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I Hired a Resume Writer, Now What?

I Hired a Resume Writer, Now What?

Having worked with many different clients over the years, one thing I have noticed is that most clients have no idea what to expect when they hire a resume writer. Since it can be rather ambiguous, I thought I would explain a little about the process and how you, as the client, can contribute to producing a quality resume.


It is best to contact more than one writer in your search process to best determine who you are comfortable with. Some of us have a team of writers working for us, while others (like me) do everything. While I like the autonomy this gives me and the direct customer contact, it does prevent me from taking on every client. If it doesn’t feel like a good match, I will refer clients to other qualified writers. The best way to search for writers is via the NRWA (National Resume Writer Association) or the CTL (Career Thought Leaders) websites. Makes sure you understand their qualifications and the kinds of resumes they specialize in.


Some writers work strictly by telephone. Others communicate via email. I find a combination of both to be ideal. If a client is local, I love meeting at the local library. Getting a sense for the person, in person, often helps me to develop a fuller picture. I believe it also creates more trust for the client, especially when they are making a significant investment.


When I begin to work with a client, I will request their most recent resume, in addition I will provide a questionnaire for them to fill out. The questionnaire goes into detail about the goals the client has, the skills and qualities they want to highlight, and the jobs they have held. I have had several clients that simply write “see resume” under the job descriptions. This does not help me. When a client doesn’t take the time to fill this part out, I am always surprised. If you are paying me to develop a document that highlights your achievements, it’s important for you to answer my questions and provide as much material as I request. In order to develop a complete picture of your skills and achievements, I need information. After this happened a few times, I decided to always follow up the questionnaire with a phone consultation. This allows me to gather any information that may have been left off the questionnaire.


While my policy is a 10 business day turnaround, I can only complete the process as quickly as the information I request is provided. With a federal resume, it often takes longer, simply because there is more information to be gathered. If we are trying to beat a closing date, it’s essential to respond to my requests for information as quickly as possible.


Once you receive the resume, it is important to really examine it to be sure it is complete, correct, and creates a feeling of confidence. If you find mistakes or you are uncomfortable with something, it is important to express that. You are not hurting a writers feelings. I want my clients to be happy and confident with their resume. Of course, if the writer is way off, it may not have been the best match. I am always willing to accept feedback and criticism because ultimately I want my clients to be satisfied. If you are unhappy with the resume, it’s important to be clear why you are unhappy. I am committed, as are most, to providing a quality product. This is why I attend conferences and training to increase my skills, and to stay current with trends. At the same time, be open to your resume writers feedback as well. There could be reasons why he/she wrote what they wrote, or designed the way they designed.


Even though you are paying someone to write your resume, in the end it’s only as good as the information you provide. We will not make things up, even if it would make you sound better. You must remain engaged and responsive to your writer.

Hopefully these comments will give you an idea of the process and how to make the most of it. Every writer is different, but we are all committed to quality and we do not want unhappy clients.