Skip the DIY Resume, Get a Pro


I spend no less than an hour a day surfing the web looking at what’s out there for folks who want to learn how to write a good resume. There is a lot of good resume-writing advise out there, and that pleases me.

Some days I spend considerably more than an hour surfing, and it’s seldom planned.  It just happens when I either keep running across good articles and advice that are engaging and informative, or, just as often, bad articles and advice that are so mind-blowing I have to keep reading to see how far they go with their nonsense.  The latter feeds my morbid fascination with some of the garbage that is on the Internet.

So, if someone like me, an expert resume-writer who is insanely interested in the subject matter of writing resumes, can get caught up for two or three hours filtering through resume-writing websites and blogs, what must it be like for folks who are just trying to get a little guidance?

There is a common characteristic among people who search the web for resume-writing guidance. It is the desire (commendable may I say) to learn how to write a decent, proper, acceptable, and competitive resume that will earn a chance to be read. In a word, that characteristic is “wisdom”.  These folks know, or at least suspect, that resumes have evolved since they last wrote one and are wise enough to get online to find out what will make their resume new and improved. I trust, not blindly I hope, that these wise folks have enough common sense to distinguish between the good and true advice, and the bad and harmful advice, they will absolutely encounter online.

Contrarily, far too many job-seekers and career-changers don’t recognize their resumes are out of date, irrelevant, boring, poorly-written, and just plain useless in their current state. These folks dig up their ten-year-old resume, dust if off, add their most recent work experience, and happily send it off to compete with dozens if not hundreds of much worthier resumes. Blissful ignorance? Maybe, unless serious job-hunters are going months or years unemployed for no other reason than they keep sending in terrible resumes. Most job-seekers are qualified for the jobs they apply for — they just don’t present those qualifications front-and-centre where no question of their suitability for the position could be raised.

Whether you know your resume needs updating or you are just finding out now, you have a decision to make. Try your hand at it, or hire an expert? If you have gobs of time, are a good writer, know how to do Internet research (and are discerning enough not to get bedazzled by B.S.), are resourceful, embrace challenge, are patient, persistent, and confident, and, can write your resume objectively, then go for it. You possess all of the attributes necessary to write your own resume.

If, however, you don’t have all the time in the world to learn how to write a resume that can compete in 2018, hire an expert resume-writer.

There is some good resume-writing advice out there, but reading a good piece of advice does not magically give you the ability to apply your new-found knowledge to a new resume. It’s one thing to become enlightened — it’s another to have an “a ha” moment.  Knowing how to apply guidance and advice to your resume specifically, your work history, experience, qualifications, skill sets, education, and personality, takes practice. If you have written five or less resumes in your life, you need more practice. One effective way to work toward writing really great resumes is to write your resume for several different job opportunities, i.e.: job ads. If you are currently in a serious job-search you will have to tailor your resume specifically for each position you apply for, so that’s good practice. And don’t forget the cover letter!

The point of this blog article is to let you know that while you might very well be capable of writing your own resume, the process is time-consuming, the advice is sometimes confusing (good/bad Internet articles), the journey is tiring, and the results can be frustrating.

I have pulled a few excerpts from a LinkedIn article by Stacie Renna ➦ Talent Acquisition Specialist.  She reads hundreds of resumes written for almost every conceivable industry. I don’t know Stacie personally and in fact am not familiar with her work, so I can’t vouch for her in any way, other than to support her professional opinion as it relates to resume-writing.

“…it’s still interesting to me, the volume of resumes submitted that are so outdated and lack a focus of “personal branding.” And guess what? Those people never got called.

“The biggest complaint I have? BORING. Boring, boring, boring content with little to no “added value.”

“Your resume presentation is a direct reflection of your professionalism! When you send a resume that reads more like a job description – it tells me that you didn’t put that much work into it. And often people don’t take the time, because it is time consuming and maybe they truly don’t “have the time.” Then hire a resume writer! That’s why they exist.”


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