In last week’s post, we examined the benefits of working with a paid resume consultant. We also provided information regarding finding a qualified expert to assist you in updating your resume, and discussed how much a writer might charge. Today, let’s focus on your role in the process of revising your resume.
The (Resume) Doctor Will See You Now
Whether your consultation is conducted in-person, over the phone, or via video conference, the initial review of your resume is usually complimentary. The resume consultant may give general feedback, ask questions pertaining to your job search and request samples of previously written resumes. Then he or she will outline a plan to assist you. Be sure to agree upon a fee and a deadline before engaging the consultant’s services.
Collaboration: 1 + 1 is Greater Than 2
As the writer gets started on improving your resume, be prepared for a high level of involvement. The more you participate in the process, the better the results will be. A resume expert may be a skilled wordsmith, but ultimately he or she is limited by the amount of information provided by the client. In addition to your most recent resume, provide earlier or alternate versions, as well. If possible also include letters of recommendation, copies of performance evaluations, and official job descriptions from current and past positions. It is far better to provide too much information as opposed to too little! Resume experts excel at editing down unnecessary verbiage.
If you will be applying to a specific listing, supply the writer with the posting and description of duties for that job. (Because online job listings can vanish quickly, we recommend that you include the full text of the description as opposed to simply the URL.) The consultant can then tailor your resume specifically for that position. If you are unable to find a well-written description of your dream job on local job boards, search postings outside the San Francisco Bay Area. What’s important is that the resume expert receives a detailed description of your ideal role—regardless of whether a particular listing is still open, or even in your local area.
Questions and Answers
Often the writer will require additional information from you. Be available to answer questions so that the consultant can work quickly and efficiently. This is also your opportunity to ask the expert any resume-related questions you have. For example, how can you incorporate your volunteer experience? What can be done about the gap in employment from 2011 to 2012? How much space should be given to education?
Reviewing the Resume Writer’s Work
When the consultant submits a draft to you, read it very carefully. Examine every bullet point, sentence and paragraph to make sure that what is written is accurate and a true reflection of your experience. If you are uncomfortable with anything you see, or if you would simply like some changes made, let the writer know.
The Next Step
Be sure to provide your new and improved resume to any recruiters you are working with, as well as to people within your network. Ask the resume expert if he or she has any contacts who may be of assistance in your job search.