IT Career Coach

How Effective Are Resume Writers?
id="attachment_2461" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Miracle Worker?"]

A Mainframe Programmer who "received zero (0) interest" after hiring someone to rewrite his resume for Microsoft.NET Jobs is wondering why his resume rewriting strategy is not working!

So, the question is "are resume writers miracle workers or are there situations where hiring professionals to rewrite a resume will not help"?

Why Would You Hire A Resume Writer?

Let\'s look at some of the reasons why you may want to hire a resume writer:

  1. Career Transitions: you are transitioning to a new career so you hire a resume writer to reposition your resume.

    While a resume rewrite can highlight significant achievements, skills or experience, it may not provide you with the additional skills or hands-on experience required for career transitions.

  2. Employment Gaps: you\'re coming back to work after a stay-at-home period so you get your resume updated to cover-up or hide the stay at home period.

    You may be able to hide gaps in employment using a resume rewriting service but that may not help you the job if your stay-at-home period made your skills obsolete.

  3. Hands On Experience: the feedback you\'re getting from interviews is that you lack sufficient hands-on experience, so you hire a resume writer to make your resume look better!

    A resume rewriting service is helpful for job postings where you actually have the years of experience required.

    If you don\'t already have the required hands-on experience, then paying a service to rewrite your resume is a waste of your hard-earned money!

Resume Writers Are Not Miracle Workers!

Hiring someone to rewrite your resume when the feedback you are getting from your job interviews is that you lack the requisite skills or sufficient hands-on experience is a waste of money!

This is true especially for Information Technology (IT) job postings which typically require cutting-edge skills and strong hands-on experience!

Rewriting your resume without also acquiring the required hands-on experience and sharp skills, is simply throwing good money after a bad cause! Here is what works with or without a resume rewrite:

  1. Upgrade Your Skills, Get Strong Hands-ON Experience: Employers hire for cutting edge skills and strong hands-on experience. Your time and money will be better spent on "giving employers what they are looking for" in-addition to a resume rewrite :-)

    First Things First! If you\'re looking for a Microsoft.NET Job, then first get a thorough knowledge, cutting-edge skills and strong hands-on programming experience in C#, ASP.NET, SQL Server, Visual Studio .NET and Microsoft .NET Framework before worrying about the state of your resume!

  2. Technical Interviews Are For Strong Candidates Only! Employers receive a lot of resumes and they can\'t interview everyone, so they focus on the strongest job applicants.

    That means your resume won\'t stand-up to that of your competition because you really don\'t have the skills or experience or the insight that they poses!

    Even if you\'re invited for a job interview you won\'t be able to support the claims on your resume with real world examples, cases or situations where you used those skills on a project!

  3. Performance Driven Careers: Employers hire for specific skills like UML, Use Cases, Microsoft.NET ASP.NET, C# because they intend to put those skills to work.

    So, getting hired for skills that you don\'t poses is setting yourself up for failure because you won\'t be able to perform for your employer who ends up having to fire you!

Depending on a resume rewrite to get you a job without first acquiring the required skills or hands-on experience is like asking your resume writer to perform a miracle!

The path to your dream Microsoft .NET IT Job starts with acquiring cutting-edge programming skills and hands-on programming experience.

You\'re practically guaranteed an IT (Microsoft .NET) Job when you have both.

