Seven signs you need professional help – with your resume, that is!

by K B , updated on April 16, 2011

Do you need a professional resume writer?

For many reasons it is sometimes difficult to ask for professional help.  I have found that many people prefer to attempt to write their resumes themselves, rather than employ a professional resume writer.  Sometimes this is fine. For example, if you are in a field where your skill is in demand, you may barely ever be asked for a resume. You may be hired on your reputation alone.

However, here are seven signs you may need a professional resume writer’s help with your resume:

  1. You are not getting interviews. (Have a look here for top 10 resume mistakes and read here and here for how recruiters may read your resume)
  2. You would like to change your career and you are having trouble expressing your new direction and what you can bring to your new role. (Have a look here about why a career objective is important.)
  3. You have a gap in your resume; say for time out for children, a career break etc.
  4. You are in a hurry and need you need a professional resume written really quickly
  5. You’ve always been headhunted and have no idea where to start writing your resume
  6. You really don’t like talking about your strengths, let alone writing them on a resume.
  7. You think there is something wrong with your resume, yet you can’t put your finger on it

Professional resume writers – what to look for

OK, so there are a lot of writers out there it can be really confusing.  However here are some signs you are in the hands of  a professional resume writer.

Professional resume writers will ask you questions about you, not launch into what they can do for you.  You want your writer to sit down, or talk with you. While they may use a form, they use it as a starting point for a discussion about what you’ve been doing in the job market, why you think you need professional help, what you want the resume to achieve for you, and how you plan to use the resume. If you plan on finding a job through your networks, then sometimes your resume is a work in progress as you talk to people. A professional resume writer will tell you, how much you should do, and how much your resume can do.

You want your professional resume writer to be interesting in finding out what makes you tick; someone who doesn’t just accept what you say at face value. That way they can uncover your hidden strengths. What you think are strengths, may not necessarily be the ones you should present. (I’ve seen many senior leaders write “good team player” on their resumes. While this may be true, the language does not reflect their seniority, or match what’s required for a role.)

Professional resume writers have professional experience. It doesn’t need to be experience in your area, however they need to have a curiosity and be able to ask the right questions, and to challenge you on the information you provide.

You want your resume writer to work with you. That’s not just in the questions they ask you, but the guidance they give you along the way. A professional resume writer will give you questions to ask the head-hunter or recruiter, if you haven’t asked them already.

Finally, and this is important – you don’t want any professional resume writer to say they will 100% guarantee results. Nobody can guarantee that your resume will win you an interview. What they should be able to say is, that it won’t be your resume that stands in the way of your success.



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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Furuya (@FuryousGrants) March 19, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Not getting interviews? 7 signs you need a professional resume writer

Eric Olavson (@GiraffeResume) March 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Not getting interviews? 7 signs you need a professional resume writer

Roger Ford January 6, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Well said, Karalyn!

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