When you hire a professional resume writer, you invest time and money. Also, you entrust one of us with articulating your personal brand and shaping how you position yourself for your job search. Writers such as myself take this responsibility seriously, so this week, I am offering the following six tips to help you collaborate with a writer:
- Communicate clearly,
- Set a job target,
- Respond promptly to requests for information,
- Consider your resume a marketing document,
- Keep your resume updated, and
- Use your resume as part of a balanced job search strategy.
Communicate clearly and accurately with your writer.
Resume writers strive to communicate clearly. Writers use the information you provide to create your resume, so the better the information we get from you, the better your new resume will be. Also, please be honest with your writer in all the details of your career that you share. Ethical resume writers will not knowingly put false information on your resume, and you shouldn’t either.
It’s easy for employers and others to research your background today. Just Google yourself to see what you find. You will be terminated from your job, according to recruiters, if you have provided misleading information.
Set a job target.
A prominent career coach once told me that “if your job target is wrong (or non-existent), everything is wrong.” Employers want to know what specific business problems or opportunities you will address for them. If you ask for a “general resume,” it will not be as successful as a resume that is written for a specific job target. Related to this: If you work with a writer to prepare a resume for a sales position, don’t use that resume to apply for a different type of job. (Or at least discuss it with your writer before you do.)
You should have a job target that matches your skills and experience. A client I worked with at an employment program gave his job target on his resume as “computer programmer.” No computer programming experience or training was on the resume—only administrative experience.
Avoid asking for a resume that addresses a job target you are not qualified for. Research the aptitudes and experiences requited to be a computer programmer, or for any other target job, and demonstrate that you have and use these competencies. Otherwise, prospective employers will not view you as someone that can address their business problem or opportunity.
Respond promptly to requests.
Answer requests for information quickly when you engage a writer to work with you. You’ll get the best results from your job search when you treat it as a job, so respond to requests on-time as you would for any other work assignment. As a writer, I deliver the most value for customers when I have the information I need to finish their project on schedule.
Of course, we realize you may have a “day job” that takes priority. Just let your writer know so that your work does not get put on the back burner because the writer perceives a lack of interest.
Sometimes, clients engage writers to prepare a resume now “just in case” their job ends, or a great opportunity appears. It’s still a good idea to provide timely information because we may not be available right away when the need becomes urgent.
Your resume is a marketing document.
Your resume is a marketing document, and not an obituary. A resume writer may not include every detail about your life and work history on your resume, especially if you have certain jobs that aren’t relevant to your career target. These details are important to who you are, but they are not necessarily important for this job target. Writers are selective in what information they include, because your resume tells a story about who you are and what you can do to address a business need.
For example, one of my clients is a licensed attorney, although he works primarily as a software engineer. We did not leave his legal experience off his resume. Instead, we emphasized the software engineering he did to build tools that he, and other attorneys could use, to practice law more effectively. This strategy avoided a gap on his software engineering resume, while citing only relevant experience.
Keep your resume current.
New opportunities can appear quickly in a rapidly changing business economy, so be ready with a current resume. You can periodically ask your writer to update your resume with the latest jobs and accomplishments. Some clients update their own resumes then ask me to polish the narrative and adjust the format as needed. Ask your writer for their preferences.
Use your resume as part of a balanced job search strategy.
Doing a job search by sending out resumes and doing nothing else is like having only dry cereal for breakfast. The advertisements tell us that dry cereal is “part of a balanced breakfast.”
The resume should be a small part of your strategy for landing job interviews. Also, maintain and expand your network of contacts in your current company, profession, and industry. Be active on LinkedIn to further increase your visibility.
Continue to follow-up with your professional and industry contacts to learn of new opportunities before they are posted online. Follow-up with companies you apply to until you land interviews with them.
You will have the best chance for great results when you have a job target and know your on-the-job accomplishments so a writer can collaborate with you. Take a look at our website, and then set-up a complimentary consultation with us to decide whether I am the best writer for your needs.