Lindsay Olson

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5 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Resume Writer

Sometimes it’s difficult for you to view your resume with an unbiased eye. You can’t see what should stand out, and you might not know what hiring managers are looking for. If that’s the case, consider working with a resume writer.

Professional resume writers know what skills to feature on your resume to get the attention of a hiring manager. They may be able to pick up on points you didn’t even notice, simply because it’s your own resume.

But before you shell out a pretty penny for a professional resume, make sure to ask these questions to ensure you’ve got the right writer for the job.

1. Can you show me examples of your work?

Any resume writer with experience should be able to provide several examples of past work. Better yet to ask for examples not found on her website.

2. Do you have experience writing resumes in my industry?

This isn’t always a necessity for all industries, but PR and Marketing professionals have their own industry lingo and certain skill sets that are important to highlight on a resume. It might be worth paying more for a resume by working with someone who has the relevant industry experience and knows what employers in your industry will want to see and can use the industry keywords appropriately.

3. What are the three biggest issues you see with my resume?

A good resume writer should be able to immediately see areas that could stand to be improved and have a few good suggestions. This question also implies you are speaking with the resume writer. Do yourself a favor and actually speak with the person who will write your resume.

4. Can you also rewrite my LinkedIn profile?

This may or may not be part of her overall service, but since she’s already knee-deep in your work experience, it would make sense to have a look at your LinkedIn profile. Having a LinkedIn profile that accurately portrays who you are professionally may help you more than your resume, since many recruiters are looking for solid job candidates there.

5. How much do you charge?

It’s likely a flat fee depending on your level. Always clear this upfront.  Be sure to be clear about how many revisions are included and extra fees whether it be future edits or formatting changes.

Is Hiring a Resume Writer Right for You?

Before you hire a writer, consider whether it’s necessary. Some people feel like you should create your own resume, because it’s such a personal document.

On the other hand, if you haven’t gotten the positive response you think you should be getting from recruiters and hiring managers, based on your job experience, it might be time to bring in a professional who can clear the clutter from your resume and shine the spotlight on the skills that position you as the ideal candidate.

Just make sure to avoid resume mills that churn out nearly identical resumes for multiple clients (you’ll know them because they charge a shockingly low fee, and you won’t be very impressed with the results). Find a writer who can make you stand out against the competition.

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P.S. I do not write resumes. While I will happily give some advice to candidates I’m actively working with on a search, recruiters are not resume writers. Resume writing is a career – and it is a time intensive process that a recruiter just doesn’t have the bandwidth to take on in addition to filling client searches.

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