So here’s the thing:
I’ve seen too many times where people have hired a resume writer, only to be left with a Word document with a bunch of cool sounding words and sexy adjectives, but no interviews and offers.
Finding the best resume writing service that will actually get you your money’s worth is not as easy as most people think it is.
There are tons of companies and individuals out there that are constantly saying that they are “experts” at writing resumes.
So the question is:
How do you choose the right service?
Below are the 6 rules to ensuring the person or company you hire writes you the best resume possible.
Rule #1: They Should Still be Experts Running the Entire Job Search Process (Interview, Networking, Negotiation, Etc.)
Even though you are looking to have your resume written, it is critically important you find someone who is an expert and has a track record not just in writing resumes.
Instead, they should be an expert and have a track record in landing OFFERS.
Why does this matter?
The resume is only one small part and ingredient of what it takes to land good offers.
Most companies like to “productize” their services.
For example, they’ll offer a Resume writing package, an interview prep package, or a networking essential package, etc.
So what ends up happening is that companies and clients start thinking about each part of the job search process as separate components, instead of an entire process. But that is very incorrect.
The truth is you CANNOT view the process as separate components because of the fact that each component of the job search process (networking, resume, interview, negotiation, etc.) all interact and depend on each other.
So it’s fine if you want to pay just for the resume, but if the company or person you end up working with does not have the understanding, expertise, or track record of running the ENTIRE job search process, then you might have paid a bunch of money for some sexy words in a Word document, rather than interviews and offer letters.
Rule #2: They Focus on Interview Conversion Rates as Their Primary Goal
Anyone can write something that “sounds good”, and has a bunch of intelligent sounding words that can only be found in the thesaurus – however very few people can write resumes that actually convert into interviews.
At the end of the day, when you put aside all the fluff and feel-good aspects of the process, you can’t land an offer from just having a resume that sounds good.
All that matters with a resume is if it’s helping you land interviews, end of story.
So you need to make sure the person or company you work with is hyper-focused on the same goals you have. If you want to have a resume that gets you interviews, make sure the goal of the person or company you’re working with is to write a resume that will get the highest number of interviews.
If you find someone focusing more on how amazing they are going to make you sound, or how they are going to highlight your best attributes, then your goals aren’t properly aligned.
However, if you have someone who is focused on reverse engineering how to increase your application-to-interview conversion rate, then that is someone you would probably want to work with.
Rule #3: They Should Have a Data-Oriented and Metric-Driven Approach to Writing Resumes
As the Harvard Business School 101 lesson goes, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”.
If the company you are working with does not track the data or metrics of their resumes, then how will they be able to know what controls application-to-interview conversion rates, let alone improve those rates so you can land the most interviews possible?
This rule relates to rule #2: If they aren’t even tracking the data and do not have a strong understanding of their analytics and metrics, then there is no way they can focus on increasing their conversion rates.
This rule also relates to #1 as well: This is why working with someone who has full service knowledge and expertise is important.
With our full service clients, since we are engaged from very beginning to end (target role/industry selection, resume, networking, interview, negotiation), we have the ability to see how our resumes ultimately convert.
Also, given the full service nature of the program where we walk step-by-step with our clients, we are able to ensure all the data collected is correct and complete. (There’s nothing worse than using incorrectly gathered metrics and making decisions based on incorrect data).
In our experiences, we honestly would not have access to that data if we did not offer the full job search service. If we only wrote resumes, then all we would do is write a resume, send our client on their merry way, and hope the data and metrics they report to us is correct – which it probably wouldn’t be.
Rule #4: They Need to Deeply Understand the Roles You Are Applying For
Our quick test for showing how well we know a particular role is:
If we were to meet a random stranger who was currently working in the role that we are writing a resume for, they would assume we currently worked in that role as well, because we knew so much about it.
Why is this important?
What we’ve learnt after writing hundreds of resumes and landing thousands of interviews and high-quality job offers is that: The resume conversion rate is not based on how fancy you can make someone’s background sound or how many numbers, percentages, and action verbs you can cram into a resume.
