Why Should You Hire A Professional Resume Writer?

Are Resume Writers Worth Their Salt?

In William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, the eponymous lead character utters the famous line “To be, or not to be, that is the question.” Likewise, when people are in the process of searching for new jobs, the question arises: Should I hire a professional to write my resume? To hire a professional resume writer — to be, or not to be, that is the question.

Being a resume writer myself, it is in my interest to go forth and yell from the rooftops that hiring a slick resume-conjuring magician will transform a job seeker into a living breathing exhibit of the U.S Army’s old slogan “Be all you can be.”

All right, so we have established that any resume writer will tell the world that job seekers need to hire professionals if they want to land their intended jobs. Right, but is this true? 

Prior to starting my training in the field of resume writing, I graduated from a program in technical and professional writing at San Francisco State University. Before I began the professional training program at San Francisco State, I was in the Merchant Martine for over 15 years, so the state of California was willing to cover half of the program’s tuition as a vocational rehabilitation service. Thus, I worked for many months as a substitute school teacher and covered half of the writer’s program tuition myself. In case you were wondering, I left the Merchant Marine for a list of reasons, but one of those reasons was a profound industry slump that has been in place for a few years at that time. I am mentioning the background on my training because word “rehabilitation” often conjures images of drug use or incarceration, neither of which was happening in my case.   

After I graduated from the writing program at San Francisco State, I inquired if the state of California would be willing to cover some of the cost of attending a training program in resume writing. My rehabilitation department case worker told me that she petitioned for the state to assist me with tuition for a professional resume writing program during two formal hearings, but her boss told her that there was no way the Golden State would ever approve any tuition grant for a training program in resume writing. My tuition grant was denied because my California Department of rehabilitation case worker’s boss did not believe writing resumes was a real job field, and my caseworker’s boss also said that anyone could write resumes. Yes, my caseworker’s boss actually told her that writing resumes was not a real occupation, and anyone could write resumes. 

Despite the screechings of my caseworker’s boss at the state department of rehabilitation, the discipline of writing resumes professionally is becoming more respected and more well known. The increasing respect and public awareness for the profession of resume writing has also led to the development of more formal credentialing in this field. The fact that there is formal credentialing and certification for resume writers proves that drafting a good resume is really a skill in its own right, and no, it is not just something that anyone can just do without training or experience. 

Aside from advocating for the public to employ professional resume writers simply because it is in my personal interest to do so, there are actually solid reasons to for people to have their resumes professionally written. 

Reasons to Hire a Professional Resume Writer

Massaging the Numbers:

During the training process at the Resume Writing Academy, I leaned that job seekers who hire professional resume writers are 40% more likely to land an interview with their job of choice than those who tried to draft their own resumes.

Additionally, a January 2018 article published on the Huffington Post written by Dianna Booher discussed a survey of corporate HR departments. The survey discussed in Booher’s article showed that for every corporate position posted on a company website or a job board like Indeed.com or LinkedIn.com, there is an average of 250 applicants. Of the 250 applicants that apply for a typical corporate position, only 4—6 of these people will ever get interviews. Moreover, this same article also revealed that the average viewing time for an applicant’s resume was about six seconds!

In addition to the crowded applicant field for most corporate jobs, around 87% of all companies in America now use some type of applicant tracking software or “ATS” to screen applicants for a given position. Knowing how ATS software works is important because any resume that scores below 65% on an ATS’s compatibility rating index is going to automatically get placed in the dust bin where it will never reach any human eyes at that company. 

Professional resume writers all know just how tone-deaf and stupid ATS systems really are; none the less, a huge number of companies still use these hobbling mechanical mechanisms. Despite their shortcomings, many companies still use ATS because these software applications provide a basic and crude sorting mechanism for incoming applicants; and unfortunately, many great people get locked out of jobs because they have resumes that are not properly formatted for ATS. 

