"I'm sorry, Alex. I just don't see the importance of having someone else helping me with my resume. Besides, that stuff is just about me anyways and who knows me better than me?”
Well maybe everything with the exception of the “I'm sorry, Alex” part. Maybe you've heard co-workers or friends say something similar when the topic of resume consultants come up. I've heard it countless times from folks in my network. Many are hesitant to work with a professional career consultant to make their resume and cover letters stand out in a job search.
Understandably, we can be apprehensive about working with a professional firm. Some job searchers believe that because a consultant may not know you personally, they couldn’t craft your resume as well as you can do yourself. Others feel it’s too expensive. But my absolute favorite excuse is, “my resume is already pretty decent.” There is absolutely no such thing as a perfect resume. Each and every resume could always be updated.
Working with a third-party resume reviewer can sometimes be the difference between you getting that interview or getting passed over. Qualified consultants have made an entire career of revising resumes. So it makes sense that they would be more familiar with techniques to make your documents stand out from the crowd. It’s also ALWAYS a good idea to have at least one other person look over your resume. Resume typos could eliminate you from being seriously considered for the job. Having a second or even third pair of eyes to scan your resume may help catch errors you may have missed. The key is to work with a resume professional who fits your needs.
Here are a few tips to help you find the right consultant for your next job search.
Identify your Needs
Just like in the oh-so-fun world of dating, not every single resume service you come across will be the right fit for you. You need to find the one that works for your preferences.
Start by identifying what you're seeking in a career development firm. Looking for additional services to supplement resume revision? Seek a firm offering wraparound services. Short on time? Work with someone who offers expedited packages. By first establishing what's important to you in a professional resume consultant relationship, you end up with clear characteristics your ideal consultant should possess.
To make sure your resume will be restructured by a credible professional, check their credentials. Be on the lookout for notable
certifications (Certified Advanced Resume Reviewer and Certified Professional Resume Writer are some popular ones within the industry) and relevant degrees. You can easily access this info from the company's webpage.
Dig a little further: visit the consultant's LinkedIn profile to see if their experience matches with their services. Obviously, you'll want to select someone with a lot of quality and varied experience. Credible resume professionals can have backgrounds in fields like Human Resources, Human Capital, Career Counseling, Career or Workforce Development and similar industries.
Another way to authenticate validity is to review recommendations from previous clients. For an added layer of assurance, run a quick check of the testimonials’ authors to determine if they are credible sources. If you still have questions, ask the consultant for a list of references you can contact.
Also check Yelp or comparable customer review sites to get a well-rounded view on what others are saying about the consultant’s work. Remember, testimonials will generally showcase nothing but glowing ratings. If they didn't, they probably wouldn't be on the webpage in the first place.
Pricey Services don't Necessarily Mean Value
You don’t have to spend your entire fortune to boast a decent resume. Some writing services that cost only a few bucks may set you up with a resume just as good as a firm charging several hundred dollars. Plan your budget accordingly and be realistic about what you can afford. Not all firms are going to cost you an arm and a leg if you search in the right places.
Be Wary of Guarantees
Even if your resume is solid gold, it alone won’t guarantee you the job or even the interview. Exercise caution when firms promise the resume they work on with you will be guaranteed to get you the job. Generally, this guarantee comes with very rigorous job search requirements (i.e. applying to X amount of jobs per week according to the firm's designated method, etc.). This may be something to consider if your prior time commitments make it difficult to meet these specifications. An employment offer is contingent upon so many other factors aside from your resume including the number of applicants vying for the position, your specific skill set and how you perform in the interview.
Job hunting is hard enough as it is. Take the stress out of having to prep your resume by finding the right resume reviewer to help you.
Omega Forty Seven Consulting offers affordable individualized career coaching, resume and cover letter review, and professional development workshops to organizations and individuals. Our philosophy is EVERYONE has the potential to achieve their career goals. We simply help 'shine light' on strengths you already have.