information/requirements
    Other job hunting tips on my blog
    http://passages.typepad.com/my_odyssey_blog/

    Comment by Mark Warren | October 1, 2009 | Reply

    • I agree with most of what Mark is saying with the exception of a limited or one page resume.

      First, a person should write their own resume but there is a significant amount or value to having assistance or guidance with the right person who understands your business – to addresses Alex J. Avriette following comment. And they should be paid if they do a good job. I am a hiring manager, an executive recruiter and also enjoy helping people with their careers, in fact that’s my passion.

      As a hiring manager I want to get to know the person I am trusting to “rope up with”. You can not give me enough information on my candidates and whatever is given to me I usually request more. I believe a thorough process of discovery is essential to everyone’s success.

      We can learn (insight)a great deal about our candidates by:

      *What a person writes (are they thorough or did they throw something over the fence)

      *How they write it (can they communicate and articulate their thoughts)

      *Do they have a process and understand the significance of format when it comes to “knowledge transfer” (sometimes up to 30% of a candidates score in an interview).

      *AND if the resume is well thought out sometimes we can even find PASSION… (the trump cards that pretty much closes the deal for me)

      Candidates are confused as to what hiring managers want in terms of content, quantity and format and it seems this opinion varies greatly in the human capital industry. As an executive recruiter who has worked with a substantial number of hiring mangers I can tell you not one of them wants or wanted a limited resume… It should be accurate and nothing left out.

      As a career development manager (not a career coach) I can tell you that the CV (“course of ones life”) should be looked at as three vital components to include:

      1- The outline to a career business plan (has anyone in this forum even heard of a candidate with a career business plan? If so I would love to see it!!!)

      2- A marketing document…

      3- Presentation assistance in the interview…

      I believe it is a fundamental flaw in the HR’s world that we tell people to limit the information on their resume. Are we so smart that we can glance at a one page document and make a snap decision as to, is this person a good fit for my position or do they need to go to the next step? Not me… AND the value to really digging in and writing this document is immeasurable to the candidate for both short and long term objectives…

      I for one do not recommend having a resume written but there is significance value to resume overview, editing and to provide insight to the HR industry that helps candidates navigate the gauntlet.

      Comment by Ron McManmon | October 1, 2009 | Reply

      • Apologies, I replied to the wrong comment. Please see my other comment regarding a business plan. Consider my position: over twenty jobs, ranging from classified government work to startups to assignments overseas. Nobody has any idea what to make of me in job interviews, so a few years ago I gave them the breadcrumbs to follow.

        I’m pretty pleased in that the resume stands on its own well enough that the questions asked are generally really soft-ball, as they’ve been posited in the resume and nominally answered. I’m left providing details, rather than sketching out large concepts (like an arms deal including DDGs).

        Comment by Alex J. Avriette | October 1, 2009

  30. I am surprised that nobody seems to have replied to either mine or “Deb Dib”. I am always looking for work. When I finish this job, I want to start the next as soon as humanly possible. As Deb said, it takes somebody intimately familiar with the field I work in – which I won’t disclose here, but isn’t exactly a secret – and there are very few people in the “resume writing” business who understand what, for example, “CENTCOM” means. If I can’t count on them to even meet me on a conversational level, I can’t count on them to write an entire resume without spending hours working on it with me, in which case, I’d have done it myself. On a good day, I will get 4,000-5,000 words written for an article, and I consider that to be of equivalent complexity to (at least my own) resume.

    And I’m very disappointed that your readerbase here, despite it being posted to twitter, is almost entirely resume writers wringing their hands about how stupid the employed are for not wanting their services. Perhaps if your services were more useful, as I’ve indicated both here and in the above reply, I might employ them. As it stands, it’s a lot cheaper for me to sacrifice a Saturday and JFDI.

    cheers.

    Comment by Alex J. Avriette | October 1, 2009 | Reply

    • CENTCOM – Central Command in the Army.

      You do not want to use acronyms in your resume that others do not understand. That is part of the difficulty of doing a resume yourself. A good resume writer can help you express information in terms others understand. I can learn about your job from you! However, I expect my clients to work when they work with me to write their resumes – if you are not willing to do that, you are not my client – and we are not a fit. There is no one writer/fits all clients reality.

      I do understand CENTCOM – I have written many resumes for folks who were Colonels in the Army with CENTCOM experience. You need to do your homework and find a writer who understands your background.

      As I noted above, you can choose to write your own resume – if it works for you – you save money. However, if it does not, you may lose significant earnings.

      Your choice.

      Robin Schlinger, CPRW, CFRW, CARW
      http://robinresumes.com

      Comment by Robin Schlinger, CPRW, CFRW, CARW | October 1, 2009 | Reply

      • Congratulations, you’re familiar with the wikipedia definition therein. I just don’t see any hope for somebody trying to write my resume who can’t talk all the acronyms and jargon that come with the field, let alone who can understand crucial differences in risk mitigation for information assets.

        I guess what I’m getting at is if I trusted somebody to write that form of resume for me, why on earth would they be writing resumes for a living? It’s simply not plausible.

