Help for the Time-Pressed Job Seeker
Do you NEED a very quick resume turnaround?
Please understand that the question above says “NEED,” not “want.”
Of course you’d like your resume ASAP–but do you need it ASAP, even if that means getting an inferior product? Or, do you have the patience to wait for a quality product?
My usual process takes at least three weeks, during which we work closely together. You walk away with clarity on your personal brand and accomplishments that set you apart, armed with cutting-edge insight into the secrets of modern job search. I create a stellar resume and LinkedIn profile for you as part of the process.
If you need a resume ready in less than a week for an application deadline, we won’t be a fit, unfortunately.
So, what are your alternatives when you need your resume or other documents FAST?
If you have a little time — referrals
I can refer you to a friend/colleague if you have at least 4-5 business days of lead time before your deadline. I know many other resume writers and career communications specialists who I trust, and I’m happy to refer you if you contact me.
If you need it ASAP — yikes!
If you need a resume turned around REALLY fast (in two business days, for example), your options are limited, and there aren’t very many good options. Here are the best options.
Find a typing/secretarial service (many of them call themselves resume services).
Unfortunately, there are none that I can recommend, so you’re on your own here.
You will be able to identify these types of businesses by their approach (low prices, quick turnaround, no certifications, local office).
Please understand that these types of companies rarely produce something better than what the average job seeker can produce on his or her own. Rather than paying them money, you might be able to save your money and do it yourself with the help of a good book.
A typing service service might be right for you if you have a very tiny budget, and any of the following apply:
a) You have limited word processing skills or very limited writing abilities.
b). You don’t even know what a resume looks like and are completely overwhelmed at the thought of creating one.
c). You absolutely don’t want to do this yourself, and you want to meet with someone in person who can help you–even if they aren’t a noted expert in the field of resume writing.
If one of the above situations applies to you, AND your budget is very tiny, going to a typing service might make sense.
Use a resume mill that produces good work.
I normally would never recommend this, but if you’re in a crunch, it might be one of your best options.
A resume mill is a web-based resume writing company that does a high volume of business. If you do a Google search for resume writing, you’ll probably find some of these companies very quickly. They are national companies that rely on a network of low-paid freelance writers.
The quality is often very poor, but there are a couple that do decent work (contact me for a recommendation!).
Bear in mind that one of the downsides of working with a factory-style operation is that you will not have a partner in your job search. Nobody will give you training or coaching or be there to answer your questions about post-interview follow-up etiquette after your interview. It’s a factory, and all you’re getting is a product. When you come back for a resume update three years later, you won’t be able to work with the same writer.
For a rush service from a resume mill that produces quality resumes, expect to pay $400 to $600+. Keep in mind that most of that money is not going to the writer, unfortunately.
Do it yourself (DIY) and save!
This is probably my favorite option for the time-pressed job seeker.Now, don’t get me wrong–I think that clients benefit tremendously from professional resume writing. There are numerous benefits to working with a professional who has the proper expertise.
However, when you’re on a ridiculously tight deadline, working with a recognized expert isn’t really on the table as an option.
There are some good resume writers who might be able to do a three-day turnaround (for example), but how long will it take you to locate one and hire him or her? And it’s a crap shoot–it all depends on the the writer’s schedule. So the DIY option can make more sense in these situations.
Here’s how to evaluate whether you can do it yourself:
1. You need a clear job target (if your deadline is super-tight, I’m guessing you have this step covered!) Of course, you need a clear target to work with a pro, too.
2. You need to have good writing skills with regard to grammar, composition, and punctuation.
3. You need to be willing to invest the time needed to learn about the best practices in modern resume development, and to craft a strong document. It takes most professionals 3 to 8+ hours to write an excellent resume, so the time it will take you is probably double or triple that time since you have a learning curve.
Don’t try to write your own resume without a good book that explains the current best practices in resume writing and features sample resumes.
The best resume book for you when you’re on a tight deadline is a book you can actually get your hands on ASAP. You don’t have time to wait for a book from Amazon to arrive. So you will need to make do with the selection available at your local Barnes & Noble.
Please don’t waste time at the library, where you might not find the most current books.
Once at Barnes & Noble, take a look at the selection of resume writing books and select the one that you feel the most comfortable with. This will vary from person to person depending on how much reading you can tolerate, and what kind of learning style you have.
The books at Barnes & Noble are pretty much guaranteed to be published within the last six years. The newer, the better. Just about any book you find there should be helpful, since they don’t have the huge selection that’s available online–only the top sellers are kept in stock.
After studying your resume book, develop your new resume. Be sure to proofread it carefully (hint: read it out loud!) and show it to a friend or family member. You can also submit it to an editing service like Kibin.com.
- Reminder for the future: Keep your resume up to date by updating it every six months; that way, you won’t find yourself in a jam like this again!