– Megan Glenn
Megan Glenn is a freelance writer with extensive expertise in a plethora of subjects, including: home decor, business, lifestyle, and more. She’s been writing professionally for over a decade, and has had the pleasure of working with incredible publishers over the years including Faxage. She believes in telling a story, not just finding information. And finding a story amongst the most mundane, is her favorite. She has spent years writing for industrial giants and groundbreaking fashion brands alike. When she’s not spending her time researching, writing, and making connections, you can find her on the yoga mat, in her favorite reading nook, or among family.
That Human Touch for Your Resume
The job market in the last ten years has become an increasingly faceless place. Searches are driven by internet portals where you upload credentials, resumes, and letters, and, when an algorithm finds you a suitable match, you can often “one-click apply.” On the backside of that process, another algorithm called an “automated tracking system” will scan your documents for keywords that suggest you’re a good fit for the position. That means your written documents, particularly your resume, are the most important means of making it to a human being who can assess your overall qualifications.
If you’ve searched for jobs recently, you will also have noticed that automation has crept into the production of the very documents meant to humanize us to potential employers. For each job site you register with, you’re likely to hear from at least two to three resume writing “professionals” who are specifically trained to help you craft a resume. The problem is these systems also work off of algorithms and most of the writers employed by these “resume mills” work off of a quantity, not quality theory. In fact, the employees of these companies often work from other countries and speak English as a second language.
Heather Kaiser, a Certified Professional Resume Writer who works with American Recruiters, explains that a resume is an investment. Mills lure clients in with low prices, but spend little time actually getting to know them. Kaiser emphasizes that a true resume professional spends time getting to know their client, their unique qualifications, and their desired job fit. She, for example, begins by reviewing a client’s most recent resume. She then asks questions about their past experiences, what they want to do in a new position, and reviews in detail their past ten years of experience. She then writes up a proposal for amending (or, if necessary, rewriting) the resume, which will include researching the desired industry and how it dovetails with the client’s past experiences.
This is a level of personal interaction you just don’t get with the mill experience. While the cost of the mill resume may be cheaper, the writers for these businesses churn out documents with little or no contact with the client. The end result shows the signs of their haste.
Meeting Your Needs
When you’re looking for someone to craft a resume, Kaiser points out that you should look for someone with experience. “I’ve been doing this for 23 years,” she says, adding, “I worked in Human Resources for a number of places, including a ‘Big 4’ accounting firm, a publisher, and a world-renowned stock exchange.”
She also emphasizes that there are certification agencies for resume writers that will help you weed through the potential resume companies. She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer through the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. She notes that there are other certification agencies out there, but, for her, she wanted to go with what is considered the global standard.
You can certainly get by cheaply with a professionally produced resume, but consider that you are investing in your future. Once a real professional has produced your document, they can tailor it toward the specific jobs to which you apply. It also then becomes the base document on which to build future experiences.
Kaiser says she charges between $25-$120 for rewriting a resume, based on the level of experience and years working the client has, or she will write a document from scratch for between $125 and $200. But her focus is really knowing her client’s strengths and translating them to the market. It can be “challenging for a person to write their own the same way that someone else would be able to do it. It’s easier when someone can interview and assess the information based on the industry [the client is] going into,” she says. That’s where her years of experienc
e come into play. She understands the questions employers are likely to ask, and tailors the resume to speak toward those questions.
Living in a Digital Marketplace
Covid-19 has accelerated an already growing digital job market. Kaiser said that she was doing 3-5 resumes a week before the outbreak, but expects the demand will increase dramatically in the post-covid world. She has seen an increase, for example, of mothers and laid-off executives returning to the job market.
If you, too, are entering the job market and are looking for professional advice on how best to structure your resume, remember that not all professionals are created equal. What you save in hiring a mill firm, will cost you in the long run. Your career is worth investing in! Find a resume professional with the experience and credentials to translate your work experience into a document that will optimize your potential and connect you to that dream job!