Where can I get help writing my resume?

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resume1James from DeVry University asked: 

Where can I get help writing my resume? I need a professional or an expert to write one for me.  But I am having a lot of trouble finding someone. My existing resume might help me get a job digging ditches, but that is not why I went to college.  What do you recommend?

Hi James –

Just so you know, I have very strong opinions on this topic:

You should not pay someone else to write your resume for you!

Allow me to explain what I mean by that:

Career Advisors (whether at your university, at local employment centers or  in private practice) can offer assistance and direction, but you have to participate in the process of crafting your own resume.

Unless you participate in writing your resume – that is, in deciding what your resume should say and how it should say it – you will not know what your resume says, and you will not be able to defend it in front of employers.

A lot of people will offer to take your money in exchange for resume writing services.  Unless they take the time to get to know you and your story and involve you in the process of crafting your resume, you are not hiring a resume writer, you are hiring a document editor and formatting specialist.

 If you see an ad for a $39.95 resume, remember – you get what you pay for.

Most people think their resume is simply an informational document. A basic summary of their education, experiences and skills.  In fact, resumes are deceptively complex documents.

To be effective, your resume needs to be a marketing document.

It should be focused on delivering a specific and relevant message about you to your target audience.

It should help the reader understand who you are, the qualifications you offer and the type of opportunities you are seeking.

In order to know what to include in your resume, you must be able to answer the following questions:

Who do you want to read your resume?
What types of employers are you targeting?

What types of jobs are you seeking?
One Size Fits All Resumes don’t fit anyone really well.

What do you want employers to learn about you when they read your resume?
About your education, your experience and your skills.

Essentially, what is the core message of your resume?
If you don’t know the core message of your resume, how can you expect an employer to figure it out?

Now, the formatting of your resume must be clean, consistent and easy to navigate for the reader, but unless the message is also clean, clear and easy to navigate, you will not have an effective resume.

For more specific advice:

Read my Resume Writing Guide  and check out the resume examples on the Resume Gallery.  Also, check out my previous blogs on resume writing:

Where does my job flipping burgers fit on my resume?

I have no relevant experience; how can I make my resume attractive to potential recruiters?

What should I highlight on my resume – my unrelated work experience or my related classroom experience?

Does my resume need an Objective statement?

Hope this helps!


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