        Comment by Alex J. Avriette | October 1, 2009

      • Alex, your Wikipedia comment is unfair. Robin mentioned her work with clients with CENTCOM experience.

        I recognized CENTCOM instantly from my own background–including publication as an expert on resumes for military-to-civilian transition–though here in San Diego I work with Marines and Navy far more frequently than Army. A little more USPACOM than CENTCOM, if you will.

        Robert

        Comment by Robert Dagnall | October 1, 2009

      • The wikipedia comment is perhaps unfair, but I think it’s very fair that to assume, unless somebody is former C4ISR&T staff or former military, that their chances of understanding that kind of resume is slim to none. Mainly I say this because I spend time explaining these things to interviewers.

        Somebody once asked me if I had any experience working with large, complex systems. I asked them if they knew how many moving parts were in a DDG, and if they considered that to be a complex system. They had no idea, and I quite literally walked out.

        Comment by Alex J. Avriette | October 1, 2009

      • Alex, might I suggest that if you want the job, you go in to learn what they need and discuss how you would deliver that–not to quiz the interviewer on naval architecture.

        Very few people know what a DDG is, much less the number of moving parts (note I’m not going to use Wikipedia to find out). More to the point, very few interviewers *care*. They want to know what they can expect if they hire you. It’s incumbent on you to make that as clear and relevant as you can.

        I’ve believed for some time now that the best resume is a ‘no-brainer’: don’t make employers think, don’t make them guess, and don’t stake your chances on their attention span or imagination. Push the information they need to them, and make the value you offer plain. These are good principles for the interview, too.

        Again, that is, if you want the job.

        Alex, I’ll make you an offer. Send me a non-personally-identifiable selection from one of your job descriptions, and I’ll see if I can suggest improvements. Off the record, free of charge. If I can’t, I’ll also tell you so. This serves two purposes: illustrating to you what a pro resume writer might accomplish, and helping you secure interviewers with people who have a clue. My email is robert@resumeguru.com.

        V/r,

        Robert

        Comment by Robert Dagnall | October 1, 2009

      • Robert, I appreciate the offer, and I’ll take you up on it. I’m doing a round of fundraising this weekend, but if you can wait until I get back next week, I’d be happy to talk it over with you. I want to state I am not trying to come across as hostile. Think of it more as somebody who’s been burned a lot of times.

        Comment by Alex J. Avriette | October 1, 2009

  31. Wow!I am overwhelmed by the number experts and comments on this topic. I want to study these responses further before I get into the game.

    Comment by hintonhumancapital | October 1, 2009 | Reply

  32. “Alex, might I suggest that if you want the job, you go in to learn what they need and discuss how you would deliver that–not to quiz the interviewer on naval architecture.”

    @ Alex: Thank you! I completely agree.

    @ jobseekers: Resumes are NOT about you. They are not for showing off all of the big words you know or your military terminology knowledge. Resumes should demonstrate what you are going to accomplish for your next employer. Nothing less, nothing more.

    @ service members / former military: HOOAH! We love you!

    Former Army wife, Air Force “brat”, Army Family Team Building Coordinator, and the ONLY civilian in USAREUR (US Army, Europe) history to win an award typically awarded only to military personnel. 🙂

    Comment by Jennifer Anthony | October 1, 2009 | Reply

  33. One page or two?

    Comment by Jerry Albright | October 1, 2009 | Reply

    • The only people who should ever have a resume longer then two pages are those in academics and only when applying for a position in academics.Everybody else should limit to two pages.Three or more will not be read.

      Comment by Mark Warren | October 2, 2009 | Reply

  34. Jeff enjoyed your post and especially all the comments by resume writers touting their services. As a Corporate Recruiter for one of the largest Companies Worldwide I can tell you that most are not worth the money and it is obvious to me and to other colleagues when we receive one. It immediately throws up a red flag that this person is someone who while may be experienced is incapable of expressing what is important in their career. They are usually someone who has surrounded themselves with people who do the work that they take credit for therefore need someone else to express in writing what they have done. More times than not these resumes are bottom of the pile material.

    Comment by Lacey Quas | October 2, 2009 | Reply

    • Lacey, how do you recognize a resume has been worked on by a professional?

      Comment by jefflipschultz | October 2, 2009 | Reply

  35. Most times the first clue is the Resume has is submitted with all the keywords which is something a Resume Writer tell them to do. Second it is perfectly written with all the T’s crossed and i’s dotted. No one not even the President if he wrote his own resume would be able to write a perfect resume. Third many have the same style and formatting and last they are bland.

    Resumes are a the first impression of a person, their experience and creative ability to do a job. Resume Writers remove the creative ability and make the experience sound like torture. They create resumes that read like that book you were forced to read in H.S. that everyone one said SUCKED.

    Comment by Lacey Quas | October 2, 2009 | Reply

    • After reading the above, I want Lacey to write my resume. In crayon, so it isn’t bland, and we can dot the I’s and cross the T’s right on the screen. 🙂

      Seriously–keywords, precise writing, and using spellcheck aren’t marks of distinction. That’s Resume Writing 101.

