Thursday, June 13, 2013

Having a Professional Resume Writer Help You With Your Resume is Wrong. Really?


For a blog that I wrote for Wednesday of this week, I made reference to an article called “15 tips for landing - and acing - a job interview” that I wrote for CSOonline.com back in March, my attention was drawn to a comment at the bottom of the article that really grabbed my attention.

The person who wrote the comment wrote this:
“having someone (like a professional resume writer) embellishing accomplishments your resume to impress the interviewer is wrong”
I don’t know why I hadn't seen that comment before but the more I think about the comment, the more I totally disagree with the comment.

First of all, I don’t think there is a professional resume writer in the world who can write someone else’s resume simply because the resume writer has never walked in the shoes of the resume owner.  So, if you’re hiring a “professional resume writer” to write your resume for you, perhaps you should consider what you’re expecting someone else to do.

When I work with my security resume writing clients, I educate my clients on how to write a resume and more importantly, the why behind the what.  I teach my clients how to translate their normal technical communication into communication that will be easily consumed by people in the business who might read their resume.  I become my client’s coach and editor.  Does that sound like I’m writing an embellished resume for my clients?  Not a chance.

Writing about one’s accomplishments, contributions and the value they've created for past employers is not only a good idea but it is entirely necessarily.  Just because my clients are taught to write about their accomplishments doesn't mean that they by default are embellishing.

A resume is a personal marketing document and you get one chance to make a first impression with the audience that reads your resume.  There is no need to embellish anything on your resume.  Communicating clearly and embellishing are two different things.  To assume that because someone turns to a security resume writer for help that they are buying into trickery and gimmicks is nonsense.

Consider this recent testimonial that came in from one of my Director of Information Security resume writing clients:
"I wanted to shoot you a short note to express my sincere gratitude in providing me with a resume that has gotten me more attention in the last 2 weeks than my old resume received in the last 2 years!  I am not exaggerating when I tell you I am receiving a minimum of 7 calls and 14 emails a day for opportunities around the globe. 
My current job search is important to my whole family since my wife is a homemaker and I have a daughter that just graduated from college and one daughter with two years remaining of undergraduate work. In order to validate the money I spent on your services I showed my family my old resume, which I was very proud of, and then showed them the resume you produced and formatted for me.
They were in amazement!  My wife actually said she could not bear to read the resume I wrote because it was so overwhelming in the beginning…she understood nothing and did not want to continue reading past the first two paragraphs.  When she read your resume, she immediately said, YES, this gets my attention and it is so well formatted and worded that it draws you in and you cannot stop reading to find out more about me.
Thank you for your honesty, professionalism, coaching and continuous communication during this process.  You have increased my confidence ten-fold and I use the resume format in every interview to keep my thoughts on track and in line with what the hiring managers are seeking.  Your services reflect the person you are and I believe you will go on to help hundreds, even thousands of individuals such as myself."
Does it sound to you like my client bought an embellished resume or does it sound like my client now has a document that he believes accurately reflects his accomplishments and he has a personal marketing document that is clear enough in its communication style that his non-technical spouse can now understand what he does at work every day?  You be the judge.


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