New clients are often surprised when I ask a ton of questions about what they actually accomplished in their career; what is it they loved and hated about their work; what kind of situation helps them achieve great results, or, what unique value they can offer. I tell them that professional resume writers, like me, ask a lot of questions so we can present a clear picture of who they are and the unique value they have to offer. We don’t just sit at our computers and create glowing narratives of their work experiences. If it were that easy, we would be known, as writers of fiction not resume writers.
It is amazing how many people do not realize that the days are gone when you got the early Sunday newspaper and mailed out 250 resumes or made 50 phone calls to discover who was hiring. Some clients get defensive when I mention that these days job searching also includes networking, branding and personal social media marketing. A few get the deer-in-the-headlights look about the eyes. Getting clients to understand that a resume must accurately present what makes them of value and a good “fit” for the company and to do it clearly, succinctly and compellingly is a challenge. We, resume writers know that recruiters and hiring managers spend mere seconds on a resume before moving on to the next one in the pile. Our mission is to help them get noticed to get an interview.
To put things in perspective, I ask clients to tell me how they will make the interviewer believe what they’ve said about themselves on their resume. When the interviewer utters those dreaded words, “so tell me about yourself,” this is when the candidate cannot stumble. Puffed up, glowing buzzwords on a resume won’t help when they are asked to give some examples of their past skills and challenges, in quantifiable terms. At this point, I usually have their attention.
Getting clients to understand that our mission as professional resume writers is to get beyond the empty boilerplate descriptors such as, excellent communication skills, detail oriented, team player, creative, or motivated. Many can’t think beyond simply listing past duties and responsibilities.
As resume writers, our responsibility is to clearly present a snapshot of the client that is truthful, intriguing and of interest to the employment gatekeeper and the person who will be making hiring decisions.
To accomplish this, we use every investigative tool available; questionnaires, interviews, past performance evaluations, online research, and assessment instruments to ferret out recurring themes and descriptors. What emerges is often a concise personal branding that represents the candidate’s values, goals, unique skills, strengths, and career objectives.
Most clients would be surprised of the actual number of hours it takes a professional resume writer to write a resume. If we could just fictionalize something the work would go much faster.