      Comment by Robert Dagnall | October 2, 2009 | Reply

  36. Following on to a few recent comments, I pose a comment and then a respectful question (and bear in mind I’ll be speaking of professionals, not recent-entry or churn-em-out resume writers).

    First the comment:

    Lacy stated “Resumes are a the first impression of a person, their experience and creative ability to do a job. Resume Writers remove the creative ability and make the experience sound like torture. They create resumes that read like that book you were forced to read in H.S. that everyone one said SUCKED.”

    My comment is that a resume that does that is a bad resume. For sure. But don’t tar the entire industry with that brush. A great resume doesn’t do that. A great resume is a good read and it’s fluff-free non-fiction. It’s exciting for its reality of achievement and potential.

    Now the question (directed to commenters who say a jobseeker who uses a resume writer puts up an obvious red-flag that shoots down his candidacy):

    Would a sports team deny signing a great player because that player had a coach who brought out the best in him, helped him maximize his strengths, worked to mitigate his weaknesses, and strategized how he could match the best of his skills and performance to the needs and culture of the team?

    When the trained athlete makes a touchdown, doe the public say – “Oh, he was coached -that’s not really any good – someone else did that for him – he’ll never be able to do that again!” Or is the reality that the coach has performed exactly as required, and given the player the ability to consistently recognize his process and pull out his best – especially in clutch situations?

    Here’s another analogy: Would a consumer refuse to buy a name brand, quality product because a marketing team and ad agency helped translate the value? Because the development team didn’t “sell” it, is it unacceptable? The marketing and ad teams help the consumer understand if the benefits of the brand connect to his needs – they facilitate connection that becomes a win-win in if the product is right for the consumer.

    Dedicated, expert resume professionals and coaches are like the coaches and marketers in any other profession – facilitators of value translation and performance improvement. They don’t puff up facts or do the work for a client.

    It’s a holistic partnership, and although the client may not do the final writing, the client is deeply involved every step of the way. The career pro brings out the best, and translates it into the voice of the client. If the client can’t own it and articulate it on his own, the pro has not done her job.

    Just as there are many levels of coaching and marketing excellence, there are many levels of career pro excellence. Bad writing is bad writing and will come across as hollow and false, and it certainly does not serve the client or employer. But the reverse is true as well.

    I’ve seen super-successful execs blossom with the right coaching and writing, understand and articulate their value and sweet spot, and get hired into their first truly ideal position. By ideal I mean a perfect fit gig — skills, culture, etc all meshed –nothing missing. That’s a win-win-win –- for coach, client, and company. I include the coach, because a good coach will be jumping for joy knowing that their client is in exactly the right place to do what he does best and what makes him the most energized.

    Sure, that exec could have gotten another job with his own resume and some connections — but he reached an entirely new level with brand coaching and career communications coaching. It works. And even people who can’t afford a coach can find books and guidance on how to do it. Susan Whitcomb’s Resume Magic, Job Search Magic, and Interview Magic books can help as well as Career Distinction (Arruda and Dixson) for initial personal branding work.

    Most importantly, I am concerned about the negativity and misinformation in the comments about this post. In this terrible economic climate, people need to be hugely differentiated and articulate about their value. The last numbers I saw said there are 6 applicants on average for each available job. If the public believes resume writers and career coaches are sub-standard, expensive shysters – and many in the recruiting and HR communities promote that view – how will jobseekers get the trained, dedicated help they need to win the jobs they want and often desperately need?

    Ask a decision maker (not a recruiter or HR person – they have different information gathering needs) if he or she is turned off by a professionally created resume that is “plain-spoken” fact-driven, empty of fluff, and tells a value story that resonates with his/her needs.

    Ask the decision maker if there is a disconnect between what the resume says and how the candidate presents himself in the interview — presence, voice, body language, accomplishment discussions etc.

    Often there IS a disconnect (and is likely what many on this thread have been discussing), IF the resume has been written without regard for the client’s brand or voice (that’s a bad resume).

    BUT, if there has been a good coaching/writing partnership the connection between the document, the candidate, and the value will be seamless. The barriers are gone, the value shines through, the interview works, the right hire is made. That’s what a GOOD resume and resume development process enables.

    That’s what certified, credentialed, and/or highly-experienced resume pros and career coaches do. We’re good at it, we’re proud of it, and our clients, their employers, and even their families are the beneficiaries of our consummate professionalism. We’re not cheap and often we’re not fast. We’re worth the investment and we’re worth the wait. We know because our happy clients tell us so.

    I love my job as a coach and writer because I love helping clients. I love my colleagues because I see the same passion for service and excellence in them.

    My colleagues and I spend lots of $$ and non-billable hours joining professional organizations, attending conferences and training workshops to stay current and top-grade our skills. We volunteer on boards, volunteer at job fairs, we do under-the-radar pro-bono work, we donate time to share our knowledge at industry conferences. Our industry’s professional associations even joined together to help displaced jobseekers after 9/11 and Katrina (see http://www.volunteersforcareers.com).

