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FAQ - Executive Resume Writing Services

There are so many awards & credentials – what do they mean and what should I look for?

The Certified Master Resume Writer (CMRW) credential is the absolute gold standard in worldwide resume certification. After obtaining the Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) designation, a pre-requisite for challenging the CMRW, I chose to aim for the pinnacle of the profession and secure the CMRW which I did at my first attempt.  I also secured an award for the most fiercely contested category (Best Executive Resume) at the TORI Awards (gold standard in international resume writing awards) on my first ever submission to that category. 

In my second submission to the Best Executive Resume category, I received yet another nomination along with 4 of the world’s best resume writers from the USA and Australia.  In doing so, once again I was the only resume writer flying the flag for Canada in the Best Executive Resume category of the most prestigious resume writing competition in the world.

If you see awards or certifications listed, ask about them!  Are the awards/certifications issued by someone who has self-certified themselves?  Which organization is behind the awards/certifications? How many people were nominated?  The Career Directors International TORI Awards are the international gold standard in this industry and are fiercely contested by writers from around the world. 

What should I look for in a resume writer?

To keep things simple, you should be looking for 3 things;

1) The Owner – You should be working with the owner of the company.  Many resume writing companies use the owner as nothing more than a figurehead to attract business and then outsource your project to anonymous ghost writers with unknown credentials or expertise.  If you are going to engage a professional resume writer at all, make sure you get to work one-on-one with the owner of the company in order to leverage their expertise for your project.

2) Employment History – Ask about the employment history of the resume writer.  If you are looking for a resume/career expert, would you seek to partner with someone with a limited work history or would you rather seek out someone who has ran an employment agency, managed national and international search assignments for Fortune 500 companies, engaged hiring managers and executives on a daily basis, and made a living from sourcing job candidates and crafting resumes to impress the HR and executive teams in corporations of all sizes?  The choice of course is yours and you will select the writer you believe can offer more to your project.

3) Certification – Make sure the resume writer has certification and professional credentials from a reputable association.  The two most respected and recognized associations in North America are the PARW/CC and Career Directors International (CDI). Certification is a baseline level of competence and can be used to filter out non-qualified writers and act as a starting point for selecting a writer based on their level of expertise and industry-related work experience, insights, and expert knowledge they can bring to your project.

Do I have to fill out a questionnaire or worksheet?

Absolutely not.  These worksheets can take upwards of two hours to complete.  I don’t hide behind a questionnaire/worksheet as my consulting background and expertise gives me the opportunity to collect all of the information I need during our consultation. You’re paying me to do a job for you.  I wouldn’t dream of asking you to do this part yourself.

Am I guaranteed to get a job if I use your resume writing service?

No.   There are many factors at play in the recruitment process and it’s not possible to guarantee that you’ll get the job you want just by using a resume writing service.  Internal candidates, better qualified candidates, market conditions, expected salary levels, and personal preferences all come into play when hiring a candidate.  On top of that, if you’ve had 6 jobs in as many years, you don’t represent a sure or safe investment for an employer.  Of course there are certain strategies we can employ to focus attention on your unique value proposition, however a resume is not a magical artifact.  It can only be as good as you are.

What is your turnaround time?

Typically 5 business days depending on my schedule and personal circumstances.  There is a rush order service available at additional cost for close call deadlines.  The rush order service has a 2-business day turnaround post consultation (if available).

Do you only offer evening or weekend appointments?

No, this is my full-time job. 

Which companies did you conduct recruitment campaigns for?

The companies I have partnered with over the years include: Alberta Health Services, Shell, Chevron, Encana Corporation, Teck, Fluor, IBM, Finning International, Intrawest Corporation, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Ernst & Young, Raytheon, Diavik Diamond Mines, McKesson, Cisco Systems, Honeywell International, GrowthWorks, Diageo PLC, Miramar Mining, and many, many more.

How do you determine your client satisfaction rate?

