Six months ago, I lost my job. The company I had joined 15 years ago closed its doors, and I was suddenly in a job market about which I knew nothing. I toiled over a resume, listing all of the task responsibilities of a progressive career and carefully listed all of my education and software certifications; I even listed the part-time jobs I had during my college years, hoping that employers would see that I had been committed to working hard all my life. I networked with friends and acquaintances; I accessed major job search sites and applied to everything even remotely related to my skill set. No phone calls came! In desperation, I followed a friend’s original advice to buy a resume from a professional service, and began to search the Internet for reputable websites offering to write a resume, CV and cover letter.
Wow! There were literally thousands of sites from which to order a resume, and I quickly realized that buying a resume would not be an easy task. I would have to conduct some significant research just to find the right service! Which were scams? Which had experts and great success rates? Where can I get a resume that would grab someone’s attention?
As I continued to search for a reliable resume writing service, I was struck by the fact that many services focused as much on the cover letter as the resume itself. I had not really thought about the need for cover letters – mine had been pretty formal and straight-forward. I simply stated that I was an applicant for a position, that I had included my resume, and that I was looking forward to hearing back from this potential employer soon. As I began to look at some of the sample cover letters on these resume sites, however, I realized that buying a resume was only part of the service I actually needed. If I were going to order a it from anyone, I would need a full range of services, and that certainly narrowed my search quite a bit. I was now not just asking where I could buy my resume paper, I am asking where I can find a professional to assist me with all aspects of my job search.
To buy a resume only is to leave a task only half completed. The professional resume services offer a wide range of services from which a client can pick and choose. First and foremost, however, there should be a single expert assigned to the client – someone who will remain with that client throughout the process. In this way, alterations in resume formats, highlighted skills and qualities, and cover letters can be made in order to target the documents for each employer. Second, the expert should be completely familiar with the career field, potential employers, and the keywords that must be included in a resume in order to get the Internet “play” that is so critical in this age of technology. If there is no familiarity, the expert should be willing to conduct the research necessary. Finally, the job search expert should have a creative flair. Who wants to have a resume that looks like every other one being submitted for a position? Not me!
My job search was ultimately successful, and I have to give credit to the service I used. Our relationship was long-term (over a 3-month period), and I landed a great job as a result!