No, no, no.
What we’ve found in our tested resume conversion rates is that it is based on how well we position the person’s background to the given role…
And it’s impossible to position something, if we didn’t deeply understand the role in the first place.
Deeply understanding the role doesn’t mean repeating what’s said on a job posting – anyone can do that. Deeply understanding the role means to actually understand the true intrinsic need for the role and how it fits into the corporate ecosystem.
Rule #5: They Need to Deeply Understand Your Background
This is related to Rule #4: Contrary to popular belief, the most important contribution of a resume writer is not writing about your background – it is positioning your background to the role you want.
The job of a resume writer is to deeply understand your background so they can “find the gold”. The gold are experiences, responsibilities, and accomplishments you didn’t think twice about that could potentially double or triple your resume’s application-to-interview conversion rate.
Many resume writers ask you to fill out a quick intake form/questionnaire, or spend 30 minutes with you on the phone.
Now, here’s the thing…
I’ve been writing resumes for a long time now and have written resumes with extremely high application-to-interview conversion rates, and through that experience I can assure you that it takes much longer than 30 minutes to understand someone’s background.
The second problem is that everyones’ background and experiences are so diverse that it doesn’t make sense to have a standard questionnaire because there are so many important follow up questions that need to be asked to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
Writing a resume with a high conversion rate is a much more strategic activity when done correctly.
Rule #6: You Should Make Sure a Resume Writer Is the Solution to Your Problem
Even the best resume writing service will not land you better offers. End of story.
Because there are so many other components that go into landing an offer letter for higher pay, from a better company, for a better role, or a more senior title, especially if you’re transitioning roles/industries.
There is the interview component, negotiation component, networking component, target market analysis component, experience/skill design component (just to name a few).
Also, if you want to land really great offers (great pay, great role, and at a great company), well the competition is going to be very high and you’re going to need to solve the following problems:
- How will you beat candidates who have more experience than you?
- How will you beat candidates who have more education and/or a more pedigreed background than you?
- How will you negotiate the pay?
- How will your interview answers separate you from your competitors?
- Having a solid strategy to all these questions are critical to winning the best offer letters.
Unfortunately, NONE of these questions are answered or addressed in the resume.
That’s why it is unfair to ask someone to just write your resume and to expect to win offers for the best companies or get 50% raises, etc.
Having had clients who’ve landed job offers for 75% more pay than what they were making is doable, but that DEFINITELY didn’t happen because all we did was write the resume.
The fact is this: if you are having issues landing job offers, or your situation is a bit complicated (transitioning industry/role, going for a more senior role, unemployed, etc.) then you need more than just resume help.
Most of the time people come to me frustrated, shocked, and disappointed that they aren’t landing offers after they hired some person or company that promised tons of offer letters once they had a new resume.
But they ended up getting what they paid for.
If you hire a plumber to build an entire house, what do you think would happen? Complete failure right?
Why is that? That’s because there are so many other components that go into building a house, for example: electrical, paint, roof, carpet (and this is just naming a few).
Same thing applies here.
- Are having issues landing job offers
- Want to land better job offers that would be an upgrade from the current job you have
- Are in a situation that is a bit complicated (transitioning industry/role, going for a more senior role, unemployed, and etc.)
Then you can’t hire a resume writer and expect that you’ll get tons of high-quality job offers.
Just like hiring a plumber to build an entire house is a disaster, hiring only a resume writer if you are looking to land high-quality offers is a bad idea as well because you still would not have addressed interview, networking, target market analysis, negotiation, etc.
You need to hire someone to work with you on the entire process that is experienced, knowledgeable, and has a track record in the entire job search process, not just in writing resumes.
Second, I would also recommend not being cheap with who you hire as well. Be cheap with the soap you use, be cheap with the type of paper plates you buy.
But I promise you will regret being cheap and refusing to hire high-quality help to advise you on your career, the financial asset that produces all the money you use to live for the rest of your life.