Resume SOS: Do It Yourself vs Professional Resume Writer

Embarking on a job search whether it is out of necessity or desire for change can be complicated and confusing. A quick internet search of the keywords ‘resume’ or ‘job search’ results in millions of hits offering advice, tips, information and services which just makes the entire process more overwhelming and frustrating than it already is. For the jobseeker, information overload is a real possibility but how does one determine whether the information is accurate or not?

One of the biggest decisions in the job search process is whether there is a real benefit to hiring a professional Resume Writer or can the jobseeker pull it off as a DIY – do it yourself?  If you are at this crossroads, consider this:

The Fickle Applicant Tracking System Software (ATS)

According to industry statistics, 75% – 90% of candidate resumes don’t make it past the Applicant Tracking System screening process leaving the resumes to die a long torturous death in the bowels of the ATS software.  This unforgiving software is used by job boards and corporations to streamline and automate the hiring processes. It works by filtering suitable candidate resumes based on pre-determined criteria to find the best match for a job posting. The criteria may include geographic location, specific skills, education or key words.  It’s a modern day convenience for corporations because it reduces the hundreds of resumes that will have to be read and shortlisted however like all technology-  it is not perfect. Unfortunately, the software can either make or break the jobseeker’s efforts. Due to the nature and sensitivity of the software, many suitable candidates never get the chance to speak to the HR Manager because the candidate’s resume was deemed unsuitable and did not progress through the ATS although their qualifications were a good fit.

The Do It Yourself Resume Writer

Like home repairs, some individuals have the ability to create their own resume while others not so much. However, even a jobseeker with great writing abilities can miss the mark in accommodating the ATS and don’t get the results they were expecting.  Despite the best intention of the do-it-yourselfer, an indication that your resume is not progressing through the ATS into the hands of a hiring manager is a lack of response after applying tonumerous matched job postings. There are a variety of reasons why the ATS has rejected your resume including:

  • Lack of relevant job description phrases
  • Lack of targeted keyword optimization
  • Incompatible structure or format
  • Incompatible font style
  • Unrecognizable section headings
  • Low ranking as a suitable match
  • Incompatible file format
  • Use of graphics, sidebars or tables.

The Pro: The Trained Resume Writer

The demand for professionally trained Resume Writers has been steadily increasing over the last few years due to complexities of the Applicant Tracking System. Many jobseekers recognize that their best shot at conquering the ATS and getting their resume in the hands of the HR department is to hire a professional to help. Likewise, another valid reason to pay for resume services is the reality that resumes have evolved considerably over the last decade in relation to format, content requirements, the scannability factor and heightened expectations.

A professional Resume Writer is trained in all aspects of resume creation including:  

  • Superior wordsmithing abilities coupled with exceptional skills in spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Able to identify and highlight client’s achievements, accomplishments and qualifications.
  • Highly skilled in translating the client’s information into quality, polished, impactful statements.
  • Educated in appropriate resume formatting to accommodate the ATS.
  • Strategies to deal with unique employment scenarios.
  • Capable of identifying and showcasing skills sets and transferable skills.
  • Knowledgeable in creating resumes for career transitions, work history and skills gaps and return to work.
  • Up-to-date on the latest resume writing techniques and labour market trends.
  • Talented in resume branding strategies to attract potential employers.
  • Provide an objective eye and relay client’s information clearly and concisely in the best presentation.

Kudos to the DIY jobseeker with the talent and know-how to create their own resume and it has proved to be effective against the idiosyncrasies of the applicant tracking system. Equally, kudos to the jobseeker who recognizes that resume writing is not their forte and seeks out the services of a professional Resume Writer.  Your resume should be an effective component of your job search strategy with the end result to attract the attention of a prospective employer; is your resume working for you or against?

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