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What should you look for when hiring a resume writer (Part 1)?

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Launching a leadership job search in 2014? You’ve probably thought about hiring an executive resume writer.

There's a plethora of resume writers advertising services online and through social media. How can you know if an executive resume writer will market you effectively?

What if the final product doesn’t represent you or your field? What if you don't understand the writer's work?

What should you look for – and ask — when vetting the best executive resume writer for you?

Use these questions to qualify writers and get a clear picture of the quality, responsiveness, and attention you’ll receive. After all, most executive resume writers represent a sizable investment (from $500 to more than $4,000).

1 - How long have you been in business?

Resume writers who joined the industry during the economic recession sometimes did so because they saw a need during the downturn.

However, others did so because their own job search failed, which is a concern for anyone relying on them to drive a successful job-hunting effort.

Use the following queries to gain an even better idea of the writer’s purpose and mission in the resume industry:

  • What made you decide to offer executive resume writing services?
  • When did you launch your business?
  • How will I know you are in this for the long haul?
  • What training have you completed?
  • Will you still be in business 5 years later when I need an update?

2 - What was your background prior to resume writing?

Even though the best resume writers can pick up facts about your business background, there’s a striking difference between writers with a corporate history and ones who’ve only read about it.

You’ll need to carefully ask about the writer’s experience in a corporate setting, using these type of queries:

  • Have you ever looked for a job yourself?
  • What do you believe employers look for in a resume?
  • How many interviews have you attended – as either an interviewer or job seeker?
  • What is your experience in hiring or recruiting?
  • In what industries and professions do you have hands-on experience?

When writing about the business of your career, a corporate or hiring background is essential to producing technically accurate, business-focused documents.

3 - Will you write my resume yourself?

Be very cautious with this one. Many writers will tell you they are “involved with” or “direct” work in their businesses.

What this means is that your executive resume is handed off to a subcontract resume writer, who will develop the majority of (if not all) of your document.

Senior executive resume writers at the top of their game will write your resume themselves – period. They might have assistants or a team to help with other documents, but they'll rarely (if ever) turn over the writing of your core document to another resource.

Your best bet is to look over the executive resume writing samples posted by each expert. Are there at least some similarities in style and the tone of the writing?

If it looks like each sample was developed by a different person, this can be a tip-off that you will not have a voice in selecting your own writer.

As you can see, these questions will help you gain a good idea of a resume writer's abilities and commitment to excellence - before you embark on the journey of producing your new resume.

Next Up:

Vetting the best resume writers through industry accolades, industry knowledge, credentials, and more

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