Many people will turn to someone else to write their résumé for them. Like so many things in life, you’ll either have a positive or disappointing outcome, in this case depending on who you get the help from and how they go about completing the résumé.
I suppose to be honest, it starts with your own level of commitment. Do you want the résumé just done for you, or do you want to be fully involved in the creation of the résumé and in so doing, pick up the skills you now lack so that you can do it for yourself in the future?
Now you might be the kind of person who really isn’t interested in learning how to do one. No, you might be quite happy to pay someone to do it and then pop ’round in a few days to pick it up. Maybe your logic is that once it gets you a job, you don’t plan on having to write another one for years so why bother to learn how to do one?
I believe the most effective resumes; the ones that actually result in getting you through to the interview stage of the hiring process, are the ones where you sit side-by-side the person working with you to create the document. The major advantage is that the two of you can have an ongoing question and answer session, and the more the Resume Writer learns about you with the information you give, the stronger the résumé becomes. Why? Essentially they learn through those questions, information you haven’t provided otherwise, and it’s this information that they weave into the entire document.
I am reminded of this reality every time I run a group resume workshop, and then sit down personally with each attendee a day or two later. Many of those in attendance go ahead on their own prior to our personal meeting and do their best to incorporate the layout suggested to them, as well as targeting it to a specific job. When I’m sitting with them alone however, there’s a gap between what they’ve picked up in the group and what they pick up working together that gets bridged in the end. So many people comment on how they, ‘get it’ working together, because they can see the process first-hand as I craft it with them.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about highly educated people with doctorates and degrees or people yet to finish their high school education, the experience is richer when done working together. One thing about those questions and answers is that they morph, evolve, change and pop up as the process goes along. So it’s not like you could be given a list of questions to answer in advance and then just send the answers with your rough employment history and expect a winning resume. There are however, some Resume Experts out there who will gladly take your money and do this exact process. You end up having paid for something that looks great to the eye and you’re happy; until you realize the resulting interview invitation doesn’t materialize more often than not.
If you invest your time in sitting down with an expert to learn how to do it for yourself, with practice you get better. You don’t want or expect to be writing resumes for long of course, because your goal is to get an interview that leads to a job offer quicker and not longer. Then yes, you don’t usually plan on having to write another résumé for some time, perhaps years.
The thing is though, a real professional Resume Writer will craft a résumé for a single job posting. So before you pay them, if they tell you their plan is to give you 5, 10, 20 copies etc. of the resume so you can use it to apply to many jobs, this should be your sign to find someone else to work with. As I’ve said time and time again, no single resume should be used to apply to more than one job – even when the job title is identical. The details of the job – what you’ll actually do, the qualifications required etc. will vary slightly from one to the next, and so too should your resume.
We live in a world however where many often just want to pay someone to do things for them. There will always be these people and there will always be people willing to take their money. There are times when you want to pay an expert. If you’re having a window installed in what is now a brick wall of your home, call an expert in. You don’t have the skills and once that window goes in, you may never have another put in so pay up and be happy.
It’s highly probable however that you’ll be looking for employment again after getting your next job, or even more probable, you’ll be looking for employment after you send this résumé for the job you are applying to while waiting for a result. So it seems to me that if you pay for this kind of service, you should pick up skills necessary to do it for yourself in the future.
You won’t become an Resume Expert yourself just because you sit with one. Respect their work, respect the person. You can pick up a lot however that will serve you well on your journey.