What questions to ask when talking with your potential executive resume writer.
You can catch up with Parts 1 and 2 here:
Now it’s time to contact the executive resume writers you’ve pre-qualified as a possible good fit for you.
A word of advice going in – please don’t take advantage of the resume writers you contact by expecting a free resume critique on how to re-work your existing resume yourself, when you have no intention of retaining their services. It just isn’t fair. But some resume writers do offer indepth critiques for a fee. This can get you on the right track if you feel you can write your own resume.
If the resume writers ask you to send them your current resume and/or fill out an assessment form on their website, before discussing the development process and providing a quote for the fee, please do so. This will give them the opportunity to review your background and career target, prepare for a conversation with you, and begin to determine what your investment will be.
Here are some things to keep in mind (and my thoughts) when talking with each resume writer:
♦ Does she/he ask you how you’re targeting your search? Don’t be talked into an untargeted, watered down generic resume. It probably won’t do anything for you. See my post: An Executive Resume Without a Clear Job Target Is Like a Dull Knife – Just Ain’t Cuttin’
♦ Is the writer interested in what you’ve been doing so far in your job search?
♦ Do they have experience writing resumes for executives in your field?
♦ Do they have experience dealing with any particular job search challenges you have – employment gaps, career transition, sabbaticals, sidesteps in career progression, lack of educational degree, etc.?
♦ Ask about the terms of the agreement for services you’ll probably have to sign.
♦ Once they deliver the resume draft to you, will you have the opportunity to make revisions and provide feedback?
♦ Will they deliver the finalized resume to you in Word, text and/or other versions? You’ll need the text version for copying and pasting your resume into online forms and applications. A text version is also handy for creating online career profiles (VisualCV, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)
♦ Don’t expect a guarantee that your new resume will land interviews or get you jobs. Once documents leave the resume writer’s office, they have no control over whether you “tweak” them, how you use them, who you send them to, and how well you perform in interviews.
♦ Beyond the resume, do they also create supporting career marketing documents – LinkedIn profiles, VisualCVs, job search coaching, other career coaching, and other career services? If not, can they recommend other professionals who do?
Your investment. Fees range wildly, from next to nothing to thousands for resume alone. You’ll have to decide where the value is for you, based on meeting your various criteria and the writer’s level of expertise.
How is payment made? The industry standard is full payment upfront, usually by credit card. You may be able to make other arrangements.
Overall in your discussions, do you feel that you and the resume writer are on the same wavelength and that you can work with her/him? Do you get the feeling this resume writer will do the best job in marketing the best you have to offer your next employer? Can they tell you what kind of success their clients have had in landing interviews? Do they meet all or most of your criteria?
If the resume writers you talk with don’t feel like a good fit for you, for whatever reason, they may be willing to refer you to other qualified writers. Many of us have a wide network of colleagues in the industry, with different areas of expertise, with whom we have referral connections. Just ask.
You’ll likely be making a major investment to partner with a top executive resume writer. Be sure you know what you’re getting and that you can comfortably and successfully partner with them.
I’m sure there are other areas I haven’t hit on here, but this certainly gives you a head start and a heads up on how to proceed. Please chime in if I’ve overlooked something.
Think Like an Executive Resume Branding Expert