You Don’t Know What You Know About Yourself: How a Professional Resume Writer Asks the Right Questions

A Professional Resume Writer is Your Guide

When you meet your resume writer for the first time, you can expect a bit of an introduction, some small talk, some discussion about the process. You’ll mention your industry and your current job. Clearly, your resume writer doesn’t know you, and you might actually be worried about how, inside an hour or two, this person will know you well enough to write effectively for you.

A resume writer’s ability to do exactly that is what makes her great. Resume writing is about the writing, for sure. More than that, it’s about asking the right questions and listening.

Your professional resume writer will know how to ask the right questions that will uncover all of your great accomplishments. And she’ll figure out things about you that you didn’t know about yourself.

The Resume Inquiry Process

Your resume writer probably has a set of stock questions that she will ask you to get the process started. These might include the following:

  • What kind of position are you seeking?
  • What industry are you interested in working in?
  • How many years have you been planning this kind of career move?

These types of  questions start to frame the discussion that will lead to your amazing career documentation.

Getting the Very Best from You

The next set of questions relate to each position you’ve held. If your resume is like the hundreds that have crossed my desk, it will do a fantastic job of . . . reporting. I read the whos, the whats, and the whens. You’ve written a pretty good narrative for each of your jobs that tells a recruiter what you did every day—which is not what he wants to read.

A recruiter wants to read the whys in a resume. And the hows. And the what happened nexts. Your professional resume writer knows how to generate these questions so that they are specific to your particular job level, industry, and even region and demographic. These questions are far from canned. They’re different from client to client.

What Are Your Questions?

I can’t write here what the questions would  be for your specific situation and career aspirations—I haven’t met you yet. But, believe me, when we do speak about your history, I’ll have all the right questions on the tip of my tongue. And you’ll be surprised when you hear your answers. I’ll bet you didn’t know what you knew about yourself.

Related Links

7 Words You Can’t Say in a Resume

How to Effectively Use Recruiters in Your Job Search

Amy L. Adler is the president and founder of Inscribe / Express, a resume and career documentation company focusing on the health care and information technology industries. She prepares resumes, cover letters, post-interview thank you letters, executive profiles, and other critical career documents on behalf of clients at all levels of employment. Credentialed as a Certified Advanced Resume Writer, Amy has earned a Master of Business Administration in Information Technology and Strategic Management as well as a Master of Arts in Publishing. Contact Amy at (801) 810-JOBS or .

What Is in a Name? Or, Why You Need a Great Resume Headline

I recently heard a story detailing how so many resumes are titled “RESUME.” Imagine how the process works for recruiters, who scan in hundreds of resumes a week for future searchability. They’ve set their software to read the first line of the page as the candidate’s name. I wonder how many people out there are now known as “Resume.”

Think about the job you have. Think about the job you want. Your professional resume writer will ask you where you are going in your career, and you should have solid ideas about both. Your resume writer takes these data points, synthesizes them, and develops a heading to your resume that addresses where you’ve been and where you’re going in a way that catches hiring managers’ and recruiters’ attention. Certified resume writers understand the language that recruiters speak. We can craft a headline for your resume that speaks volumes about your experience, accomplishments, and expertise.

For more information about collaborating with a Certified Advanced Resume Writer, visit my site: www.inscribeexpress.com.

Logophilia and the Resume Writer

Resume writers by nature are logophiles. Show us a thesaurus— or a great list of strong key words that speak to specific industry requirements—and we salivate. Strangely, the resumes of some job candidates I have reviewed fall into one of two categories: verbosity to the point of absurdity, or brevity to the point of reductionism.

Professional resume writers have honed the skill of utilizing the right words that will have the right impact to get job applicants the right interviews.  Too often I have seen resumes that regurgitate the thesaurus blindly. Clearly these job applicants don’t realize that hiring managers don’t have the time to haul out their Funk & Wagnalls to figure out exactly what they’re trying to say.

More often than that, I have seen resumes that are simply too bare-bones.  They use simplistic language, most often the words, “Responsible for….” These clients don’t understand that hiring managers also don’t have the time to infer the great expertise hidden behind simple, bland language.

The chatty and unfocused share one quality with the terse and uncommunicative: They have not addressed the needs of a hiring manager who is looking to fill a position, starting by inviting candidates based on specific qualifications. They make the recruiter work, and, believe me, the recruiter does not want to work to figure out whether a candidate is the right one. If he or she has any doubts, I have no doubt that bad resumes go into the “do not call for interview” pile.

Your professional resume writer, on the other hand, knows words. Specifically, she knows resume words. She knows the words that will shake the recruiter out of complacency, causing him to pick up the phone and schedule an interview.

For more information about collaborating with a Certified Advanced Resume Writer, visit my site: www.inscribeexpress.com.

How to Drive a CAR through Your Resume

Imagine this scenario: You’re driving in your car. The car is about three years old. It’s in pretty good shape—never needed any major repairs. You realize that your brakes are getting soft. You ask yourself, “Should I repair my own brakes, or should I take it to the car mechanic? Which is a more valuable use of my time?”

Now, maybe some of you out there are weekend grease monkeys. Maybe you have lifts, used auto parts, and skills. But if you’re like me, you probably have no idea what to check, how to think about what parts you need, or what repairs to make (is it the brakes? the shoes? the rotors?). And you have no idea if any of your repair attempts will get your car in working order.

Let’s go out on a limb and suggest that you’re an expert in your field, just not in car repair. Likely you’re not an expert in resume writing, either. Take your car to the mechanic, and take your job search to the next level by hiring a Certified Advanced Resume Writer to get your job search on track.

When you hire a professional resume writer, you get specific one-on-one attention to your personal history. Professional resume writers know the kinds of questions to ask to elicit the best accomplishments that belong on a resume. We work with executives, professionals, and entry-level candidates, tailoring our interviews to the specific needs of each client.

Once a resume professional has the best information about the client’s best expertise, she writes the resume to highlight the ways that the client is the best candidate for the job. She will take advantage of training, certifications, and the best practices the resume industry has to offer to develop a tailored marketing package that gets interviews.

If you’re not a car mechanic, you probably want an expert to slide under your car. If you’re a job seeker, you want an expert professional resume writer to develop career documents that get you the interview you deserve. Contact Inscribe / Express to find out how a professional resume writer can improve your job search success.

For more information about collaborating with a Certified Advanced Resume Writer, visit my site: www.inscribeexpress.com.