Questions to ask before hiring a resume writer

Anyone can start a resume writing business, from personal assistants and VA’s to out of work graphic designers and journalists to stay at home mothers killing time on freelance sites like Fiverr. But how do job seekers find someone who is actually experienced to write your resume and knows not only the hiring process but also your field of work?

Before engaging a resume writer, make sure you have a conversation (preferably on the phone) to determine if they are right for you.

There are 4 areas you should cover in your questions to ensure you choose the right writer for you:

Ask about their Background:

  • Do they have experience in HR or recruitment?
  • If they do in what industries & sectors?
  • What was the extent of their involvement and for how long?

What you should be looking for:
The right resume writer for you will have first-hand experience either as an external recruiter or a hiring manager/internal recruiter in your field.

Ask about their understanding of your industry:

  • What do they know about your industry?
  • What is their first-hand experience with the hiring process for your industry?
  • What type of connections do they have in the industry that can assist you once the resume is completed?

What you should be looking for:
Can they discuss anything relevant to your industry with you? Do they know who the major players are or what industry trends are of importance to prospective employers? A resume writer who wants to write for Oil & Gas or Construction should at least know who is who, and what each organisation would be looking for in a candidates resume.

What are their credentials and affiliations?

  • Do they belong to any resume writing organisations?
  • If so which ones and why?

What you should be looking for:
A resume writer who belongs to a professional organisation is someone who is passionate about their field and holds themselves to a higher standard. The most common international organisation for resume writers is CDI, and to be a member you must pay an annual fee.

How will your document be created?

  • Do they use pre-populated forms or pre-purchased templates?
  • How many pages will the document be and in what format?
  • Where will they get the information to complete your document?
  • Who will be writing the resume? Will it be the person you are speaking to or someone else?

What you should be looking for:
You want to make sure that you are getting value for money, you want your resume created for you, not having a template “amended” with bits of your information. Your resume is for you to stand out from the crowd (not by a one-page JPG file, but by a simply formatted document that captures all the relevant information that sells you as the ideal candidate).

  • Your resume should be 3-4 pages max
  • Be sent to you in both WORD and PDF format
  • Should be created from your information, not from past clients resumes or applications found online

And most importantly you want to be speaking to the actual person who will be writing your resume and any other applications you are looking to purchase. If you are not, the above questions are all moot.

A great resume writing service will offer you the opportunity to contact them for greater understanding (and via a phone call). A resume writer with integrity will have your best interests in mind and will not accept the job if they do not have the right industry understanding or experience.

Why is this important?
You would not pay a car mechanic to offer you financial planning advice, and the same thought process should be applied when paying someone to write your professional resume (or LinkedIn Profile). You want a resume writer who knows your industry and sector intimately, not someone who does not have first-hand experience in your field or within recruitment.

First Seven Seconds specialises in resumes within many sectors (but not all); and the reason is simple. We wish to provide the the best possible outcome for our clients and would rather be a master of some than a jack of all trades, but a master of none.


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