By DeVry University
March 6, 2023
6 min read
Writing an effective resume requires skill and attention to detail. If you want to get noticed in today’s digital job search world, it may help to have professional input. But are resume writers worth it? How do you find one and how do you work with them?
Your resume is a fundamental tool that you’ll need throughout your career. In this article, we’ll discuss when to refresh your resume, explore the process and benefits of working with professional resume writers provide tips on how to choose the right one.
What Resume Writers Can Do for You
Are resume writers worth it? To answer that question, consider your objectives as a job seeker and the role your resume plays in your job search. A resume writer can help you tell your story in a way that helps attract the interest of recruiters and hiring managers. They can also help you customize your resume for particular roles you might be considering.
Resume writers can be worth it because they often come with a large amount of professional writing experience. A professional resume writer knows how to craft an engaging and compelling story based on your unique background, experience and qualifications. Along with uncommon phrasing and the correct use of grammar, a professional writer can bring an element of objectivity to the project that you might find challenging to achieve when writing about yourself.
Resume writers with specialized knowledge of certain industries may have specific insight into hiring standards or trends. Using this knowledge, they can use keywords and phrases, highlight certain skills or use specific formatting to grab the attention of hiring managers in your industry.
Speaking of keywords, good resume writers can also help optimize your resume based on employers’ job descriptions. This could help increase your chances of being noticed by recruiters and the application tracking systems (ATS) they use in the recruitment and hiring process. How widespread is the use of ATS? Jobscan reports that 494 of the Fortune 500 companies (98.8% of them) use ATS software.
Benefits of Using a Professional Resume Writer
In addition to their specialized knowledge and optimization skills, there are several potential benefits to working with a professional resume writer or resume writing service that you may not have considered, including added creativity, goal recognition and stress reduction.
If you’re unsure what to include or how to present your background and skills for maximum effect, professional resume writers can be a useful tool in making your resume as engaging as possible.
Creativity is something that you might think would be discouraged in resume building, but it can actually help your resume stand out. Resume writers know how to make formatting changes that help your resume pop and highlight you as a unique candidate.
A resume writer can also help clarify your goals. By interviewing you before the writing starts, they will work with you to better understand what you want out of your next position and how you should present yourself to potential employers. They can then frame your career objectives to emphasize your strengths and unique abilities in a way that might set you apart from other candidates.
Choosing the Right Resume Writer
It’s important to find a resume writer whose work aligns with your career goals. For example, you may find one that specializes in your industry or in working with people who are changing careers.
Some things to consider as you evaluate resume writers might be:
- Your budget and timeline: Look at practical considerations, like budget and timeline, first. Contact several writers to compare rates, services and specializations. Also, be sure your resume writer knows when you need the finished product so you can work out the timing and agree on a delivery date.
- Reputation and reviews: Consider the resume writer’s reputation. A look at reviews on writers’ websites and third-party sites may reveal something about the results their clients have achieved and other aspects of their working relationships.
- Certification: A certification from the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARWCC) or the National Resume Writers’ Association are likely a good sign that a writer or coach is knowledgeable and experienced.
You might also ask friends or colleagues for referrals and recommendations from people in your own professional network. You might find that someone you’re connected with has used a resume writer or coach with good results and would be more than happy to recommend them.
On the flip side, there are things you need to know when hiring a resume writer that would be considered red flags:
- Offer job guarantees: Claims that “you’ll get a job or your money back” or some other form of a guarantee are clearly red flags. The thought of someone guaranteeing you’d get a job based on your resume alone is not something that can be promised.
- Ask for extreme pricing: Fees that are so low they are too good to be true or so high they are frankly unaffordable are both good reasons to pass.
- Deliver a final document that you can’t edit: It’s customary to receive a PDF and a document that you can easily tweak yourself as you respond to future job postings. Ask about the formatting of the final product. If it’s going to be something you can’t edit or that is too complex for you to work with, that’s also a good reason to pass.
When to Refresh Your Resume
It’s important to be ready to respond to changes in your life, like a big move or a job opening that feels like it’s perfect for you. That’s why it’s a good idea to have your resume freshened up and ready to go.
The employment website Monster says you should update your resume after you:
- Start a new job: If you’re just coming off a job search, your strengths as a candidate will be fresh in your mind, so go ahead and make updates based on those attributes. And while you’re at it, update your employment history.
- Receive a promotion: Your resume should always include your current position, so even if you’re still with the same company, don’t forget to make this update and be sure to explain why you earned that promotion.
- Complete a big project: Milestones like the completion of a major project should be reflected on your resume, with benefit-oriented details like the number of team members you managed or the amount of the sales increase, cost savings or other financial impact.
- Experience a layoff: Bounce back from a layoff or corporate downsizing by working on your updated resume and being open about the cause of your termination. Update your work experience to reflect what you’re currently doing.
- Acquire new skills: Skills add strength to your resume, so keep things current by adding new certifications, languages or accreditations as soon as you’ve acquired them. Remember that industry-specific credentials can serve as powerful keywords that will be read by ATS programs.
Work with Certified Resume Writers and Career Coaches at DeVry
We know that putting an effective resume together is just one piece of the career development puzzle. That’s why our Career Services1 team includes certified resume writers and career coaches to help our students and alumni stand out in today’s job market.
The personalized support you’ll receive includes one-on-one career and interview coaching, personal branding support, LinkedIn tips, access to job listings, tools including the CliftonStrengths® assessment and more. Our career advisors can even provide career advancement guidance and help you learn more about salary negotiation.
Ready to get started?
1Our Certified University Career Coaches are certified by The Academies (www.theacademies.com). Our Certified Professional Résumé Writers are certified by the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches (https://parwcc.com/page/CPRW).