The selection of a resume writing service represents a significant milestone in a job seeker’s career path. In light of the fact that employers grant interviews largely, if not solely, due to the content and quality of candidates’ resumes, the choice of a resume writing service must be weighed carefully. A decision this profound is ultimately anchored in trust: trust that must be earned. Given the abundance of resume writing services available via the Internet, applicants must judiciously evaluate the standards determining this trust.
If you have arrived at the decision to have your resume and cover letter prepared by professionals, what criteria must you apply in making your selection from the among the plethora of available services?
The longevity of a resume service is, of course, key. Precipitated by 9/11 and a subsequent war, fear and uncertainty sent our economy plunging. Employers instituted hiring freezes and downsizing initiatives, consumer markets curtailed non-essential spending, and stock values plummeted, creating a vicious, repetitive cycle, particularly for those displaced from their jobs. Into this environment crept many inexperienced and some unscrupulous individuals seeking to capitalize upon a national tragedy. Spurred on by the accessibility of the Information Superhighway and driven by inexperience and avarice, numerous untried resume writing services sprang up on the Internet. As the economy sagged further, new resume writing services continued to mushroom in cyberspace.
In creating the professional documents that directly impact your livelihood, there is no substitute for longevity. The length of time that a resume service has been in business is a direct result of its genuine commitment to its clients and the skill, talent, and experience of its writers. The most reliable services are, therefore, the most long-lived, possessed of a substantial, occupationally-diverse client base whose satisfaction generates referral business.
Reliability, in turn, is based upon sound experience in the specialized art of crafting resumes. In making your selection, ensure that the service demonstrates the ability to understand your industry, your job function, and the importance of that function to potential employers. Resume services that have been in business the longest should possess knowledge of a broad range of fields and job responsibilities, and should be able to communicate pertinent information to hiring managers. Their work must empower you by highlighting not only your specific duties, but also your unique accomplishments, which are indicative of your work ethic and future contributions.
Ask also if the service will allow you to be an active participant in the creation of your resume and cover letter. Active participation infers meaningful dialogue between you, the job candidate, and the person you have selected to write your material. Is the service willing to work with you by telephone, email, or direct contact? Will they evaluate your individual background and achievements and thus determine the optimum format for presenting this data, or will they attempt to shoehorn you into a “one size fits all” style?
And how will the dialogue between you and the writer occur? In addition to its presence on the Web, does the resume writing service maintain physical office locations? Services that conduct business exclusively online sometimes do not list telephone numbers, and when they do, often do not answer calls or respond to voicemail messages. As a client, it is your right to modify your resume once you have proofread it, within the terms of your agreement with the service. Should you wish to speak directly with the writer concerning these modifications, how will you accomplish this? Services with telephone numbers and physical office locations are more accountable to their clients than those that maneuver solely in cyberspace; they provide you with the opportunity for face-to-face discussions, should you be more comfortable conducting business in this manner.
Will the resume writing service that you select retain your material for a reasonable length of time? Should your computer system crash, taking your resume and cover letter with it, will the service be able to email your documents to you so that your job search can continue uninterrupted?
Finally, are unsolicited testimonials from the service’s existing clients available for your perusal? Testimonials speak not only of the quality of the work but also of the varying levels of authority and the fields in which these clients have maneuvered.
Some things are the sum of their parts. When calculating the benefits that a well-established, quality-oriented resume writing service should provide, be sure that they add up to one that earns your trust.
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