Your resume could make or break your next job search
Not a resume expert yet? Don’t worry, you can hire a professional to help get it right, even if you have no clue where to start or you’re afraid of getting scammed. Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the best professional resume writer for your unique goals & work history.
Today You’ll Learn:
- Why Hire a Professional Resume Writer?
- Avoid These Resume Writing Services
- About Hiring Certified Resume Writers
- Find an Honest, Professional Resume Preparation Service
- Important Resume Keywords (“Resume SEO”)
- Can They Provide Other Services?
- Do You Need a Resume or a Curriculum Vitae?
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
- Which Resume Writer is Best for You?
5-Minute Resume Checklist
Fix your resume. Get more interviews. Avoid the most common resume mistakesSend My Free Download
Why Hire a Professional Resume Writer?
Your resume is more than a piece of paper that happens to include your job history. Your resume is a marketing tool. You use it to convince an employer you’re worth interviewing.
Think of this professional help as an investment that can earn a huge return. A great resume will help you land a great job with higher pay, better hours, or more rewarding work.
While you could write your own resume, there are lots of reasons you should delegate it to an expert. A professional who understands exactly what hiring managers are looking for in accounting candidates.
The best resume writers can help you land higher level jobs, or prepare you for a shift in careers. They work closely with you to market your knowledge, skills, and experience. And they explain your freshly prepared resume to you in a way that helps you to discuss it intelligently in an interview.
The bad news is that not all resume writers are professional (or even honest). So scams spring up to prey on unsuspecting job seekers desperate for help finding a new job. Keep reading and I'll show you how to do your homework to avoid scammers and find the best one for you.
Avoid These Resume Writing Services
You’re not just buying a resume. You’re hiring a consultant and partner to help you reach your job search goals. You wouldn’t hire a mechanic without doing some research. So why would you hire a professional resume writer without knowing more about them?
Carefully review your options, and steer clear of businesses that throw up red flags. Look out for these signs that may indicate a professional resume writer or business isn’t all they claim to be:
Cheap Resume Writing Services
If you find a resume writing service that promises a professionally written document for $50 or $99, expect to get what you pay for.
It takes hours of work to compose an excellent resume, and no professional is going to slave away for an hourly rate that works out to be less than minimum wage.
If you can't afford a real professional, you're better off learning to write your own accounting resume.
Unethical Resume Practices
Your resume is the marketing document for your career. So it’s understandable to feel the need to embellish a few accomplishments, or puff up your job titles to make you a more attractive candidate.
Lying on your resume will cause more harm than good over the long run. Avoid anyone who suggests they will help you lie, or exaggerate your qualifications. People are rarely unethical in just one part of their life. If they’re willing to help you lie to get a job you should assume they’re willing to lie to you to get your money. Avoid these people at all costs.
No Way to Contact Your Resume Writer
Is a resume writer willing to hop on the phone and answer your questions? Would you like to explain your work history in detail to make sure they get it right?
A lot of the resume writing process can be done most efficiently via email, but sometimes you just need a quick phone call to get things done right. Is the resume writer you’re considering available for these calls?
Draft Resume & Revisions
Hiring a resume writer involves some work. No one knows your work history, skills, achievements, and goals better than you. A good resume writer will work with you to understand all of these things before drafting your resume. But the work doesn’t stop at the first draft.
Ask your resume writer if they offer free revisions if you’re not 100% satisfied with the document you receive. Make sure they’ll work with you until you have a resume that you’re excited about.
A resume writer who promises their services will land you a job in three months or less, it’s a sign you need to keep looking. The resume writer is only that — a writer.
No matter how great they are at creating resumes, they’re not making hiring decisions. They don’t know how to place you in a specific job, and they have no control over the HR department at any other business. How could they possibly make such a guarantee? They can’t — and professional, reputable services won’t make impossible promises like this.
Beware of Resume Distribution Services
Want maximum exposure for your new resume? Some companies offer a service where they mass email your resume to their network of recruiters. What could be better than having your resume sent to hundreds of recruiters across the country?
This can help you if done strategically, only sending it to recruiters and hiring managers in your city/industry (even then, it's risky). But spamming your resume out to every recruiter on Earth will probably do more harm than good. If you’re interested in this type of service, be sure to ask how recruiters are selected, and how many will receive your resume. Go for quality over quantity here. But ideally you should avoid this service altogether.