I calculate my satisfaction rate based on the fact that I work with every client (within the 2 week post consultation window), until they are 100% satisfied with their resume and/or cover letter.  This is further reflected by my client testimonials and the sheer volume of repeat and referral business I receive.

What are your prices?

I am a pioneer of upfront pricing in this industry.  My prices can be seen here.  Unlike some competitors who prefer to conjure up a number based on how much they think you can afford, you’ll be able to determine your total cost by reviewing my 3-tier pricing structure.

Do you offer refunds?

After the telephone consultation has taken place, there will be no refunds under any circumstances.  As a one-person writing operation, my time is precious, and as such I need to be compensated for it.  I will work with all clients for a period of two weeks after receipt of their resume to make amendments as needed or consult on the reasoning/strategy behind use of structure and content to help achieve their specific aims.

Why do you cost less than some writers with less experience than you?

Good question! Wherever you see the term “our writers” on a website, there is a good chance that you won’t know who is actually writing your resume.  In my experience, such companies utilize the owner as a figurehead to attract business.  For that, he/she wants a fee.  Then there is the actual writer (whoever that is), and they also want a fee, so you end up paying more.

Other than that, there is the question of competence and/or efficiency.  A less experienced writer will take longer to produce a document.  Of course, they expect to be compensated for the time it takes them to write your documents.  Why should you pay more for the learning curve of a less experienced writer?

Then there is the question of business set-up.  I work smart to save you money.  I won’t ask you to pay for swanky downtown offices, the receptionists to staff them, the marketing budget to promote them, the writers to write the documents, or the people who don’t follow through with gimmicks like a “free resume review”.

Finally, there is the question of prestige.  Some people think that charging 1% of your target salary suggests quality.  I think it suggests the service is too expensive.

What advantages do you hold over other writers?

There are numerous advantages to working with me over other writers.  You are not just hiring a writer.  My background in recruiting, executive recruiting, and boutique recruitment consultancy ownership gives me an incomparable insight into the hiring methods and desires of leading employers on two continents.

When we have our consultation, you will have a unique opportunity to ask for expert advice about the best way to market yourself to an employer, what they really look for, how they score your interview, or perhaps why you’ve not been successful in your job search thus far.  An opportunity like this doesn’t present itself often.  To test that theory, try booking some time with an executive recruiter to discuss your career goals and ambitions. 

I am uniquely placed to understand the hiring practices of many leading employers ranging from leading multi-national corporations to innovative, forward thinking owner-managed businesses.  I understand what they look for in a resume, a job applicant, and an interview and I can apply this knowledge to your project giving you an unrivalled totality of service not readily available in the resume writing industry.  Unless the other writer can lay claim to having this same level of experience, I believe that job seekers who choose to partner with me will have a significant advantage.

I am often asked to re-write documents that have been “professionally done” and which never truly held much prospect of success. The experience I have cannot be acquired by taking an online course. 

Further, you may notice that other writers have taken my lead by copying my text, association partnerships, and pricing policy. Why work with an imitator when you can work with the originator?

Did you write resumes as a recruiter?

Yes, of course! 

According to a record of my detailed daily activity logs, I have reviewed over 40,000 resumes and conducted over 6,000 job-seeker interviews as a recruiter/executive recruiter with David Aplin Recruiting and Robert Half International, and as a boutique recruitment consultancy owner and professional resume writer.

In addition to partnering with the hiring company to advise on the development of detailed job specifications and actively source candidates, I was required to conduct detailed behavioral interviews with each applicant to uncover hidden skills, abilities, or potential problems with their application. 

I then used this information to develop a highly-engaging resume to impress even the most intransigent of hiring managers. Unlike an HR manager who merely responds to applications, or a typical career advisor dealing with low level/unskilled people and the habitually unemployed, I had to uncover skills, collect information, and develop documents that impressed hiring managers in order to make a placement.  I know of no other full-time resume writer with this background providing these services in this market!

For FAQ or further information about my pricing schedule or resume service offering, feel free to view the Shop tab above.