Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Resume Writers: Don't Be a Hater

Today's blog post challenge is to write about something that irks me.

Here's one. There are enough people dissing resume writers out there without us tearing each other down. Are there good resume writers, and not-so-good resume writers? Sure. But instead of writing Facebook status updates and blog posts about how you have to rewrite the work of other resume writers, why not reach out to the original writer (if you know who it is -- and that's not often hard, if you check the "Summary Info" section of the Word document) and offer some assistance?

With millions of potential clients out there -- and surrounded by pundits who say you don't need a resume writer, or do-it-yourself resources -- when you publicly tear down the work of other resume writers, it makes the public doubt all members of the profession. That may not be your intention -- but that's the perception it creates.

It's hard for many people to decide to work with a resume writer, and it's even harder for them to judge what makes a "good" resume writer. I believe the fact that someone is asking for help at all is going to make them more successful. In my experience, there are few resume writers who will actually make a client's resume worse -- so if they take a client's resume that is a "two" and they make it a "six or seven," that client is going to benefit, even if it's not a "ten." And, frankly, most of these clients are not going to be unhappy, because having their resume worked on will give them more confidence.

YES, there is a difference between a $50 resume and a $5,000 resume. But there are clients who can't afford even a $500 resume. I've said it before -- there are resume writers who are not certified who are charging $100 for a resume that is better than some certified resume writers who charge $500. Our goal should be to elevate the profession. To encourage each other to continue our professional development. To share best practices. To educate one another. To educate prospective clients on what a good resume looks like ... and how to find those writers.

Next time you come across a poorly written professional resume, do two things:
  • Research the original writer (again, you can often find this in the "Summary Info" section of the Word document). Google the person/firm. Reach out to the original writer and introduce yourself. Explain that the client came to you seeking a rewrite. (You may get some interesting information from the writer about the client that will help you serve him/her better.) Encourage the writer to join a professional association in the industry.
  • Instead of writing a status update or blog post criticizing the work of that writer, turn it around and use the opportunity to educate the public about what DOES make a good resume. ("Are you making these four mistakes on your resume?" or "Is Your Resume Working?") Don't point out that the mistakes were made on a "professionally" written resume. After all, it's likely that do-it-yourselfers are making the same mistakes.

I believe there is enough business for everyone. We don't have to tear others down to build ourselves up. One of the things that impresses me most about the resume writing industry -- overall -- is that we are colleagues, not competitors. PLEASE keep this in mind the next time you are tempted to post something negative about another resume writer.

What are your thoughts on this?

12 comments:

  1. I agree! It's our job to educate our clients. Good post. I teach the client how to look for a job properly and how to write a resume. Give a man a fish and they'll be fed for a meal - teach a man to fish, and they'll be able to feed themselves for a lifetime!

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    1. Great analogy, Elaine! Although I do like the repeat business from clients who just want fish for dinner. ;-)

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  2. Good job, Bridget. Any resume can be improved. I agree, we are colleagues not competitors--let's build our industry and business positively.

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    1. Absolutely, Marilyn! There is always room for improvement. And one of the things I've learned is that no two resume writers will ever create the same exact resume (heck, if I sat down to write a client's resume at two different times, I would probably not write the exact resume!). But disparaging other resume writers isn't the way to win the confidence of our clients. Thanks for your comment!

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  3. Agreed! It is just plain unprofessional to tear another writer down. If you show a resume to 10 different people, there will be 10 different opinions on how it should be written. Each of us has our own style ... disrespecting another writer diminishes the industry as a whole.

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    1. After thinking about this for a while, and reading some of the comments, I think some writers don't *realize* what they are doing. Instead, they make comments on social media about having to rewrite their colleagues' work, or "You won't believe the awful resume I saw today, and you won't believe whose name was in the Summary section." That sort of thing -- it might not be intentional, but it's still damaging.

      But I agree wholeheartedly -- disrespecting our colleagues diminishes the industry.

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  4. Great reality check for our profession, Bridget. I agree that the number of people who could use our help far outstrips our combined capacity. We're not really competing against each other; we're competing with mediocrity and the get-by, do-it-yourself, go-it-alone mindset.

    We operate in an environment where everyone's an expert. As Laura says above, ask X people about a resume, you'll get X answers. People who wouldn't trust their car or their plumbing to the guesswork of friends do so with their careers all the time.

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  5. If you want to stand out, you can raise your own performance, or cut everyone else down. Which actually makes you better? Bruce Lee called this "Lengthen your line": "Instead of worrying about the competition, or trying to beat them, concentrate on your knowledge, skills and experience. Don’t shorten their line, lengthen yours."

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  6. Agreed! Sad that this had to be said, but thanks for sharing. We are all have the same goal to help our clients be successful.

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  7. Interesting that a resume writer would utter negative remarks about another writer, ironically we instill in our own clients and those that we coach to never speak ill of former colleagues and employers for these can be held against you. I would think the same philosophy would apply and hold true for all professionals in the career development industry. Lest we practice what we preach.

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  8. Thanks for sharing this valuble information and it is useful for us.we also provides Professional Resume Writing

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  9. Thanks for sharing this valuble information and it is useful for us.we also provides Professional Resume Writing

    ReplyDelete

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