    We’re mostly solopreneurs, we work really hard and long, we often don’t get paid enough for what we do, Many, many job seekers either don’t know we exist or aren’t sure they need us, and we fight public misperception all the time.

    But we love our jobs and we love our clients. We are always researching, innovating, and raising standards to make job search and job satisfaction work better. Wouldn’t you want someone that dedicated on YOUR career development team?

    I’ll get off my frustrated, but respectful soapbox now!

    Deb Dib, the CEO Coach
    
RCPBS, CCMC, CCM, NCRW, CPRW, CEIP, JCTC, Certified 360Reach Analyst

    Unabashedly passionate about helping visionary, gutsy, fun executives with a conscience land faster, earn more, have fun, and change the world

    http://www.Twitter.com/CEOCoach

    http://www.ExecutivePowerBrand.com

    http://www.CareerThoughtLeaders.com

    Comment by Deb Dib | October 2, 2009 | Reply

    • Cheers to Deb Dib!!! Let me start off explaining that I am an executive talent agent, not a career coach and not a resume writer. My job is to help senior level professionals develop a robust network of new connections designed to access unadvertised or hidden job opportunities through personal referrals and recommendations and to show my clients how to establish new contacts and importantly maintain these relationships, forever. Yes like career insurance, keep in touch and stay centered on the radar among their network so that they are the first resource approached when a desired new challenge that fits their requirements is recognized and budgeted.

      My clients don’t have to rely on a resume to open doors because I represent them making initial introductions but at some point, they always need a well crafted, focused document like a resume or bio to share their background and credentials with colleagues, potential managers and the media. Just like some novels are great and some are snoozers, the range of resume quality is stunningly vast. Many people try to write, but only a few are masters and among the best only a handful are absolutely brilliant.

      All this wind to say that I don’t think most business professionals are excellent enough writers or objective enough or understand personal branding and marketing to produce the best possible presentation of their potential and unique value contribution to their field and specifically to a prospective partner or employer. Sure, sometimes one can find a friend to volunteer to improve a resume but hiring a professional resume writer is much more likely to produce a resume that does the job it needs to accomplish– because the highly trained professional resume writers that Deb Dib describes have years of experience, have the most up to date knowledge and bring a passion to the task that individuals who are expert in their own industries can’t offer. Hey, everyone can learn to do their own 1040s or be their own lawyer, but by hiring a professional, you are assured of a better result. By choosing a top quality resume writer, candidates can count on their resume doing the job that needs to be done and to even learn about the job market and get career management tips in the process. I , for one, would not be as successful for clients without the support, assistance and services of more experienced colleagues, many of whom write resumes.

      Choose your writer from among those who are credentialed (same as employers look for certifications as evidence of a minimum level of training and preparation in different fields) and check work samples and client references. You’ll find some super resume writing stars that will change opinions about the value that a professional resume writer offers.

      Comment by Debra Feldman | October 2, 2009 | Reply

      • As Deb says, I view my role as more of a coach as you will, an expert to facilitate my clients to discover their value and how they will be able to contribute value to another company.

        An excellent resume allows companies and recruiters to identify people who will be able to help them. Many people who would be able to help them get excluded just because they cannot be objective about themselves. What one does most easily and is best at is viewed by many as something “not special,” where it may be the most special thing they do. Unless they get an objective viewpoint – they may miss providing the information required by an employer for the job.

        We need to get all of us on the same page. Just like I use a real estate agent to buy and sell my houses (I could do it on my own – but the real estate agent is used to match a home to a buyer – and stages the house for sale [does not mean lying about the house – if that is done, the real estate agent can lose their license]), I act as an agent of improved communication in order to present my client’s skills in a way an employer can understand.

        In the end, everyone wins if people can be in positions they want to work in and companies hire the best talent for these positions. How this is done best is in the interest of resume writers, recruiters, career coaches – and most importantly people looking for jobs and employers. If I can help people discover their gifts and express these gifts in terms employers can use to select folks that are a “fit,” this is a win-win-win-win-win situation.

        I have literally turned around people’s lives after they have been let go – and thought they were worth little or nothing. The help I do transcends well beyond just the resume, it is the process of developing it and having my clients discover their accomplishments and worth which is what gives me joy in being a resume writer. I have had more than one client say “I feel so much better.” I just got off the phone with one of them.

        If we can find a way to bridge this chasm, that would be a great thing we could do with people’s lives. With unemployment in the United States 9.8% and unemployment/underemployment more than 17%, it means a significant portion of our workforce needs to have a solution NOW.

        Comment by Robin Schlinger, CPRW, CFRW, CARW | October 2, 2009

    • Good post Deb… Amen … kumbaya… and pass the potatoes:)

      The big question is how does HR, Executive Search and Career Development get on the same page? We are all in this together yet the Human Capital industry is fragmented and works against each other in many respects… Is it a power and ego thing – if you don’t do it my way I’m going to nix you??? – YIKES. Once again the poor candidates don’t know who to trust in our world and how can we blame them!

