How to Work with a Resume Writer: You are Both Experts!

In my time as a professional resume writer, I have written more than 3,000 resumes and other documents, and have worked with countless clients. One thing that I’ve learned is that working together to create a resume involves teamwork and communication. When you build a relationship with a resume writer, it becomes much easier to work together. I’ve worked with great clients and not-so-great clients, and know the secrets of building a productive relationship.

So, here is a simple “wish list” that will strengthen the relationship between you and your resume writer, ensuring a great resume by the end of the process:

Who Is The Expert? You Both Are!
A resume writer is professionally trained and experienced in current best practices for writing resumes and other professional documents. They participate in ongoing training through professional associations, webinars, forums, conferences, and other methods. They stay in touch within the virtual writer community and keep up with new trends and techniques. In other words, they are an expert in their field.

That said, you are an expert when it comes to, well, you! A great resume writer can only work with the material and information you provide, and can’t read your mind. If you want your resume to be as polished and complete as possible, it’s important that you both realize that you NEED the other person. You need them to write the resume; they need you to provide the information to write the resume. You’re both experts in different ways.

Make Sure You Have the Time and Energy to Devote to the Writing Process
Between work, family, and community obligations, everyone has multiple responsibilities in their lives. It can be very challenging to find the time to focus on a job search and resume writing, especially if you currently have a job that takes up most of your hours.

However, once you start to work with a resume writer, it is essential to keep focused on the task of creating the professional documents you need to get the job of your dreams. This might require you to work even when you’re exhausted and overworked, but the end result will be more than worth it.  

Understand That This is Collaborative Writing
Remember when I said that writing a resume requires teamwork and communication? That’s because it is really an exercise in collaborative writing.

Resume writing is a process of developing a writing strategy and gathering specific information. You need to work with your resume writer to make sure that your professional life is engagingly represented on the page. It is an iterative thought and writing process to get to the final document. The more that you can stay in contact with each other, the easier it will be for both of you to work together.

Stay In Communication with Your Writer
This is key. You want to get your resume written as fast as possible so you can get started on your job hunt. It’s vital that you respond quickly to your writer’s requests to keep things moving along. If you have a resume draft to review, do it quickly. Don’t let it get stale. If your writer wants to discuss something by phone, return their calls and be easy to reach.

Don’t just disappear. Remember, they can’t write your perfect resume if they don’t have access to you. If something happens that sidetracks you from the writing, give the writer the courtesy of an estimate on when you will be able to pick up the project. Understand that your writer might need to charge additional fees for an extended project. It can be a surprising amount of work for a writer to step back into the process after a time away, so it’s best to be sure that you have the time to communicate with them right at the start. This will save you both time and energy.

Be Truthful
Believe it or not, a large percentage of the resumes floating around out there today have information on them that is either an exaggeration or simply untrue. But the bottom line is that the ultimate responsibility for what is written in the resume lies with you. You need to make sure that all the details on your resume are verifiable and reflect the truth. If it’s discovered that you misled your company when they were hiring you, this will reflect poorly on your future prospects.

If you are always candid with your writer, together you can find ways to highlight your career in a way that will make you stand out without any exaggerations needed.

Stay In Touch With Your Writer During Your Job Search
After working together on your resume, the writer really does have a vested interest in the success of your job search. Trust me, I know this for a fact!

As you’ve developed a professional relationship with your resume writer, it can be an excellent idea to maintain that relationship and let it grow over time. I have had many clients come back to me ten or more years after we worked together on their first resume. In fact, many have come back several times. Personally, I find that it’s an immense pleasure to follow the upward trajectory of a trusted client’s career!

Let The Writer Know When You Get The Job!
This goes hand-in-hand with keeping in touch with your resume writer throughout your job search. If we were working together, and you got the job of your dreams, I would want to know! So make sure that they are one of your first calls after you are offered the job!

Referrals and Thanks
The very best thanks you can give to your writer is to refer other people who you know need help with their own resume. That’s how the writer’s business continues to grow and flourish. You will not only be helping your resume writer, but you will also be helping your friends create a resume that will help them escape from the humdrum job they’re currently in and get them started in the career they’ve always wanted!