Professional Resume Writing Services: The Good (Part I)

Before I begin, let me start by saying that I happen to be a certified professional resume writer (CPRW) and job search coach. I’ve been writing resumes since 2002, both for myself as well as for larger resume writing firms. Before that, I was a hiring manager for a large truck rental firm, running a 150-person call center. So I have had the opportunity to be on both sides of the job search process, representing the employer and representing the job seeker.

Professional resume writing in itself is a relatively new industry. If you look hard enough, you can find some writers out there who have 25 years (or slightly more) experience under their belt. But by and large, the bulk of writers out there have 10 years or less, with new writing services popping up daily. The reason is that the growth of the Internet as a business tool as well as the willingness of more and more professionals to invest in resume services has blossomed over the last decade, causing more people to consider resume writing as a full-time career.

As a result, the amount of press regarding the industry as a whole has started to increase. And, unfortunately, a lot of it has grown more and more negative. My goal here is to provide an insider’s view and get to the real deal behind those professional resume writing services. This first article will focus on the positives behind resume-writing services. I will be following up this article with two more segments (the Bad and the Ugly).

The Good

Let’s start out with some of the positives about resume writing that often seem to get overlooked.

1. Without a doubt, the quality of resumes has certainly increased thanks to the influx of people purchasing professional services. And hiring managers are now seeing better quality documents come across their desks. Instead of simply writing professional obituaries, candidates can now produce targeted resumes that seek to marry the needs of the employer with the skills of the candidate.

2. Writing your own resume is a difficult task. It’s somewhat like doing your own taxes. You certainly can try and figure it out. You can buy the software and read through the myriad directions. You can devote the time and muddle your way through. But at the end of the day, you are still no tax expert. And you submit your taxes on a wing and a prayer.

When constructing a resume, you are marketing a product, and that product is YOU! It’s tough to look beyond yourself, understand the wants of your target market, and produce a well-written, quality document that appeals to your target market. Too many job seekers look for resumes that appeal to them and care very little about the audience they are trying to reach. A resume writer can help you take an objective look at yourself, sift through strengths and weakness, and understand what an employer in your industry is looking for.

3. The industry is filled with many sincere, high-quality writers who bring corporate, communications, and recruiting experience to the table. Most candidates get more than just a resume; they also get loads of job search advice. Are there bad apples? Of course, and my next article (Professional Resume Writing Services: The Bad) will focus on why that is. But overall, what drives most people to the industry is the desire to help others. Certainly resume writers want to make money (don’t we all?), and they want to have thriving businesses, but they also want to see clients succeed.

4. Although the cost of purchasing a resume writing service has increased, it is still a relatively small investment. Of course, shelling out a few hundred bucks when you are unemployed seems like a lot. But this is your career we are talking about, after all. And first impressions do still matter.

5. The industry does have a way for job seekers to sift through the plethora of services out there. Most job seekers are unaware that there are organizations out there who offer certification testing for the resume writing field. One of them, the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC) offers the CPRW exam, which requires individuals to undergo a testing process that includes a review of their work by their peers.

My company is called No Stone Unturned, and I am an MBA and certified professional r

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