      It is amazing that the question ,”what is your resume worth?” brings out a storm of varied opinions. Your comment on HR and Hiring Managers having different data needs is interesting. I believe exploring this subject would be a beneficial dialog.

      Comment by Ron McManmon | October 2, 2009 | Reply

      • @Ron McManmon That’s a great question. HR, Executive Search, Career Development, and Resume Writing professionals are all working on the same problem: how to connect great talent with great employers. We’re all striving to help people find that “perfect fit” Deb spoke of. The current fragmented system–if it even merits the word “system”–reminds me of the parable of the blind men and the elephant. Shared knowledge will improve every one of us.

        Resume writing is emphatically not about tricking your way into an interview, nor about going through the motions carelessly. It’s about beginning a discussion which leads to a great great business relationship, where both employer and employee benefit.

        Comment by Robert Dagnall | October 2, 2009

  37. What a great blog, you have some great points here and in the current economic climate people need all the knowledge they can get.

    Keep up the good work

    Comment by Steve Hilliar | October 2, 2009 | Reply

  38. A lot has been said…what I am reading is that resume writing is more today than just creating a document. As professionals in the business, we know this. The innocent job seeker may not. So really, what resume writers do today is more along the lines of product/brand management.

    As long as the job seeker is in on the strategy and can speak to their resume, it was a great collaborative effort between them and their consultant.

    Really great reading these comments! Thanks Jeff for posting the survey!

    Comment by Career Sherpa | October 2, 2009 | Reply

  39. Wow! 65% of survey respondents would not pay over $100 for a resume. Muy interesante!

    Jeff, you certainly started a lively discussion on both sides of the fence, but I would love to see a busy manager, professional or executive really engage in some DIY with his or her own resume! If he or she does, how much will it cost them?

    IMHO, A professionally-prepared resume or job search package shouldn’t “cost” anything…it’s an investment!

    Just my toonies worth!

    Comment by Daisy Wright | October 2, 2009 | Reply

  40. […] 3, 2009 After reading a blog post “How much is your resume worth?” https://jefflipschultz.wordpress.com/2009/09/30/how-much-is-your-resume-worth/  I was very interested in the dozens of comments following. However, one particularly stood out […]

    Pingback by How Much Value Do You Place On Your Resume – and on the Person who Writes It? « Write Powerful Resumes | October 3, 2009 | Reply

  41. Job seekers don’t always think about the fact that they will get the money ‘back’ they spend by the end of the first few days – usually the second day when hired at a new job. They’d rather spend money on iPods or other technology and don’t realize this is an open door from a professional in his/her best interest to get years of salary.

    Instead, they worry, fear the worst, and think they’ll get scammed if they hire someone from a home office. When they actually receive the final product they are thrilled and then are equipped with a professional document(s) for which they may receive $5000 more in salary.

    The $250 to them feels like $22,500 that they are being asked to put out for a $75,000 job. It’s actually a drop in the bucket but it’s hard to convince people this is a good ROI. Many feel it’s a waste of money because their friends tell them this. Why pay for something you’ll never use again?

    Those who do hire me, a certified resume writer of almost 16 years, reap the rewards of becoming employed much sooner and gaining 100’s of job seeking tips. But the other half still fear that they will fail if they spend money, and there are many from countries where the annual salary is only $5400 to $20,000 a year, so why on earth would they put out $300-$600 in Canada for a resume?

    The question is: can you compete against 20 people who have submitted a professional resume for one particular job and you don’t have one? Which one will get picked up in a pile of 400 resumes first? Your homemade one because it shows Education from 1997 up at the top of Page 1 and has no qualifications listed? I don’t think so, but many are proud of their resumes they wrote 10 years ago because it worked back then.

    Professional resume writers act in your best interest. We’re here to help not to harm. We want the best for you and are only trying to earn a decent living, aren’t you? Do you still feel that spending over $100 is like throwing money in the garbage? If so, they you should spend time writing it yourself and maybe you will have luck, who knows. If you do that’s wonderful! Otherwise, we’re here when you are ready to invest.

    It’s not easy out there you may think, but it’s a heck of a lot easier out there with a professional product – high end documents. A one time investment, but for those who still want to pay $40 for a resume and cover letter can’t expect professional resume writers to do the work, because we can spend 2 to 12 intense hours on the job, and why should we get $5/hr when you pay a lawyer megabucks to get what you need? It’s freedom and convenience we provide as well.

    Comment by Karen Shane, CPRW | October 4, 2009 | Reply

    • >> why should we get $5/hr when you pay a lawyer megabucks to get what you need?

      Because writing isn’t as hard as you’re making it out to be. If I write a piece of fiction, I construct it all in my head. If I write an editorial, I focus on a subject at hand, and debate salient points in a manner that’s consistent enough to read.

      Contrast this to writing my resume – which I would say is actually _formatting_ my resume – in which all the facts and players are known. You are, figuratively, icing the cake, not baking it.

