Resume writing is an art. And when you take the decision to commission a piece of art, who would you go to other than an expert in the relevant field?
You wouldn’t hire Michelangelo to compose you a violin concerto, nor Mozart to write you a stage play. Brilliant though both may have been in their respective fields, their areas of expertise lay elsewhere. So it is with wordsmiths who might try to pass themselves off as resume writers. An ability to construct flowing prose is no guarantee that the service provider has any knowledge of your industry, nor even a basic grasp of the core principles which define job hunting. Yes of course it needs to be literate, and look professional, but when all is said and done the object of the exercise is to convince a potential employer that you are the right person, with the right qualities, for the job.
Getting the Basics Right First
The dictionary definition of a resume (literally résumé) is “a brief summary of events”. The clue is in the adjective. Most employers are busy people, and there may be a great many more applicants for that dream job than just yourself. So the person whose task it is to sift through them all and whittle the number down to a manageable shortlist is unlikely to have either the time or the inclination to plow through reams of verbiage in patient anticipation of finding the best bits. If your resume doesn’t hit them between the eyes within the first few moments, you can pretty much forget it.
So the trick is to get straight to the point, without making it look rushed. Professional resume writers understand this most fundamental principle, and will structure yours accordingly.
There are other basics too. Never underestimate the importance of choosing the right font when building your resume. Whether you choose a serif or sans serif option can depend very much upon the nature of the post you are applying for, or indeed of the company itself. Does it strike you as having a young, fun-loving vibe or is it more staid and conservative? Either way, avoid comic or “unserious” fonts – unless you want your resume not to be taken seriously either.
Forbes warns that amid the disruption caused by COVID-19 there has emerged a whole new generation of “resume writers” who are actually little more than ostensibly creative people with an eye for good sentence structure. Whereas in truth compiling a successful resume requires so much more than just that.
Many industries, and certainly the larger ones, use ATS (or Applicant Tracking System) software to process job applications and any accompanying documentation. As with all software applications some are more sophisticated than others. At the lower end ATS systems may sometimes have a limited capacity for reading graphs, charts, or even colored text or fancy fonts. Any reasonably competent resume writer would be fully cognizant of this, and would adapt your application accordingly.
Ask for Evidence of Past Results
A professional resume writing service will be happy to demonstrate both its subject knowledge and its record of success in the field to you in order to reassure you of its credentials. Reliable reviews, evidence of its adaptability in the face of differing requirements and a list of notable companies for which its clients have found work are all potential sources of reassurance. And of course, as with any service it should be competitively priced. But avoid any that appear to sell themselves too cheaply – if it looks too good to be true then it probably is.