7 Keys to Hiring a Quality Resume Writer

7 Keys to Hiring a Quality Resume Writer

Choosing a great resume writer can be a challenging task—virtually anyone can put up a ‘for sale’ sign and proclaim themselves a ‘professional resume writer’. Discerning whom to invest your hard earned (and your future career prospects) in, in an over-crowded and unregulated industry can present a multitude of challenges.
I’ve outlined some key questions below to guide you in recognising positive signs and help you form a decision on whom to entrust your most valuable career tool–your resume.

1. How does this professional present themselves?
• Look at their website. Do they have a professional website? Is it grammatically perfect with demonstrated command of English, logically formatted, organised and well presented? Does it reflect the results they could produce for you?
Take a look at their social media channels. Do they engage regularly online and on social media, and do they appear to share knowledge freely and engage with others? Do they display thought leadership, share helpful resources and discuss relevant topics and ideas that demonstrate an up-to-date knowledge of resume and employment matters?

2. Do they have recruitment or hiring manager experience?
• Have they been hiring decision makers, and have strong working knowledge of recruitment or HR methodologies and practices?
• Do they demonstrate an understanding of Applicant Tracking Systems and how to build tools that leverage them?
To build a truly effective resume, the writer needs to bring an employer’s perspective to shape your career tools in a way that will best appeal to them and navigate their recruitment systems.

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3. Do they show commitment to their craft through ongoing education and certification?
• Does this professional work to master their craft and maintain their knowledge?
• Are they industry association members (e.g. Career Directors International), and/or do they hold industry-recognised certifications or training (e.g. CARW-Certified Advanced Resume Writer)?
Resume writing is an ever-evolving practice, and professionals need to develop their skills and maintain current, best practice knowledge and industry trends for the benefit of their clients.

4. Are they a document typing and formatting service, or a dedicated career and resume professional?
• Are they a broad document typing and formatting service—or are they resume and career specialists?
• Does this business appear to be a resume ‘mill’, or a ‘side-hustle’? Are prices exceptionally cheap?
There will be a resume writer to suit any budget—simply be mindful that price is often reflective and commensurate of the level of the time, skill and effort put into it developing your tools.

5. What do their clients say about them?
• Does this resume writer have strong testimonials and client feedback?
• Do they display a strong reputation and standing in the community or professional circles?
Social proof is very telling—simply review the feedback they receive and note if it is positive and consistent.

6. Are they willing to answer your questions before getting started?
• Equally as important—does this professional ask you questions to gain a better understanding of your needs and situation?
• Are they willing to provide a work sample if requested (or available on their website)?
• Do they have a clearly defined process?
• Are they willing to give you an objective resume evaluation before starting?
The above are good indicators of how your experience will be working together. Whether the writer asks you questions to get to understand your needs better (simply give you a price and walk away), provide you an evaluation or samples of work (even if not in your field but still an example of what quality they can produce) and offer you an up-front process on how to work together is a strong indicator of what working together will be like, and the type of results you can reasonably expect.

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7. What guarantees do they offer?
• Do they guarantee your satisfaction?
• Do they provide you editable versions of your resume, or do they provide them only in locked versions?
• Do they limit the number of revisions on drafts?
• Can you speak to them on the phone—are they Australian based?
Beware of promises that simply cannot be guaranteed (such as a promise of employment). What a good resume writer—a good business—will guarantee is a commitment to customer service and ensuring your satisfaction until your package is complete.
Many large resume companies outsource their work overseas, which not only calls into question their command on Australian English, but too, knowledge of our local hiring and resume writing practices. Be mindful of using these services—ensure you are confident of the quality of work, and that you can reach someone by phone if you need to discuss your documents.

If you’d like to have an obligation-free discussion on the effectiveness of your resume or your future career aspirations, please get in touch for a chat about your options and how we can work together to boost your career success.


Stacey Murray (CARW, B.Bus. Human Resource Management, MAHRI) is an award-winning Certified Advanced Resume Writer, degree qualified Human Resources professional with 9+ years’ recruitment experience, and Member of Australian Human Resources Institute and Career Directors International. She’s been helping clients succeed since 2009, offering expertise from both sides of the hiring desk, bringing a range of insights from the employer viewpoint, as well as that of the applicant. Stacey is passionate about community and education, and presents workshops on a range of career, job search and employability skills topics to community, school groups and workplaces.

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