      I’m really surprised at all the indignation from resume writers here that they are not perceived as a crucial part of getting a job. Yet, daily, people do indeed get jobs with the much-discussed and maligned “home-made” resume. Sophisticated word processors are able to point out spelling errors, repeated words, fragment sentences (I won’t go on), and the like, yet you offer your skills as some messianic organizer of information that somebody provides you.

      I have agreed, as I said above, to offer my own, incredibly complicated resume, to include the history when it was six or seven pages. I am quite curious what will come of it. However, I will tell you that writing a novella or even a short story is far, far more difficult than making my relevant employment or education fit some professional-looking mold.

      In the days of paper resumes, I think a lot could be said for typesetting and paper stock or color, how the envelope itself was put together. But today, when HR people are copy-pasting pieces of the resumes wholesale, and hiring agents (be they managers or engineers or whomever) largely do not care about the form of the resume and instead want _substance_, I see no “greater than $50,” much less “greater than $5,000” value provided by a professional or, gasp, certified resume writer.

      It’s not a belligerent take on the practice, mind; I just see very little logic or cogent argument and a lot of invective and indignant rebuttals without much *substance* to them.

      Comment by Alex J. Avriette | October 4, 2009 | Reply

      • Alex,

        Except that it’s not about the writing–or, more precisely, writing skill comes into play later in the process. I believe that the right _questions_ and an objective perspective come first: those are crucial to my own method, as the end product can only be as good as the raw material you have.

        Most people don’t apply this rigor and diligence to their own resume…they simply sit down and write. That’s how you end up with a 6-7 page resume, or useless, self-serving objective statements, or accomplishments like “I have never trapped a man” as part of one’s professional identity (that’s one from my own file of believe-it-or-not resume clippings).

        Critical thinking is critical to your resume. No word processor can provide it at the click of a button. Mass-production resume companies don’t bother. Most people working up their own resumes would rather skip straight to the writing–knock it out on a Sunday, as you say.

        But if you want a better process, and a better result, you hire a pro. _That_ is the difference I deliver for my clients. I think of my writing skills as important but secondary to method.

        Caveat: not all professionals are good, and not all good writers are professionals. But that’s the way to bet.

        Respectfully,

        Robert Dagnall
        Resume Guru

        Comment by Robert Dagnall | October 4, 2009

  42. Alex, I respectfully submit that you haven’t a clue about what a good resume is and is supposed to do

    My reason? You say…”Contrast this to writing my resume – which I would say is actually _formatting_ my resume – in which all the facts and players are known. You are, figuratively, icing the cake, not baking it.”

    A resume such as you describe can certainly be created by any job seeker with a computer. Why, because the resume you describe IS just facts — it’s a “job graveyard” of past history, not a personal marketing document.

    A historical, or job graveyard resume misses the mark because it tells all. It doesn’t make the employer’s selection process easy — it makes it hard.

    A resume professional strategically edits content to create a compelling read that tells the employer what they want/need to know, and no more. If an employer gets a precision resume with a clear value message and gets a rambling job history resume, which one gets read and chosen?

    Today no one wants multi-page (more than 2-3 pages max) resumes that “tell all”. The old “Give me the facts” resume has morphed to meet employers’ pleas. They say “I’m busy, busy, busy — give me something that proves you are better than someone else to do this job — make me want to spend time with you — and do it fast.”

    That is NOT just “icing the cake!” Ask any resume pro/coach — or even dedicated and talented jobseeker who understands this is not an easy endeavor– who has agonized over transforming hours of intake and years of career history into a powerful, differentiating, interview attracting personal marketing document (not into an “incredibly complicated resume.”).

    I hope I am not “belligerent” either — but it just burns me to see my talented hardworking valuable colleagues “dissed” in public to such a degree as this.

    The worst of it is that the job-seeking “6 applicants for every job” public suffers because the vitriol spewed by some (not all!) in the HR / recruiting communities perpetuates the myth that career professionals are not worth an investment and can’t help.

    Deb Dib, the CEO Coach
    
RCPBS, CCMC, CCM, NCRW, CPRW, CEIP, JCTC, Certified 360Reach Analyst

    Unabashedly passionate about helping visionary, gutsy, fun executives with a conscience land faster, earn more, have fun, and change the world

    http://www.Twitter.com/CEOCoach

    http://www.ExecutivePowerBrand.com

    http://www.CareerThoughtLeaders.com

    Comment by Deb Dib | October 4, 2009 | Reply

  43. From Forbes.com “Executive Job-Seekers Biggest Mistakes” http://bit.ly/1Id1e7

    Of 500 recruiters surveyed…

    “43.2% said applicants submitted anemic resumes”

    ‘Nuff said,
    Deb Dib
    RCPBS, CCMC, CCM, NCRW, CPRW, CEIP, JCTC, Certified 360Reach Analyst

    Unabashedly passionate about helping visionary, gutsy, fun executives with a conscience land faster, earn more, have fun, and change the world

    http://www.Twitter.com/CEOCoach

    http://www.ExecutivePowerBrand.com

    http://www.CareerThoughtLeaders.com

    Comment by Deb Dib | October 4, 2009 | Reply

  44. I think we need to give the same advice to job seekers as we do to Hiring Teams and just turn it on its head. Job Seekers need to build a “behavioral interviewing” model into their resume. Those Situations – Actions – Results we look for as memebers of hiring teams can be addressed up front, bulleted out within the resume, guess who is being invited in to expand on the compelling story we’ve read thus far?

