I was on the phone with a potential client this morning who was just starting a job search and he asked, “Should I hire a professional resume writer or write my resume myself?”
Now I am a big Do-It-Yourselfer in many areas of my life and in my business. I respect others who love doing things for themselves—including writing one’s own resume. Personally, I love learning new things and trying my skills at varied tasks and projects. In many areas, it has worked for me and I generated a considerable cost savings by keeping it simple and doing it myself. So reading this article, you will not hear from me that everyone needs to hire a resume professional. I promise…read on….
However, when I am tackling something new, if it takes me more than 15-20 minutes to figure out the first step, then I start to think I probably need to hire someone. If I know how to do it, but really do not want to do it, then I consider hiring a professional. If I know how to do it and have the desire to do it, but just do not have the time, then I absolutely tap my network looking for a resource to perform this function for me.
An example of this thought process in action was when I was trademarking my logo and business name a couple of years ago. One of the professional resume writer consortiums I belong to offered resources and instructions on how to do the trademarking process yourself. I was thinking, “I can do this…I incorporated my company myself. I can do this legal piece, too.” Well, I opened up the online form from the US Patent and Trademark Office website, and when I did not know how to answer the first question after 15-20 minutes, I went to Facebook and asked my friends if anyone knew of a trademark attorney I can hire. I was quickly given an expert who made my trademark experience an easy, breezy process, even when I had to file an appeal. All good and the attorney was worth every last cent.
Back to the question…Here is how I answered my prospective client. You may be surprised that my answer is not as self-serving as you think. Essentially, the litmus test for choosing to hire a professional resume writer or to write your resume or LinkedIn profile yourself is to ask yourself the following question:
Do I have the (1) knowledge, (2) desire and/or (3) time to write my own resume or LinkedIn profile?
If the answer to any of these three points is “NO”, then you need to schedule a call with me (or someone like me) to chat about how you can get the help you need….
KNOWLEDGE: Nowadays resumes and profiles are little technological, concise writing, wonder documents that have a structure and strategic process all their own—different from other types of writing projects. If you know the tactics needed to properly keyword optimize your resume/profile for recruiters searching for people like you in LinkedIn searches and resume database queries, then you are equipped with the first step of many to write your resume. Ensure you can cultivate achievements, not job responsibilities, to outline on your resume/profile to properly sell yourself to the hiring manager to land that coveted interview. Use executive and professional resume samples as inspiration (no plagiarism, of course) to create your own marketing masterpiece.
DESIRE: Do you love writing and crafting statements with a punch in as few words as possible? Then you are ready to design your own document. Do you enjoy creating visual layouts that will be appealing to the prospective companies you target? If you love playing with graphic features in Word and other document processing tools, then you are positioned to start your project and generate results for yourself. If you are dreading doing it, or keep putting it off, or just REALLY don’t want to do it, then you may need to reach out to chat about how I can help….
TIME: Now if you hire a professional resume writer, you will still have to do some homework for the writer, as it is a collaborative process. But the ‘time’ that I refer to in this article strictly refers to the writing time. It takes a professional resume writer about 6-15 hours to write the standard professional or executive resume, not including information gathering time or phone call time. That is just pure writing and editing time—and I know what I am doing and it takes that long. Realize it is a time investment to create a resume or profile. If you are ready to dedicate that amount of writing and editing time, in addition to your information gathering time, then you are all set to draft your own resume/profile.
Basically, if you do not have the knowledge, desire and/or time to design and write your own resume or LinkedIn profile, you need to be chatting with me.
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Lisa Rangel and The Chameleon Team are the only executive resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and job landing consultancy who has been hired by LinkedIn and recognized by Forbes. Our 4-Stage META Job Landing System stems from decades of corporate and executive recruiting experience to position you to land your next 6-figure role faster.