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Whether you’re looking for a new job or just exploring your options, having a well-written resume is key. The job market is highly competitive, so you want to put your best foot forward. That means making sure that your resume is compatible with applicant tracking systems (ATS), presents your information in a way that is easily understood, and focuses on what employers want to know. If that seems like a lot to manage, working with a professional resume writer can help.

A critical step in crafting your new resume is working with the resume writer. We gather necessary information not just through the documents you provide, but with a one-on-one phone call to discuss your career, accomplishments, and goals. We want to know you so we can tailor your resume accordingly. Here are a few tips for feeling more prepared for this conversation:

  • Think about where you’re headed.

An effective resume is not generic presenting you as a jack-of-all-trades; it has a clear focus. Decide what types of jobs you want to apply for. Start looking online at different openings to see what kinds of positions are out there and could be a good fit. This will help the resume writer guide their questioning during the call and make sure they’re gathering the right information.

  • Gather your materials.

Dig up old resumes, performance reviews, meeting notes, awards, projects – anything that will help jog your memory about your career history and may provide some quantifiable data or results. Send anything relevant over to the resume writer ahead of your call so they have time to review and can ask for clarification or more details if necessary.

  • Consider your accomplishments.

Go through each job and think about what you were most proud of that you accomplished. Did you work on any major projects? Train new employees? Cut costs? Exceed your sales goals? Implement new systems or processes? Consider what made you an integral part of the team or company, and what you brought to the table.

  • Find a quiet location.

As you’re getting ready for your consultation, schedule it at a time where you’ll be free to talk and not trying to do 10 other things at the same time. Pick a quiet location so there is not a lot of background noise and you can focus. You don’t want to be sitting at your desk in the middle of the office trying to discretely explain why you’re looking for a new job without anyone hearing. You also don’t want to be yelling over everyone at a busy coffee shop.

  • Be honest.

Jot down any concerns you have about your current resume or the type of position you’re going after so the resume writer is aware of them. Be honest with yourself about your skills and accomplishments too – your goal is not to impress the resume writer. They’re not the one hiring you. You want your resume to be an accurate reflection of you and your abilities, so be truthful with the information you provide. If you didn’t complete a degree program, don’t say you did. If you’re not proficient with a specific software program, don’t say you are. The writer is not judging you; they’re just trying to gather the facts.