A resume is your first introduction to your potential employer. It can land you a new job, catapult you into a new career, or help you seize the next rung on the corporate ladder. Given its importance, many job-seekers consider using a professional resume service to market their skills, but is a professional resume service really worth it? Let’s weigh the benefits and drawbacks and determine if a resume service is ‘write’ for you.
Benefits of Using a Professional Resume Service
• Positively professional. Simply put, a professional resume service will craft a finely tuned document that is not only appealing in format. They can also clearly outline your skills for a specific position, minimizes your weaknesses, and make an outstanding first impression. That’s a winning resume!
• Supplemental services. Often, a professional resume service will provide additional job-hunting services such as career coaching, targeted resume distribution, cover letter writing, and interviewing tips. Expect to pay additional fees, but on occasion you’ll find these services at a discounted rate.
• Insider insight. Professional resume writers stay current on industry trends, keep abreast of the latest power words, and offer insight into what skills, education, and identify personality traits hiring professionals are looking for. And, if you hire a resume service that specializes in your particular field, you can expect even greater insider insight.
Drawbacks of Using a Professional Resume Service
• Calculated cost. The cost of hiring a professional resume writer varies depending on the complexity of the resume, the experience and expertise of the writer, and the amount of time the writer must invest to determine your skills and talents. That said, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 or more for your resume.
• Tick-Tock goes the clock. A professional resume service won’t be able to create a resume overnight. Expect to invest a modest amount of time speaking with the writer, and then work through revisions.
Tip: if you decide to use a professional resume writer, hire them to start crafting your resume now so when that job of a lifetime comes along, you’re fully prepared to apply.
Mind the 3 Rs
If you do choose to use the services of a professional resume writer, keep the “3 Rs” in mind:
• Recommendations. Ask colleagues, industry professional, and friends or family for recommendations. Who do the professionals in your field turn to for help?
• Research. Research the resume service or freelance resume writer through the Better Business Bureau, a basic Google search, and through professional resume writing organizations such as the Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARW) and the National Resume Writers’ Association (NCRW).
• Review. Review what services you can expect to receive. How many revisions are included? Is there a money back guarantee? When can you expect delivery? Know exactly what you are paying for right up front.
A resume should clearly convey your unique selling position (USP). It should answer what you bring to the table that others don’t. In short, it should answer the question, “Why choose me?”
If you are a skilled writer who can effectively convey the answer to that question, then you might be just fine going solo. However, if writing isn’t your strength, if you are entering a new field, or if you are re-entering the job market, a professional resume service may be able turn your hum-drum resume into a targeted marketing piece that lands you the opportunity of your dreams.
Editor’s Note: In addition to receiving access to hundreds of new, daily online job leads, a Virtual Vocations membership also includes a free resume review and update. Our professional staff will work with you to make sure your resume reflects your chosen field and telecommuting goals.
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