We have all been down that road before: That moment when we realized that we were duped. If you haven’t ever had someone pull a fast one on you before, then count yourself either extremely lucky or completely street-wise.
But for the rest of us, being burned once makes us doubly careful the next time.
I’m running into this as people who have been to other so-called résumé writers bounce over to me. They arrive after everything falls apart, yet it was clear that they failed to see the warning signs from the get-go.
Here are some quick tips to consumers so they are more savvy when selecting a career partner to work with on an important project:
- No one (except an employer) can promise you a job. Some writers offer guarantees for interviews, but those and jobs are not something that a résumé writer has any kind of control over. The writer isn’t in charge of your job search and quite frankly, they don’t know what you do with your résumé once they send it to you, and they don’t know the types of jobs you are using it as an application. Proceed with caution if the writer is promising you showers of job offers!
- If they are reputable, you’ll find them on more than just their own website. Career industry professionals are engaged in their community, give back, and can be found quickly (and frequently) with multiple results on the first page of Google.
- Don’t expect a good quality document to be cheap. The résumé that are going to be the most help in your job search aren’t the $35 “deals” found on Craigslist and other billboard sites. Good quality writers are constantly educating themselves on emerging trends to make sure that the documents they produce are on-target to meet employer needs. And that means that they are investing in themselves just as you are investing in them. Remember: you get what you pay for!
- Résumé writers are not a “typing service.” The reason why so many people stumble over writing their own career documents is because it IS difficult. While résumé writers do this day in and day out, it also takes time to digest the information you provide, and that goes far beyond just a “typing” service. Digging into your background, uncovering the bullets, then framing up the accomplishments in a way that appeals to employers is a specialized skill. It’s so much more than simply “typing something up.”
- High-integrity writers respond right away. If you have emailed or called and don’t hear back within a reasonable time, either they are too busy or aren’t particularly anxious to get your business. Or, if they are cagey about the process, you might want to look elsewhere.
- Pricing is up front. You can expect a sales process with the writer, but pricing should never be a “moving” target. Writers who have integrity will be specific on what you are investing in, and that should not change.
- You should be a satisfied customer. Conscientious writers are out to win your trust. They want your project to end on a positive note and will make sure your needs are met. After all, savvy business owners know that happy clients will tell their friends and family.
Keep these factors in mind, and you’ll have a much better experience as a result, as well as a fabulous new résumé!
Dawn Rasmussen, CMP, is a Certified Advanced Résumé Writer and the president of Portland, Ore.-based Pathfinder Writing and Career Services. Clients from across the United States and Canada and from all career levels have benefited from Dawn’s highly-focused and results-oriented résumé, cover letter, and job search coaching services. Many professional groups as well as colleges and universities have appreciated the insights and expertise she shares during presentations on career management topics, and she is a frequently requested national speaker as a result.