Caveat Emptor: Buyer Beware When Selecting A Resume Writer

resume writers in PortlandIt’s an unfortunate truth that some job seekers have been bamboozled by unscrupulous “resume writers” who either offer cut-rate services on places like Craigslist or simply don’t deliver the goods after talking a good game just to hook in a prospective client.

The end result?

Many are suspicious of writers, and this feeling has been amplified by similar horror stories (albeit rare) in the media.

Most ethical writers, however, are active members in either Career Directors International or The National Resume Writers’ Association, and genuinely care about their client’s success. Happy clients, after all, refer friends, family members, colleagues, and business contacts as new business to the writer.  Writers are very well aware of the power of referrals and how their service, quality of work, and overall performance factors into their company reputation, and will do anything to try and protect it.

If you are considering hiring a career services professional to work on your resume, take a moment to ask yourself the following questions:

1) Does the writer have a professional online presence?  Resume writing is all about marketing, so being good at marketing clients should also mean that the writer is good at marketing themselves/their business.

2) Does the writer have a strong company/personal brand themselves? Resumes today require a personal branding statement. Does the writer present a strong company brand themselves that would build your comfort level that they could do the same for you?

3) Are they certified? Not every excellent writer is certified, but having an industry designation means that the writer has met a certain criteria level to present themselves as experts in the field.

4) Do they have a strong portfolio of credentials that reassure you about their integrity?  Check and see if they are a member of a reputable organization or local business group.  What does their LinkedIn profile say about them?

5) Is there a culture fit?  Take the time to follow the “rule of 3” – call three different writers and get a sense of who they are as a person. Do you feel like you connect with any of them? This project, after all, will be discussing some of your most personal goals and career situations, and getting a feel of who the other person is will help you build trust in their ability to best serve you. Not every writer is the perfect fit for everyone. My advice: go with your gut!

6) Don’t rule out virtual writers.  Many potential clients want to meet face-to-face, which is fine for local writers, but don’t rule out the possibility of leveraging Skype or other video chats to make that connection with a writer.

 7) Make sure you understand what the terms are.   Good writers have a project agreement form or contract that spells out the scope of services being provided.   It provides a clear statement of what you are being provided with and what you can expect in exchange for your payment.

8)You get what you pay for.  If you are thinking “cost” versus “investment” – you might want to shift your paradigm.  Cost means that this is something you pay for and get nothing in return, whereas investment means that there is a return on what you do invest (to yourself).   Many people in the “cost” mindset are shocked at what writers charge but the truth is that if viewed from an “investment” perspective, you’ll see the value of shortening a job search with an updated and optimized document which can be easily recouped within the first paycheck of your new job.  So, if you get turned off by the investment required by professional writers and turn to some of the ads on Craigslist… you’ll get exactly what you spent: a $35 resume that goes nowhere.

Picking a career services professional to help you on this important project requires careful consideration and investigation in order to make the wisest investment possible!