5 Signs You're Ready for a Professional Resume Rewrite | Ladders

5 Signs You’re Ready for a Professional Resume Rewrite

You might need a resume rewrite, and you might need help from a professional, but you might not be ready to work with one.

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Maybe your resume hasn’t attracted the attention from recruiters that you thought it might.

Does the work experience on your resume seem to stop short in 1997? Are you in a rut trying to figure out how to transfer your skills to a new industry? These scenarios are clear signs that it’s time to update your resume.

Can you do it on your own? Employing a resume writer to help can be a positive experience — if you’re prepared to work collaboratively and have realistic expectations. Below are five signs you’re in the right place to begin a resume project with a professional resume writer.

1. You have time to be part of the process.
Resume writing is a very collaborative process. Expect to spend time being interviewed by the writer or completing some sort of questionnaire so the writer can gather the appropriate information. It isn’t enough to forward a copy of your old resume and expect them to glean the best information from it. If you are extremely busy, under an enormous amount of stress or just not interested in working collaboratively, this might not be the best time to embark on an overhaul of your resume with a professional resume writer.

2. You’ve spent time thinking about the value you can bring to an employer.
The writer’s job is to best represent you and advertise the benefits you can bring to an organization. But she can only write from the information you supply. A good writer will ask targeted questions to unearth the key information she needs to write a strong resume. You must be willing to be introspective about your past experience. You need to start thinking less about your job tasks and more about what makes you good at what you do. If you wait until the day you discuss what you have accomplished with your writer, you are sure to omit key information or forget something that could help the writer do a better job.

3. You don’t expect your writer to embellish your skills.
If you have an expectation that the writer is there to embellish your experience or suggest you have competencies you don’t, forget about it. An ethical writer will only create a true representation of your skills. We don’t make up stuff.

4. You are ready to let go of outdated information and early-career experience listed on your resume.
If you are so attached to the great work you did on a Y2K project in 1999 or your stellar GPA in 1982, you will struggle with one of the real benefits of working with a writer: the ability to look at all of your accomplishments objectively and showcase the ones that have the most relevance in the current market. Approach the process with an open mind and let the writer help you make decisions about the content – what to keep and what to toss.

5. You don’t expect your resume to look just like the sample on the Web site.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s a great idea to review sample resumes to get an idea of a writer’s style. But don’t expect your resume to look like the one on the sample page. That resume represents someone else’s experience. Your resume must represent you and you alone. Your resume won’t stand out if it’s the same as every other drive-thru hamburger stand. Imagine the resume-writing process as a salad bar that mixes and matches the best choices for each individual.

Barbara Safani

Barbara Safani Barbara Safani , owner of Career Solvers, has over 12 years of experience in career management, recruiting, executive coaching and organizational development. She is a triple-certified resume writer and author of "Happy About My Resume: 50 Tips for Building a Better Document to Secure a Brighter Future.”

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