Sure, you can write your own resume, but if it’s not landing you interviews—or as many as you’d like—it might be time to hire a professional resume writer. A professionally crafted resume has the power to get you noticed, showcase your best accomplishments and even cover up those gaps in your career—like when you got laid off and took several months to line up another gig.
Career expert and Mediabistro’s own resume writer Alex Twersky spells out why you need a professionally crafted resume, and how it can help your job search skyrocket.
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1. You Don’t Know How to Boast About Your Accomplishments.
Most of us feel awkward bragging—even humblebragging. We don’t want to be seen as arrogant or too good for the job. But this is your resume, so now’s the time to let the swagger flag fly.
That’s where a resume writer comes in, helping you elaborate on your accomplishments from an objective point of view.
“Often, people don’t realize something they’ve done can actually be framed as an accomplishment, which is understandable since it’s hard to be objective about yourself,” says Twersky. “A resume writer has the professional distance to make you realize that there’s more pop to your past experience than you realize.”
2. You’re Not Sure How to Handle Short-Term Gigs or Gaps.
If you’ve ever freelanced, been laid off or taken an extended period away from your career, you might wonder how to note such info on a resume. List all your freelance clients, and you run the risk of looking like a job hopper; keep too many off, and you lose out on showcasing your experience and skills.
“Unless you’ve written hundreds or thousands of resumes,” says Twersky, “you may not know when it’s appropriate to leave a job off.”
Twersky points to a common example in which an employee leaves a job after a short time with the company. Here, a resume writer might drop the months from the resume, only showing the years, making the gaps and other less-than-stellar info not as glaring.
3. Your Resume Doesn’t Read Like a Career Story.
Does your resume have a driving narrative, or at the very least a theme? Is your career path clear and focused, showing hiring managers where you’ve been and where you’re heading? If you’re unsure, chances are it’s missing the all-important narrative element hiring managers expect to find.
“A resume is at heart a marketing document,” says Twersky, “and any good piece of marketing collateral has at its core a driving narrative.” If this driving narrative isn’t telling your career story in a compelling way in addition to focusing on your achievements, then, as Twersky says, “it’s not reaching its maximum potential.”
4. You Don’t Have the Same Inside Info as a Resume Writer.
You’re already spending your time keeping up on the media industry; you don’t have extra time to also keep up on the field of hiring and recruiting. That’s where a resume writer comes in.
“Resume writers, like other professionals in their respective fields, have to stay abreast of trends in the recruiting landscape by engaging with HR and other industry professionals, as well as digging into the trove of material being published about job searching on the Web,” says Twersky.
Unless you spend your free time getting caught up on the latest trends in hiring and resume best practices, it can be more effective and cost-efficient to leave this to a pro.
5. Your Resume Just Doesn’t Look Right.
If there’s something off about your resume, and you can’t place your finger on what exactly that is—maybe you over explained a job description, or everything just looks jumbled—it’s probably time to enlist a pro.
“There is no universally accepted template for resumes, but the criteria that stand the test of time include ensuring your resume looks professional, clean and concise and not ‘over-designed,’” says Twersky. “A good resume writer can help you strike that balance.”