Many people question the differences among résumé services, and it’s no wonder: the Internet is bursting with companies that claim to make you “look good” with a minimum of investment.

Considering that you’ll spend more waking hours on your career than any other activity (with your salary riding on this decision!), it makes sense to thoroughly check out these services.

Ensure that your efforts result in a powerful résumé that opens doors by looking for a writer that offers:

1) – Verifiable Credentials. Certification is a MAJOR distinction between dedicated professionals and “hobby” writers. Becoming a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), Certified Expert Résumé Writer (CERW), or Nationally Certified Résumé Writer (NCRW) requires a candidate to pass a rigorous exam judged by industry experts—with a high failure rate.

Don’t be fooled! Verify CPRW, CERW, or NCRW status by visiting the Professional Association of Résumé Writers at www.parw.com, Career Directors International at www.careerdirectors.com, or the National Résumé Writer’s Association at www.nrwa.com to search for the writer’s name and credentials.

2) – Samples. Look carefully at résumé samples to discern the extent of the writer’s business knowledge. A clear strategy should be evident on each résumé, plus a keen understanding of the industry and career goal.

If the writer won’t show you sample work, consider moving on to another.

3) – Actual Recruiting/Job Hunting Experience. True résumé experts couple their professional training with REAL-WORLD experience as a hiring manager or recruiter.

You can also look for corporate experience on BOTH sides of the hiring table; former job hunters offer a valuable perspective that cannot be learned in other ways.

4) – Dedication to Ongoing Development. Here’s a tip: writers who achieve the strongest results tend to belong to at least one professional career industry association.

With participation in these organizations, most members avail themselves of continuing development opportunities to learn the latest strategies that will deliver results for YOUR résumé.

5) – Published Work. If you pick up a résumé book on Amazon.com or at your local library, chances are it contains the work of a select few writers compared to each other WORLDWIDE by the publisher.

In other words, résumé writers who have had work chosen for publication are among the cream of the crop.

6) – Guarantee. Look closely at the type of guarantee or other verification of quality offered by a résumé writer. Do they stand behind their work?

If so, this means that you, the customer, will receive an expertly crafted document that is fully tuned to meet a hiring manager’s expectations.

7) – Professional-Level Pricing. This may seem like an odd criterion, but think about it: writers who charge less than $200 are literally telling you that they either unwilling or unable to devote sufficient time to your project. Many will simply reformat your information without an in-depth consultation.

Make no mistake about it: a masterpiece résumé that truly markets your strengths requires critical analysis of your goals, PLUS content. A skilled writer will take presentation, keywords, and information placement into consideration, plus possess knowledge of your field. It’s a time-consuming process!

Keep in mind that many excellent résumé writers exist, along with a few who may fall short of your expectations. Your best bet is to check out each source thoroughly—since your future earning power and career happiness will depend on it!

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