For a resume writer to be any good, her clients should get interviews
The best criteria for judging a resume writer’s skill is how many of their clients get called for interviews – NOT how many get job offers.
Here’s why: you could have the best resume in the world, and it might take forever to get an offer. Or, it could take only a few weeks. That’s because resumes don’t get candidates jobs; they get candidates interviews, if they are well written.
The variables are too numerous for the data to have meaning. Consider these obstacles to resume success:
- Candidate has a great resume, but applies only by uploading it to the company’s website instead of sourcing network connections who can get it in front of the hiring manager
- Great resume leads to interview for a great opportunity, but the candidate doesn’t handle the interview well and is passed over
- Great resume leads to successful interview, putting candidate on a shortlist of 3 finalists, but for an intangible reason, one of the other 2 is selected
- Great resume, successful interview, candidate is chosen, but company announces a temporary hiring freeze, or simply decides that the position wasn’t necessary
While there are no data that my work, or the work of any other resume writer, will guarantee a job offer, prospective clients should consider the resume writer’s background. If the provider got into resume writing because everyone told them that they’re a good writer, that’s meaningless. Writing skills are important, of course, but they are not the only factor that makes a resume writer any good.
For a resume writer to be any good, she needs to understand how recruitment works
I was a human resources professional for many years during which I hired hundreds of people for every position imaginable, from the call center to the c-suite. That means that I was the person who decided whether to hit “delete,” or put a resume aside for further scrutiny. And that means that I know how HR and hiring managers think. So I’d stick to former HR professionals and recruiters who also happen to write well.
For a resume writer to be any good, she needs to realize that a resume is a marketing tool
In addition to being a good writer and having a background in recruitment, your resume writer should grasp that your resume is how candidates market their skills and experience. That means guiding clients into dropping irrelevant details that add nothing to a candidate’s value proposition; just because you worked somewhere doesn’t necessarily mean it belongs on your resume, particularly for college students who work at service jobs while earning their degrees.
And finally, does a resume writer need professional certification?
Belonging to a professional resume writers’ association is also fairly meaningless; I’ve seen what some of those associations consider a good resume, and I refuse to get accredited by them.