Where to find the best executive resume writers and career strategists.
A few weeks ago I got a call from an executive job seeker who was in an absolute panic about how to choose a resume writer. She had been searching online for 3 days, sifting through over 4 million Google search results for “executive resume writers”.
Obviously frustrated and confused, she dared me to answer, “How can I possibly figure out who is good and who isn’t and how much I’m supposed to pay?”
She had spoken to several cranks and services she could tell were fly-by-night. Unfortunately, there are plenty of unscrupulous, less than mediocre writers out there who hang out a shingle and call themselves professional resume writers. I took it upon myself to give this frazzled woman a quick primer on what to ask and look for.
With the state of the economy and such fierce competition in the executive job market, it’s more important than ever to be armed with a resume that truly differentiates you from others vying for the same jobs. A really great resume can make all the difference in pre-qualifying you for top compensation and landing you faster in your next job.
I don’t think it’s wise for executives to risk losing opportunities by distributing a standard, same-old resume that doesn’t clearly define what they have to offer. Take the time to do a little research before rushing into a decision that can affect the duration of your job search and whether you will get quality interviews. A so-so resume prepared by a so-so writer may end up working for you, but are you willing to gamble?
First, I strongly advise against using a résumé service that offers “write your own” templates at cut-rate costs. You’ll probably end up frustrated and out a chunk of money that could have been invested in a really good resume. I think it’s a rare executive who knows how to write a standout resume for today’s job market.
In this blog series, I’m going to help you get a handle on how some of us practice and what you should do to find the right resume writer to partner with.
Step 1: Go where the best resume writers hang out – the top professional associations.
Certifications and professional affiliations will not guarantee a great resume writer, but they’re a good place to begin.
Credentialing from the following associations generally demonstrates a higher level of experience than those without, and indicates that the writer stays current with industry trends, honing skills and communicating regularly with others in the industry through e-list conversations, conferences, webinars, teleseminars, etc.
Some of the credentialing processes are extremely grueling and require several years’ professional experience before attempting, therefore weeding out the have-nots. Also, beware that there are plenty of phony resume writing credentials floating around out there.
Here are 4 top careers industry professional associations whose certifications are legitimate and carry weight. There are others, but these are the most recognized and respected:
- Career Management Alliance (careermanagementalliance.com)
- Career Directors International (careerdirectors.com)
- National Resume Writers Association (nrwaweb.com)
- Professional Association of Resume Writers (parw.com)
On each of their websites you’ll find membership directories listing those who are certified, with contact information. Some associations offer more than one certification. You should also find descriptions of what the credentialing processes entail.
When you find certified resume writers who look good to you, whether on these sites or the writers’ own sites, make sure they actually have the certifications they claim by going back to the association membership directories. Here you may also be able to determine if they are experienced in working with executives, and if they specialize in any way.
Now you’ve pre-qualified some executive resume writers. Next, you need to do some research on the services they provide and how they do business. Then decide which ones to contact.