Whether it’s the age-old LinkedIn debate about whether to put up your ‘Open to Work’ banner or deciding if my picture should be on my resume, everyone has an opinion (or five) about how to write a captivating resume. The reality is that most adults in the US have written a resume at some point in their lives. If you went to a 4-year university, you also likely had to take a course through the Career Center to create a resume. I’m not trying to call anyone out here, but… some of you are still using that resume. You know who you are.
You need a new resume every 3-5 years so if it’s been since Spring Break ’99 that you changed the structure of your resume, it’s time to go back to the blank slate. The good news? There are TONS of tools available on the internet to help you write an amazing resume – one loaded with the right keywords, one that will stand out in the applicant tracking system (ATS), one that will get you the interview! Like with anything, you can choose whether you want to do the research and put in the time to create the perfect resume or outsource the task to someone who can help you craft a resume that’s ready to go. That’s where the bad news comes in… finding the right resource to help in a sea of people who got a job previously and have now proclaimed themselves ‘resume writers’, ‘ATS experts’, and ‘career coaches’ can be daunting.
Ok, so what if I want to find someone to write my resume?
If you decide to hire someone to write your resume, expect to pay between $200-$1,000 depending on the coach you hire, the level of service provided, the credentials of the resume writer/service, and the timeframe you want it completed. There will be price points above and below that range too but 95% should fall into that wide range. If you are going to hire someone, here are some questions to ask to vet the resource:
- What involvement have you had in the Recruiting & Selection of employees?
- What industries and roles have you supported?
- Can you share the success rates of those job seekers you’ve helped? How many interviews did they receive? How long did it take them to find the right fit opportunity?
- What process do you follow?
- Will I own the final product?
- Are there any additional costs outside of the contracted rates and scope of work defined?
- Do you have references?
Non-negotiables should be a flat cost with no hidden fees and ownership of the final product. Additionally, speaking with a reference or reviewing some writing samples should be no problem at all. Costs are going to vary based on role and industry but more than $750 seems excessive in today’s competitive market. Personally, at Recruiting Experiences, we offer 2 versions of a final resume including 1:1 career consultation sessions for $400.
And… if I want to write my own resume… how do I get started?
Google ‘Resume templates’. Thank me later. You will find SO many options. Scroll down through the immediate ones up top that everyone is using and find one that suits your background well. Avoid these traps and you’ll likely be off to creating a resume you can be proud of and will help you nail your next job search.
- Avoid listing job duties, instead focus on accomplishments
- Use metrics and numbers to quantify EVERYTHING you achieved
- Use white space, bold, italics, and font sizes to draw the reader’s eye to the things you want to jump off the page – no one reads the whole resume so make sure they’re going to see the best parts!
- Keep it to no more than 2 pages unless it’s a government or academic role – google the rules for those … they’re VERY different
- Add your contact info including current city/state/email/phone
- Leave out the following:
- Pictures (Are you auditioning for a movie?)
- Personal details (It may be expected in Europe but not the US)
- Colors and graphics – Keep it simple, PDF it, make sure it won’t get messed up when you upload it to the ATS
- References (Recruiters are stealing this info and recruiting your friends)
- “References available upon request” – save the space, we’ll ask if we want them
- Your resume is your story – make sure it reflects who you are & what you aspire to
- Add a Skills section to keyword load all of the software, tools, soft skills, and key areas of responsibility that map to the types of roles you are applying for
- Collapse irrelevant experience into an “Additional Work History” section with just companies, titles, and dates – no description needed
- Google ‘Skills based resume’ if you are creating a resume to change careers
There’s a lot to know to create the BEST resume. You can find tons of resources to get started. If you decide to outsource, do your due diligence and find the right resource for you. For more information on Recruiting Experiences, visit www.recruitingexperiences.com.