What About "Certified" Resume Writers?
Groups of high quality resume professionals sometimes band together to form professional associations. These groups create training and provide certification to help customers, and improve their industry’s public image.
Certified resume writers have taken a few online training courses from one of the major career document certification groups. The National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA), and The Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PAWR/CC) are two of the most well-known certification groups.
In theory, these groups would allow high quality service providers to separate themselves from the growing competition. That way, only the best would be allowed to pass through the certification process.
Unfortunately, these certifications don't mean a whole lot. Some scammers pay the money to get “certified.” And there are a lot of awesome resume writers who don’t buy into the high fees and required (expensive) coursework imposed by certification groups. Use certifications as one data point, and not a be-all/end-all decision maker. And always look for a resume writer with experience in accounting/finance.
Find an Honest, Professional Resume Preparation Service
Understanding some common signs of scams can help prevent you falling victim to frauds. But you need to know more in order to choose the best professional resume preparation service for your needs.
You know what kind of business not to work with – Now think about the type of service you do want. Look for these characteristics or features before you select a writer:
What You Want In a Resume Writer
- Responsiveness – Do they answer your questions quickly? Are they helpful and professional in their communications?
- Options for revisions – While no honest resume writer will make you a guarantee of a new job within a certain time frame, they should work with you to provide you a solid, finished resume. Writers should allow at least one revision.
- Resume Samples – Are they willing to send you a sample of the type of work they do? Resume writers all have their own style, and you want a resume that gets you interviews for the top accounting/finance roles.
- Avoid fads – Ignore the “Hot resume trends of 201X” and focus on time tested resume formats that get results.
- Accounting Experience or Certifications? A resume writing certification means the writer paid their membership dues and took a few online courses. Look for experience in your industry instead.
Resume Keywords (“Resume SEO”)
Has your resume writer joined the 21st century?
If you’ve used the LinkedIn System for Accountants, you know how important it is to use the right keywords in your LinkedIn profile. But did you know you need to do the same for your resume?
In the digital age your resume is going to be read by automated computer software more often than an actual human. The trouble is that a lot of this software isn’t very sophisticated. It can’t understand most acronyms or abbreviations. And it doesn’t know that “Masters of Business Administration” is the same as “MBA”.
You need a resume writer who understands the importance of using keywords in your resume, and knows how to get you past these applicant tracking systems (ATS) to get your resume read by a real person, and get you more interviews.
Can They Provide Other Services?
Sometimes you just want an expert to handle everything. You may be able to save money using one company for all your needs. Consider choosing a resume writer who can provide you with all the services you need.
- Resume Editing Services
- Professional LinkedIn Profile Writing and Optimization
- Career Consulting & Training
- Job Search Strategies
- Cover letters
- Career Goal Setting
- Letters of Recommendation
- Interview Thank You Letters
- Executive & Professional Bio
- ASCII Resumes
- Personal Branding Tools
I don’t personally recommend all of these solutions (come on… a thank you note takes like two seconds to write, and should be personalized anyway). But consider which are important for you, and see if your chosen resume writer can offer all the services you need.
Do You Need a Resume or a Curriculum Vitae?
Resumes and CVs are similar, but different. A resume is generally one page long, with only the most relevant career information. A CV goes into much greater detail, and is much longer.
A curriculum vitae (CV) is standard in many parts of the world, but shouldn’t be used to apply for accounting jobs in the United States. Be sure to specify the type of career document you’ll receive before placing an order.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
You need to understand what you to expect throughout the resume writing process.
- What information will you need to supply?
- How long will the first draft take to write?
- How many rounds of revisions will your resume go through?
- Do they provide options for customizing your resume to the different positions?
- How much time do you get to talk with the writer on the phone or via Skype?
Using this information will help you hire reputable, honest, and professional resume writers to help you get the job you want.
Tired of Doing Everything On Your Own?
Email Us to see if one-on-one career coaching or resume services are right for you.
Or, learn to quickly and effectively craft your own resume, and get more interviews. CPA Talent Premium Access members get access online job search training created by accountants for accountants.