PROFESSIONAL RESUME OR NOT IS THE QUESTION

Should You Use A Professional Resume Service

Having a polished resume is every job seekers ultimate goal towards landing that crucial job interview. In a competitive job market, catching the attention of hiring managers is a must. But is hiring a resume writer the right decision for you?

Candidates who have a negative online reputation may want someone who can smoothly turn a phrase and improve their image. Or if you’ve been in a technical field and are applying for management or marketing jobs, your writing skills may need some tweaking to appeal to a different criterion.

If you do feel professional writing would improve your resume, there are both pros and cons of hiring a resume writer. Here are a few aspects of outsourcing writing tasks that will help you make a strategic decision:

PROS

Quality Writing

Let's face it, not everyone is a strong writer by nature. If you have a hard time putting words down on paper, it might make sense to pay someone else to do it for you.
While there is really no direct correlation between someone’s writing skills and job performance, quality writing screams quality work.

The benefit of using a resume service is that you'll get high-quality writing that you can't pull off yourself. Just as importantly, hiring a professional means you'll most likely avoid errors on your resume, mistakes that could otherwise make you look sloppy and derail your chances of getting called in for interviews. A grammatical mistake can be read as lack of attention to detail, and the use of slang can say you’re too informal in professional settings.

For many jobs, the ability to write clearly and effectively is essential. This includes any job with customer contact such as sales, marketing, customer service and technical support. A well-written resume will ensure you come across as a quality candidate for any job.

Cross-Functional Abilities

It’s no longer enough to do one aspect of a job. More employers are expanding job descriptions and increasing duties to compensate for the perceived instability in the economic climate. Often this involves writing your own reports and interacting more with customers with decreased support staff.

Demonstrating good writing on your resume tells a company’s HR department that they can count on you to fill cross-functional jobs and gives you a competitive edge over other candidates.

Knowledgeable About Hiring Practices

Another reason to consider a resume service is that these writers understand what hiring managers are looking for. As such, they might portray your experience in a certain light and increase your likelihood of getting to the next phase of your search.

If you’ve been out of the job market for a period of time, it’s hard to know what the current hiring practices are without a lot of time-consuming research.

Many resume writing services have been in business for years and track industry trends. Their writers are trained in how to respond to the demands of HR professionals and hiring managers. Insider knowledge is an intangible benefit worth the cost of using a service.

Make Difficult Circumstances Look Good

Candidates who have a negative online reputation may want someone who can smoothly turn a phrase and improve their image. Or if you’ve been in a technical field and are applying for management or marketing jobs, your writing skills may need some tweaking to appeal to a different hiring criterion. If you're switching careers, a professional might help you highlight the skills that best translate into the industry you're hoping to break into.

Similarly, if you have a complicated work history; say, you've jumped around a lot or have dabbled in multiple unrelated fields, a resume writer might help you come off as more grounded and less flighty. Finally, if you're fresh out of school with little experience, a professional might play up your skills in such a manner that you stand out among the entry-level candidates you're competing with.

CONS

Resume Mills

Professionally written resumes are now so widely used, there’s almost no advantage to using one. Spell and grammar checks in your word processing program can ensure a minimum level of quality, and that may be all you need.

Many resume writing services are so busy they now just churn out resumes, many of which read the same. A resume with style and personality may be refreshing to a human resources manager who’s used to reading carbon copy documents every day.

Cost

If you’re out of work, the cost of a having a resume professionally written is a big consideration. Prices vary, with top online companies charging from $49 to $199 or more for their services.

Hiring an independent writer via Craigslist is one option to cut costs. This may be more economical and can give you more personalized attention… but it’s very difficult to gauge experience and success.

Cover Letters

An attention grabbing cover letter is personalized for the company and job you’re applying for. Your professionally written resume may include a standardized cover letter. If you write your own customized cover letter, it’s a sure tip-off that you’ve used a professional service, as it’s almost impossible to match writing styles. For many, this dilemma makes the decision not to use a resume writer easy.

BONUS

Another Available Option

If you don't want to spend money for a resume writing service but you still want a good looking resume, try the one available here on Jobcase that does a great job showcasing you to perspective employers. And the best part is, it is available to Jobcasers at no cost.

Final Thought

The pros and cons of hiring someone to write your resume professionally need to be carefully weighed. The process is not for everyone, but for some, the benefits can outweigh the downsides.

Hiring a resume-writing service might save you a chunk of time. Not only will you avoid having to sit there for hours attempting to draft that document yourself, but having that professionally crafted resume might get you in the door for interviews sooner, thus expediting your search. And if you're desperate to be working, that's reason enough to pay that fee.

Ultimately, there's no right or wrong answer. If you haven't had much luck landing interviews to date and can afford a resume service, it certainly won't hurt to use one. But it pays to at least attempt to write your own resume before paying for outside help.

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Patrick Coppedge

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