Getting to Know You: A Resume Writer’s Imperative

There are two types of clients, those who want to participate in the resume writing process and those who want to leave all the details to the resume writer. The degree of participation can vary but without a doubt, little or no input leads to a poorly branded document. The resume may look and sound great but it won’t connect with the personality, style, and achievements of its owner. It will be so generic in nature that it could serve as the resume for any number of individuals.

Do you want to make a positive change in your career? Let’s look at how you can improve your chances for creating a winning resume.

The Questionnaire

When you’re given a questionnaire, fill it out in its entirety. Its purpose is to help the writer get a better understanding your achievements. IT professionals, in particular, have a tendency to write resumes that are simply a list of responsibilities and technologies. This type of resume no longer suffices in these challenging economic times. There are a lot of technologists with similar skills sets, both domestically and aboard; you need to distinguish yourself in terms of specific results that tie back to the value the business received.

The very best questionnaires are designed to extract this type of information, so take full advantage of this opportunity to review what you’ve done over the space of your career. I’ve had clients say to me, “I’m paying you to write my resume and by filling out this questionnaire, I’m doing your job for you.” This response always baffles me. I can’t even begin to understand your accomplishments until I know what challenges you’ve faced, what actions you’ve taken, and what outcomes resulted.

How can I take a list of responsibilities deeply coupled with technology and describe your accomplishments independent of the tools you used unless I have this critical information?

The Resume Writer

Just about any decent resume writer can create a document that looks great on the surface, but seriously lacks any depth or connection with the individual.  Over time, resumes have switched from being merely a list of responsibilities to focusing on a definitive list of accomplishments. Typically, resume writers will tell you that your resume is an overview, without including too much detail; the detail is provided in the interview. This is not the case, however, with technical resumes, they need to be a combination of overview and detail otherwise they will be quickly discarded.

Most people are aware that the purpose of their resume is to obtain an interview, but it doesn’t end there. When you have a carefully crafted resume and a clear understanding of what your resume contains, it is easy to use it as a springboard to drive the interview in the direction you want it to go.  Can you imagine a worse scenario than being in an interview where you are perfectly aware that your resume is all fluff and no substance?

Knowing your resume writer and being confident in their abilities is a good first step.  For technical resumes, it is important they understand your area of Information Technology, along with its job roles and responsibilities. It is not your responsibility to educate them. Selecting someone who is a good match is essential toward obtaining the best resume possible. When you hire a company to write your resume rather than an individual, you are taking a chance that you may be paired with a writer who is not a good fit for you.

Summary

This all comes down to the importance of participating in the resume writing process.  Few people have the desire to work on their own resume. There is always something more fun to do than trying to put your accomplishments down on paper. But creating a resume that is just right for you is an investment in your future. I can’t emphasize this point any more strenuously than that.

Jennifer Hay (22 Posts)

Jennifer Hay is an expert in Resume and LinkedIn Profile writing for IT professionals / executives. Jennifer has earned the CPRW and ACRW certifications and is the world’s first nationwide resume writer for information technology (CRS+IT). Recently, Jennifer has been honored as the 2013 Toast of the Resume Industry (TORI) Judge and Resume/Careers Conference Presenter; 2012 Career Innovation Award from Career Directors International and the 2011 Toast of the Resume Industry (TORI) award in technical category (2nd Pl).


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