    Good stuff, Jeff.

    Comment by Bill McCabe | October 6, 2009 | Reply

  45. Bill, you get it, you really get it! And most resume pros get it, too.

    Most job seekers don’t have a clue about the need for proof of performance (with context), as in “CAR/SAR/PAR” stories. Yet that’s what speaks to their value and differentiation. That’s what needs to be on their resume.

    Good resume writers and coaches know that, pull the info from their clients (who often can’t articulate what they did… or how they did it… or why it was important then… or why it is relevant now, to a new employer) and build out those success stories on the resume and/or addenda portfolio pages.

    The resume sells, the client is prepped, employer and client benefit. Nice.

    Thank you for your practical and important insight, Bill. Any more like you out there? 🙂

    Deb Dib
    RCPBS, CCMC, CCM, NCRW, CPRW, CEIP, JCTC, Certified 360Reach Analyst

    Unabashedly passionate about helping visionary, gutsy, fun executives with a conscience land faster, earn more, have fun, and change the world

    http://www.Twitter.com/CEOCoach

    http://www.ExecutivePowerBrand.com

    http://www.CareerThoughtLeaders.com

    Comment by Deb Dib | October 6, 2009 | Reply

  46. Resumes only became customary after World War II, as a means for employers to eliminate unqualified candidates among scores of GIs looking for new jobs. Not much has changed. Nowadays, nearly every individual, starting a job search, begins by developing a resume, but decision makers only spend and average of ten seconds scanning them. A resume cannot do the heavy lifting in a job search. Its purpose is strictly to function, in conjunction with a follow-up call, as a marketing tool to initiate a conversation with the decision maker. Your goal should be to present your background and accomplishments in a visually appealing, reverse chronological order, with dates, succinctly and honestly. Stay away from functional resumes, extensive formatting and leaving dates off to hide age.

    Comment by Jim Edwards | October 6, 2009 | Reply

  47. Terrific discussion. Any job seeker would be well served studying this thread. Also nice to see there are others out there who truly share the same passion for helping candidates aspire to greatness, as I do. Before I add my two-cents, a bit of background: I have 25 years’ professional writing experience, 25 years’ professional visual communications experience, and nearly a decade of running my own marketing firm. I’m also an Executive Recruiter, so I know a bit about the ins-and-outs of the hiring process.

    This first comment is directed specifically to job seekers who may be reading (resume writers, HR pros, recruiters, etc., you already know this.)

    THE VAST MAJORITY OF RESUMES ARE NEVER READ.

    A fact more true in the current job environment than ever. Here’s the brutal reality: When you are one of 500 candidates submitting a resume for a position, you are not being considered for hire. You are being considered for exclusion.

    The over-worked hiring professional, lacking the time or resources to carefully search every resume for “that perfect fit,” and already being squeezed from all sides to fill open positions and fill them fast, has one primary, initial objective: to find grounds for dismissal. During the initial elimination round, you might have 3-5 seconds before your resume ends up in the “no” pile. The handful that remain might receive a 20-30 second scan before they too are eliminated. So our pile of 500 becomes 50 which becomes 5-10. And those are read. (This scenario doesn’t take into account many companies using HR software to scan resumes, but the general theory still applies.)

    Anyone who thinks a resume’s first impression isn’t critical is sorely misguided, and destined for the “no” pile. And once you’re there, you don’t come back.

    Allow me to place this into more meaningful context with the following stories (100% true and verifiable.) One candidate I recently had the pleasure to work with had sent out his resume over 700 times, without landing an interview. 700 times. (And for the record, if you’ve submitted your resume to more than 25 companies, with zero response, it’s not you, and it’s not the economy. It’s your resume.)

    This candidate was certainly qualified for the positions he sought. His list of achievements were above average. He contributed measurable value to every company in his job history. Still, 700 times, no interview. So I worked with him one-on-one to develop his personal brand; gave his resume a professional, polished design; and applied sound marketing strategy to re-write it for maximum impact.

    He had an interview two days later, during which they asked him back for a 2nd interview, and ultimately gave him the position. Not only did he submit a superior resume, but the work I did with him helped clarify his passions, goals, values, and strengths, in a manner that empowered him to clearly articulate his promise of value to the prospective employer during the interview. When he thanked me, he mentioned it was the best interview experience he’d ever had.

    But probably the best example I can cite to support my assertion that a superior resume is critical, comes from a more recent client. He was Sr. Vice President of an $8 Billion a year global Fortune 500 company (which I won’t name, but you all know it; they’re a household word.) This man spent the past YEAR in a consulting job he absolutely HATED, because he couldn’t land the type of position he wanted.