Given the prevalence of ATS, it is essential that a job seeker have someone on their side who knows the best ways to sneak a resume past a company’s first hiring barrier; that being an ATS product. Professional resume writers typically add value to the application numbers game by knowing how to add the key words that an ATS is seeking for a particular job opening, and a good professional resume writer will run a resume through an ATS system several times before presenting a finished product to a client. 

The Time Factor:

Many people are busy with their current job duties, and some people are burdened by family obligations on top of their job duties; therefore, for many working professionals it makes sense to simply pay the money and let a professional take the time to draft a good resume. 

Sure, most people know how to change the oil in their cars, and oil changes really do not take very long, but oil change places still do brisk business. Likewise, most people can cook for themselves at home, so why do restaurants stay in business? The point is, even if someone is perfectly capable of doing a job themselves, it is often preferable to farm the same work out to professionals. Farming work out to professionals is often preferred because professionals relieve their clients of a given task, plus professionals typically do the same job faster and better; hiring a professional resume writer is no different.  

Having the Equipment:

A good professional resume writer will invest in having at least one type of ATS software available for their own use, and a good resume writer will also test each resume they create by running it through an automated tracking system. In account of professional resume writers having their own access to ATS software, hiring a professional resume writer is worth the money. Sure, hiring a professional resume writer just because they have access to ATS at their disposal is unnecessary, provided a job seeker wants to buy their own ATS license and then learn how to use this software them self. As you can see, not too many people are going to want to invest in their own ATS software and then go through the trouble of learning how to use this program simply to speed-up a personal job search, so just having an ATS license makes a professional resume writer worth the money. 

Good Writing:

A good resume writer will not write in a fashion that is wordy, unfocused, or grammatically incorrect. Good resume writers typically have a background in journalism, professional writing, or teaching, so they are better at spotting grammar gaffs, avoiding punctuation errors, and forgoing passive voice than most people outside of their profession. For example, people who lack formal training as writers often use a lot of unnecessary propositions such as: [ the, at, about, to, that ]. By contrast, a good writer will fill a resume with sentences that are compact, focused, and easy to read. Having sentences that are easy to read is essential if the hiring manager who sorts resumes is likely to be bored, tired, grouchy, and has a six second attention span. 

Appealing Visuals:

A good resume writer will use his or her graphic design skills to create a resume that not only covers key words and offers good readable text, but a solid professional resume writer will also know how to make a visually pleasing resume that just might hold a hiring manager’s attention for more than six seconds. Indeed, getting a resume past the initial trial of the ATS software matters a lot, but a good visual layout will also help hold an impatient hiring manager’s attention. Holding an irritable hiring manager’s attention even a little bit longer than the competition matters because every second a hiring manager spends gendering an applicant’s resume will increase that job seeker’s chances of earning an interview. 

The Incredibles:

In 2004, Disney release an aminated movie about a family of superheroes and their superhero friends called the Incredibles, one of the themes covered in this film is the concept that if everyone is exceptional, then nobody is exceptional. So, how does Disney’s movie called the Incredibles relate to a discussion about paying a professional to write a resume? In answer to the previous question, a person might think that if everyone is now paying a professional to draft a slick resume, then having a slick resume will no longer be a distinguishing factor. 

True, if everyone has a slick resume, then it may be a bit harder to gain an edge over other applicants by simply having a resume with a good format, solid organizational structure, and sharp visual appeal. However, if every applicant will soon have a polished and professionally written resume, then having a well written resume will soon no longer be a mark of distinction, but a necessity. If the practice of having a professional write a job applicant’s resume is becoming standard, then having small errors on a resumes is also becoming a death sentence for any job application, for this reason, hiring a professional to write a resume is changing from a preference to a necessity. 

Summary

It requires a bit of money to hire a good resume writer, and it does require a bit of waiting for a professionally written resume to arrive, yet the benefits of spending the money and waiting a while offset the hassles.