Is a Professional Resume Service Worth the Cost?

You need a new resume. Whether you’re a victim of the economy or employed somewhere that isn’t an ideal fit, you know that a top-notch resume can help you secure a new job. Chances are pretty good that you aren’t a resume pro, but will a professional resume writing service really give you a return on your investment that makes it worth the cost? Below are some points to consider:

o    Is there a doctor in the house? You’d never try to treat a broken arm yourself just to save a few hundred bucks, would you? When it comes to resume writing, it helps to think of professional services as just that-a professional service that you pay for, rather than trying to bumble your way through on your own. While resumes aren’t typically a life-and-death endeavor, the results have the potential to drastically alter your way of life for better or worse. The key, of course, is hunting down a stellar company.

o    Check the process. If you’re going to hand over your hard-earned money for something that, quite frankly, you’re not sure about in the first place, you need to know that you’ll be getting your money’s worth. Ask the company about their process: how do they collect your information? How do they ensure that your strengths will be showcased to your best advantage? Most companies take a two-pronged approach-a questionnaire for you to fill out and then access to a “live” person via telephone. When you’re scanning the list of questions to fill out or talking to your preparer, you want to have an “oh” moment. As in, “Oh, I never thought of that.”

o    Get certified. The person who sets your broken arm should have an MD behind her name. The person who produces your resume should have a CRW (certified resume writer) or a CERW (certified expert resume writer) behind her name. These certifications cover letter template ensure that a resume service hasn’t just plucked someone off the street and called him a professional. It demonstrates that the person who will build your new resume has been thoroughly trained in the best, most effective ways to highlight your skills and experience.

o    Investigate fair costs. Now we’re down to the nuts and bolts: money. Every service is different, of course, but a price tag of around $300 is normal for most resumes. Executive or extremely niched resumes may be a bit higher. Don’t go bargain-basement on a resume service because, after all, you get what you pay for. You probably don’t want to spend the money in the first place to have someone else write your resume, but you really don’t want to spend $100 to get a piece of garbage that a fifth grader could have put together. It’s much better to spend a few hundred dollars on a quality resume that will get the job done. Even better: many times job-seeking activities are tax deductible, so consult your financial professional to determine whether you can write off the cost of a resume service.

o    Sample before you buy. There’s no need to go on blind faith where resume services are concerned. They should be willing to show you samples of resumes and cover letters that they’ve written-and “before and after” resumes are even better. That way you can see how the firm has transformed something that’s probably similar to what you have right now into something that you’ll be proud to send out.

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