Resume writers often focus on telling you about when you need their services (*cough* always). But this is disingenuous.
I find there’s an awesome spectrum in the quality of resumes. Some are amazing. And the rest aren’t so good.
So I’m going to help you recognize when you are part of the elite that don’t need a resume writer.
1. You Are Getting Interviews
The most obvious sign that you don’t need a resume writer is that you are getting interviews. If that’s the case, then there’s not really much a resume writer can do to help you. Because that’s what resumes are for: they help you get an interview. No more, no less.
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So if you’re meeting with partners and CEOs, you don’t need a resume writer.
2. You Have Great Content But Need to Update Your Resume’s Look
If you have great content but need to update your resume’s “look,” don’t pay $300.
I don’t share this link very often, but here’s a link to some free resume templates. Simply download the “Resume Toolkit.” In it are free templates. Problem solved.
Don’t worry about adding color and things like that unless you’re in graphic design or some other artsy profession. Conservative is generally best.
So if your content is great and you just need a better style, you don’t need a resume writer.
3. You Quantify
If I look at your resume and see numbers and dollar signs (a.k.a. instant value), I know that I’ve got a winner.
And you don’t need a resume writer.
Wordiness is the death of hiring managers. Write in plain English. Use short sentences.
If you can, you don’t need a resume writer.
5. You Find that One Page is More than Enough Space
I’m joking about this one—kind of. Even expert resume writers can struggle about what to include or omit to get the resume down to one page. It sometimes feels like choosing between children. But ultimately, you’ll find that just highlighting and hitting the delete key vastly improves your resume.
Oftentimes the problem is simply that you’ve included one job too many. There’s really no need to go farther back than 10 years (yes that means you!). Cut those extra jobs. If it’s important you can always include it in the cover letter.
So if you can limit your resume to one page, you probably don’t need a resume writer.
6. You Feel Pride in Skimming Your Resume
“Not objective!” you cry out. “How am I supposed to know if I’ve met this factor?
When you’ve got it, you know you’ve got it. A resume should be a source of pride, not a source of anguish. I know when I skim through my resume I feel proud about the things I’ve done. Each one of my bullet points is terse and limited to one line.
Reading through your resume should bring back memories that make you smile, not pieces of hair removed from your scalp in frustration because you can’t get the wording right. Large blocks of text are generally the cause of this malady if you feel this.
Strunk & White’s Elements of Style teaches an important secret to good writing: omit needless words. If you follow this doctrine, you will improve your writing ten-fold overnight.
So if you feel pride when you glance at your resume, printed on thick, white-speckled resume paper, then you don’t need a resume writer.
Thanks Banjo Brown for the great photo via Flickr