While resume writers are not miracle workers, they can help in understanding the current market and what a resume needs to do to compete within your field and in accordance to the current \"employers\' market\".
I wrote my own resume and had it reviewed and updated by a professional and found critical changes in resume approach and format that I would never have known on my own.
- having skills placed at the top of your resume instead of the bottom
- giving specific examples rather than listing generic duties
- including LinkedIn and online profiles in addition to contact information
Ultimately, the assistance was helpful. On the other hand, I was listening to a recent radio broadcast interviewing an expert on job search success rates.
The expert said that although recruiters focus on having a good resume, resumes actually have the lowest response rate. Most positive responses came from personal and professional networking and recommendations--particularly LinkedIn, and to my surprise, cold calling and going to companies of interest directly.
Either way a professional resume is always going to reflect on and support your personal presentation.
No they are not.
Here is why.
A professional in any particular field can only do so much to help someone.
The rest of course will depend of the beneficiary.
Let suppose the best resume writer in the world has written the best resume in the world for you.
So far so good. Now you go out for the interview and you are not prepared enough for that interview and due to any number of reasons like nervousness and lack of knowledge in your particular field you come out looking dumb, do you suppose that resume could have helped you?
No it would not.
Thats just my humble opinion and anyone here is free to disagree.
Yes, if miracle is defined by …the vision, wonder or sensation of establishing a personal brand that gives job seekers an edge in today’s job market.
Progressively seasoned resume writers create customized formatted text (not templates) to capture recruiter’s attention within 15-30 seconds.
Competing with 800 candidates and getting an interview is a miracle!
Moving from unemployment to a $100,000 salary is a miracle!
I like the points here, but I think they miss one crucial issue: communication.
As an electronics engineer myself (applied for 22years in the telecoms world), who now runs a recruitment company that provides candidate services including CV writing, I find that what lacks in most engineering job applications is communication: at all, or of skills in useful application.
The points you pick out seem to suggest that if the job applicant has the skills, then they could do the job: correct! But what that misses is that to get an interview let alone a job they need to be able to show those skills in application.
Many of the best engineers I have met unfortunately have virtual lists of skills and projects, regularly killed by endless bullets: that won\'t get you past the sift. Also, many of the least qualified candidates have shown their lower level but still good enough to do the job skills in better cases of application, to create a business result. It is why those who have the skills and can communicate them in application will get employed, over the more technically skilled.
You can apply all of the rules above, they are good. But if you can not communicate your skills in application, and ideally resulting in business gain, then rejection will still be the result.
Good Luck!
Ian R McAllister
Why waste the money on so called professionals whenthere is so much free information out there.
Most networking groups have extensive web-sites showing you how to:
1. self evaluate youself
2. list your skills/attributes
3. write your PAR statements (Problem, Action, Result)
4. write a 30 second intro, a 1:30 sec self commercial
5. how to write a marketing plan (which included your value proposition and target companies)
and of course networking which is the key cpmponent.
Through networking I have met experienced writers, communication experts, etc. which were more then eager to help me write and then review my resume\' which I have heard during the interview process was \"awesome\".
Of course you should be customizing your resume\' (at least the \"Professional Summary\" and \"Areas of Expertise\" portions to reflect the requirements listed in the Job Posting that you are submitting to.
First of all, to me \"Resume\" means \"To begin anew\" - a CV is a résumé
I have been rewriting my résumé for many years - and spent a stint at Kinkos creating résumés for customers.
My résumé was recently selected out of about 700 for a Berman Larson Kane webinar about résumé writing - and I reformatted a colleague\'s résumé based on mine and he was hired!
My résumé may be of particular interest to a programmer.
My résumé:
My résumé chosen \"best\" out of 700:
Well, I wouldn\'t deny the role of an additional course or updating one\'s skills if one is transitioning.
In my case though, my earlier resume presented all my information in a flat manner, after it was redesigned, it began with listing my professional exposure and went on to highlight my role in that particular job plus the key skills required from me for the job as well as the skills that I had acquired while on the job.

It never tried to hide the gap I had in my career graph.
To put it simply, a makeover was done to my resume, such that though the real elements remained the same they were just presented attractively.
Your resume writing success story illustrates \"the benefits of a well crafted resume\"!
Your Resume Makeover highlighted your professional skills for each job role and you didn\'t have to hide employment gaps in your resume either!\n\nThanks for sharing your story Laya, the information you provided will prove quite helpful to others who are looking for a job with a weak resume.
I agree that a resume that shows skills that the candidate does not possess is definitely misleading.
In my case though, the resume just presented my work experience in a better manner and due to the impressively presented information I got the opportunity to impress the HR with my skills.

I personally feel that when one is transitioning or is raw in terms of work experience a well designed resume helps as it makes the HR take a second look at you.
Laya, can you share
\"the types of changes that you made to your resume, that ended up being effective or working for you;\"

for the benefit of our readers,
Thank you
I believe that a well designed resume helps immensely.

I was at a phase in my life when I had quit my job and I had a checkered career as far as my work experience was concerned.
The response I used to get from all the HR professionals I met was, I\'ll keep you in mind and leave your resume finally a friend designed my resume and after that, I not just landed with a job but was complimented on the well designed resume.
I think it does help!
Laya, I will agree that a well-designed resume helps as long as it\'s not an attempt to dress up a poorly qualified candidate.\n\nIn your case, your were probably qualified for the jobs you applied for and your resume was hiding or concealing the merits of your application. By having your resume rewritten, you brought to light the substance or merits of your case.\n\nContrast that to a job applicant who reads a job description listing 3 skills as being required. The job applicant without any of the relevant or required skills hires a resume writer hoping that that the resume writing service will somehow perform some sort of miracle!
Ivan, I agree with you that the \"wonderful thing about IT is that you can easily and quickly update your skill sets\" but not many people realize that or act as if taking action is an option!
As a former IT hiring manager, too often, I would have candidates’ resumes with outdated skill sets like COBAL or FORTRAN instead of .NET.
Often times, their resumes would highlight older skill sets that just aren’t marketable.
These IT professionals didn’t stay up-to-date with their skill set and now find themselves like the dinosaur.
However, the wonderful thing about IT is that you can easily and quickly update your skill set.