There are definitely advantages to writing your own resume. Aside from the fact that it's free, when you write your own resume, you can be sure that it accurately reflects your goals, skills and experience. Also, it is easier for you to talk about your resume at your interview when you are the person who wrote it. However, if you are not a strong writer or if you are feeling lost, you may need a bit of help. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process:
Consider free services. There is a multitude of free services for job seekers. There are government and community services that are available to almost everyone. At Tropicana Employment Centre, you can meet with an employment counsellor who will be happy to help you with your resume. If you are a student or alumni at a college or university, the school's career centre will be able to assist you. Try out the free resources before you pay someone to write your resume.
Get a clear idea of how the service works. Before you sign on with a professional resume writer, make sure that you understand what you are buying. Find out how the process works and what they require from you. Ask to see samples of their work. Find out how much they charge and confirm with them that the price will not change.
Try to get a referral. It is always better to get a referral if at all possible. There are lots of resume services available and they vary significantly in the quality of resume that they provide. If you can't get a referral, look at the testimonials and the online reviews. Be skeptical of online rankings; some companies will create a ranking (giving themselves the #1 spot) while making it look like an independent website.
Interview the resume writer. Spend some time talking to the resume writer. Tell them exactly what type of job you are looking for and the skills and experience that you possess. Ask them how they would approach writing your resume. You don't want a resume writer who churns out a similar resume for all of their clients. If it seems like the resume writer does not want to spend time talking to you, that's a fairly clear red flag.
Go with your gut. There are a lot of resume factories online. You have to stay sharp. Keep your eyes open! If their website seems unprofessional or if you see anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, trust your gut and move on!
Even if you find an amazing resume writer, you still need to customize your resume for each position. However, if you have a strong resume to start with, it shouldn't take you much time.
(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of Everydayplus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)