    I carefully pored through his resume and was, quite literally, shocked. Now, I’ve read thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of resumes in my career, but never had I seen a more impressive history of career achievements. Here was a top-notch executive who’d turned around every company he’d ever worked for, within the first year. He successfully re-launched failed product lines. He QUADRUPLED online sales at the $8B/year Fortune 500 company. Any hiring professional who’d read his resume should have shot an offer letter to him on the spot. Yet he went a year, searching. It made. No. Sense. There was one, and only one, remotely logical explanation:

    No one had ever read his resume.

    It took some convincing, but he agreed to let me work with him on re-engineering it. Long story short, he is now the CEO of a growing company, is getting multiple offers to sit on Boards, and is very happy in his new career. Someone finally read his resume.

    I guess what I’m saying is this. Before you pass wholesale judgment on the value of a professionally re-engineered resume, know that there ARE those of us out here with the knowledge, experience, drive, and PASSION, to help make a life-changing difference in your career search. Just make sure to think like a hiring professional, and know right out of the blocks that 98% of the choices out there are immediate candidates for dismissal. What remains among that 2% just might make the difference between a career you love, and a career of being unemployed.

    Jim Bradshaw

    jb@leapcareer.com

    Comment by Jim Bradshaw, Sr. Resume Consultant, Executive Recruiter | October 7, 2009 | Reply

    • EXCELLENT summary Jim. Excellent!

      Comment by dawnbugni | October 7, 2009 | Reply

  48. I agree with Dawn … excellent post, Jim.

    I am sure most of us have the same kind of success stories. One of my clients, back around 1997, was trying to get into a specific company. He said (in his testimonial) that he had applied to 1,000+ (his words “and I’m not exaggerating) positions within that organization over 18 months and never got a second look. After we worked together, he not only got an interview but he got the job.

    In answer to the discussion around hiring managers being able to spot professionally-written resumes … and discarding them, here’s what he wrote:

    “I thought you’d like to know that the HR Director who interviewed me asked whether I wrote the resume myself, had my wife assist or if I ‘hired someone’ to help me. Of course I told her the truth (although I was tempted not to) and she went on to compliment the resume as ‘the best she’s ever seen in many-many years in HR’ She pointed out that she ‘read every word’ and that she ‘never does that’.”

    BTW, this was a very well-known Fortune 500 company.

    Fast-forward to 2009 … yes, he is still my client … he decided what was missing from his career arsenal was the branding piece. We worked on uncovering his unique brand and and completely redid his marketing documents (resume, addendum, cover letter, and executive profile for building his online identity). Within 3 days of uploading his new Linked In profile, he was selected by an internal recruiter of another well-known Fortune 500 as one of the top 3 candidates for the position.

    Can some executives drill down and find their own value proposition. Certainly. However, many cannot or do not want to … and … they know what they don’t know. Those are the ones who hire us.

    Cindy Kraft, the CFO-Coach

    Comment by Cindy Kraft | October 7, 2009 | Reply

  49. There are so many excellent comments that I am not sure that someone who is looking to make a change would read through them all, but I hope they do.

    It should be crystal clear to anyone that aside from the tangible work product that many have much more to offer to their client and help in many others ways – often just because they are generous and giving people.

    Any profession has a range of talent and competence, but the ones who are really good are professional in every sense of the word and that is true be they doctors, lawyers, recruiters or resume writers.

    There are lots of “do it yourselfers” who produce additions to their homes or make furniture or take pictures, etc., that meet or far surpass a “pro”, but that isn’t true for most of us, and I would tell anyone that unless they think they are as good as a pro, when it comes to yourself and your future, I would want the best help I could get.

    Comment by Dave Opton | October 9, 2009 | Reply

  50. […] “My CV is pretty good, actually.” In a recent poll asking job seekers why they were not using a professional resume writer, 32% of respondents said “I feel my resume is good enough”. 28% said they didn’t […]

    Pingback by What can you change in your job search? | Job Market Success | October 14, 2009 | Reply

  51. Tons of good information/comments on here. Whether or not one needs a professional resume depends on what field they are in as well what point they are at in their career. Someone right out of school for example may be able to get called for an interview based on their education and any relevant internships or activities. Someone who has been out in the workforce for a few years can definitely benefit from a professional resume. And as Jim mentioned, that first impression a resume makes is huge.

    I agree that some ‘resume writers’ are overcharging for the service they provide, but once you find a company and price you are comfortable with, it is well worth it. A one-time cost to have a top notch resume and get a call for an interview is priceless. The one-time cost is usually made up in one paycheck from your new position.

    I would also recommend participating in a mock interview once your new resume is complete. So many candidates can look good on paper, but are awful in the interview. And if that’s the case, why even have a good resume in the first place? You’re not going to get hired.

    Tomhawkin.com

    Comment by Tom Hawkin | September 23, 2010 | Reply


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