Seven things to consider when deciding whether to hire someone to write your resume for you.
Most people know that when you’re looking for a job, you absolutely positively have to have a great resume.
Where many people go wrong, though, is in misjudging whether they have what it takes to create their own resume, or whether it makes sense for them to work with a professional resume writer.
To me, it’s like the question of whether you should pay someone else to cut your hair for you.
Maybe you can save that money, if you’re a great haircutter and can do a professional-qualty job on it. But if you don’t get it right, you risk looking a little bit off-kilter, and that can cost you. It’s all about what you get for what you spend.
Here are five questions to ask yourself in making your decision about whether to hire a professional resume writer.
1. Do you understand what makes a great resume in today’s market?
Resumes are not like other documents. They have their own language, and they must deliver certain very specific information in an easy-to-scan and easy-to-understand format. They also have trends and fashions that are constantly changing.
Be honest with yourself about whether you are familiar with the latest trends in resumes, or if you are willing to put the time in to learn more about what makes an effective resume. If not, you may be better off getting some help.
2. Are you talented at writing marketing materials?
A resume is not just a list of everything you did and every job you had. It’s a marketing piece, a brochure about you, and it has to sell you as the right person for the specific job you’re applying to.
If you know how to write headlines, and how to describe your experience in a way that’s engaging and keeps the reader wanting to know more, that’s good. But if you struggle with writing, then you are better off getting some professional help.
3. Are you experienced at designing and laying out beautiful documents?
Be really honest with yourself on this one. Here’s a quick test: When you want to indent, do you know how to do that without ever hitting a tab? Do you know what style sheets are? Do you understand how to adjust line spacing and the use of white space for additional readability?
If the answer to any of these is “no,” then you will end up with a much more professional resume if you get some professional help.
4. How much is your time worth?
I’m always amazed when someone who makes $100K a year hesitates at paying a few hundred dollars to have someone do their resume for them.
Creating a great resume will take you at least four or five hours, and probably longer if you count in your time to do research. Your time is probably better used doing what you’re great at, and then investing that into hiring someone whose talent is in creating resumes to do that for you.
5. How much will it save you if you get a job sooner rather than later?
Again, what’s your time worth? If you make $100K a year, that’s $2,000 a week. I guarantee you that a great resume will get you more interviews, which increases your chances to get into that new job quickly.
If you save even one week’s time, you’ve paid for a pro to do your resume several times over, and you’re working much sooner.
6. Are you in a competitive market?
Many jobs today get hundreds of responses, and if you want any chance at all to stand out in that crowd, you need to have a “wow” resume, or you’re never going to get the interview. I’ve seen people go from a zero percent response rate to an 80% response rate just by investing in a fantastic resume.
7. Are you looking for a position that is involved in any way with creating great business documents?
If you wait tables or drive a truck, a strong resume will still help you get the interview, but a weak resume doesn’t necessarily reflect on your ability to do the job well.
However, if you’re an admin worker, an entrepreneur, a senior executive, or in the marketing field, it is entirely fair for the reader to assume that the quality of your resume is a reflection of the quality of your work, so invest in making sure it shows you in your best light