How to Choose an Executive Resume Writing Service
The challenge of writing your executive resume often breaks down into two options: Either you write it yourself, or you choose a resume writing service that will advance your job search strategy for you. Read on to learn how to evaluate an executive resume writing service for your specific job search needs.
Look for Resume Writing Experience
The first filter you should use when evaluating an executive resume writing service is the level of experience that service or that individual has with writing executive resumes. There are perhaps hundreds of resume writers, but most do not work at the executive level. Expert executive resume writers are accustomed to working with and catering to individuals with little time, high expectations, long careers, and complex career histories.
Look for Resume Writing Credentials
The resume writing industry offers a number of credentials and certifications. The most basic resume writing credentials include Certified Advanced Resume Writer (Career Directors International), Academy Certified Resume Writer (Resume Writing Academy), Nationally Certified Resume Writer (National Resume Writers’ Association), and Certified Professional Resume Writer (Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches). Being recognized with one of these resume writing certifications means that the resume writer has a certain level of experience and training plus that the person’s work has been evaluated and certified by experts in the industry.
Look for Resume Writing Awards
The main resume writing competition, held annually, is the Toast of the Resume Industry Awards, commonly known as the TORIs. Each year, Career Directors International invites entrants to compete in 9 categories. In the spring, it names 5 nominees, and by summer it names first, second, and third place winners in each category. The entries are evaluated in a two-layer, blinded process by the most senior professionals in the industry, and thus the competition has a great deal of credibility. Therefore, you might choose to review the profiles and winning entries for the Best Executive Resume categories in the TORIs of recent years.
Look for Resume Writing Testimonials
Both the LinkedIn profiles and the web sites of experienced executive resume writers should contain unsolicited testimonials from happy clients. In fact, these testimonials might be the only references you are able to get from reputable resume writers. Experienced executive resume writers do not often provide the names and contact information of their clients, as these writers should protect their high-profile clients’ identities before, during, and after preparation of their executive resumes. If they protect those clients, you can, by the way, expect them to protect your confidentiality as well.
Where NOT to Look for an Executive Resume Writer
As you search the web for executive resume writers, you might find sites that point to “top 10 resume writing sites” or very large resume writing services that cater to clients at every level. These might not be the right services for an executive who expects white-glove service. Moreover, Craigslist ads advertising resume writing for $50 or $100 probably are not the right services for you, either, as these might not be more than typing services that reformat your existing content rather than develop your unique selling proposition.
A Final Word: Look for the Right Fit
Credentialed executive resume writers serve the unique needs of an expert population. If you are an executive seeking top talent for your career transition, do not settle for the lowest-priced provider. Look beyond price to the value of hiring an expert who will challenge you to think deeply about your career, including your history and your goals. If your executive resume writer does not provoke you to explore your deep career wants and must-haves, then perhaps that person is not right for you. Clues that an executive resume writer is the right one for you include the following:
1. You feel comfortable talking to the resume writer–this person is your hired professional contractor, but she should treat you amicably and respectfully.
2. The executive resume writer you choose should be comfortable asking about complicated stories.
3. The executive resume writer should lay out her plan to approach your resume using tested techniques blended with responses to the needs of your specific career.
4. You must feel confident that you can speak honestly with your executive resume writer, who will do everything possible to learn as much as she can about you in perhaps two or three meetings of several hours each. You also should feel confident that this person will speak honestly with you about the revisions you recommend to the drafts you will receive; most professional resume writers are more than willing to consider and/or incorporate the revisions you might request, so long as they are strategically sound.
5. You should expect your executive resume writer to adhere to her customary strategy while accommodating, within reason, your particular needs for meeting times, response times, and strategic determinations that advance your career trajectory.
There are multiple litmus tests you can use to determine whether the executive resume writer you have selected for your career transition is the right one for you. Do not be afraid to do your due diligence, and never agree to hire an unknown professional strictly on the basis of low cost. If you do, likely you will be losing time, revisiting your exploration of expert executive resume writers, and starting from scratch.
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