Assessing Qualifications for Your Executive Resume Writer
Last time I suggested you start your search for the best executive resume writers by looking for those with certifications where they hang out – at top careers industry professional associations.
You can catch up here with Part 1.
By now, you should have a list of resume writers you’d like to research further, before contacting them. Here is a pre-qualifying checklist to help you make an informed decision when assessing resume writers.
Go to each writer’s website first for information about the issues that are important to you. If their websites don’t provide what you’re looking for, or they don’t have a website, make a note to talk with them about these issues, if you decide to contact them:
Executive resume examples
If I were looking for a resume writer, I would go no further without getting some indication of the final product I can expect from each writer. Some writers don’t post examples on their websites because they know some people will plagiarize them, but they may be willing to send you one or two fictionalized examples of actual resumes they’ve written. If this is not possible, you may want to ask for a client reference or two.
When looking at sample resumes, see if they give you a feel for who the job seeker is. Does the resume differentiate that person from others doing the same kind of work?
You’ve probably been part of the hiring process and had to review resumes. Do the samples make you want to meet that person? I think it’s understood that the samples should be very well-written and grammatically sound.
Who will be writing your resume?
Will you work directly with the person writing your resume? Will you be able to speak by phone and stay in touch by email with your writer throughout the process? Or will your project be passed off to an invisible staff writer or subcontractor?
Is there any mention of branding on the website? No surprise, I feel this is a critical component for today’s executive resume. If you don’t understand personal branding in resumes, read up on it in my post, Do You Care About Personal Branding and What it Can Do For Your Executive Resume?
Expect a deeper investment of your time and expense for personal branding.
The resume development process
→ In person or virtual service or both?
If meeting in person with your resume writer is important to you, you may be out of luck. So many top professional resume writers work exclusively via phone, email, and the Internet these days, with clients coming to them from all over the country or world. If you live in or near a large city, you may be able to find someone to accommodate you.
→ Information mining. Will information be gathered through phone calls or emailed worksheets or both?
→ Turnaround time. This can vary from same day to several weeks or more. Be sure that the writing process doesn’t drag on for months, unless this doesn’t matter to you.
→ Providing your existing resume. Do they request that you send them the resume you have and/or complete an assessment form? If so, please do that and give them an indication of your career target, before contacting them. Give them the chance to review your career history and target job(s) beforehand, so they’ll be prepared for a mutually beneficial conversation with you.
→ Supporting Documents. Does this service also craft collateral career marketing documents (targeted cover letters, achievement summary, career bio, leadership initiatives profile, reference and accolades dossier, etc.) to support your requisite 2-page executive resume?
Beyond the resume
Does this writer also offer other executive job search services? You may want to collaborate with a writer who is also an executive career strategist and can help you navigate the ins and outs of executive job search 2.0, or can refer you to specialists for services they don’t offer.
To pre-qualify those resume writers offering Internet job search and career management strategies, first do a Google search on each writer and see what you find.
How many search results come up for each writer? What does their online footprint look like? Do they even have a web presence?
Take a look at some of the top search results for each resume writer to learn more about them and their level of expertise. Are they publishing relevant articles and thought pieces online? What kind of careers industry recognition do they have?
Are they social media savvy? Do they belong to LinkedIn and/or other business networking sites? Do they blog or guest blog?
Having a healthy web presence will not determine whether someone is a great resume writer. But if you’re looking for someone who can also help you understand today’s executive job search and online strategies, they should be visible on the Web. And, if you want someone to help you build and improve your online identity, you should be sure they know how to do it and are doing it for themselves.
After all, how can someone lead you in the right direction, marketing your promise of value online in a job search, when they’re not building and marketing their own online brand?
Next time we meet: