Questions for a Resume/LinkedIn Profile Writer, Answered

I explained these questions here. Now, here are my answers:

1. What type of business are you?
This is a career communications firm that provides executive and professional resume writing, LinkedIn profile writing, and related services. It is not a secretarial service, a typing service, or a virtual assistant business.

2. Are you certified by a reputable career industry organization?
I’m a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW). I received this credential from the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC) after passing a four-part timed exam that tests knowledge of employment topics and resume writing ability. (Read on to learn more about my LinkedIn and job search certifications in other answers below.)

3. Do you provide assistance with LinkedIn strategy and LinkedIn profiles?
Yes! This is a huge aspect of my business. I write LinkedIn profiles, provide live one-on-one LinkedIn training for clients, and have a series of LinkedIn training videos I’ve created. Many clients hire me for LinkedIn assistance only. I’m certified as a Nationally Certified Online Profile Expert (NCOPE), a designation that involves extensive LinkedIn training and a comprehensive exam (I passed with 100%). This is renewed annually after completion of training on the latest developments on LinkedIn from the past year.

4. Is this a side business? In other words, do you have a day job, or do you run your business full time?
This has been my full-time business since 2008. I’m not anyone’s employee.

5. Are you involved with any professional associations for career/resume services?
I’m a member of the four major industry groups: the National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA), Career Directors International (CDI), the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC), and the Career Thought Leaders Consortium (CTL). I’ve received extensive training through these organizations. I’m committed to the profession and stay up to date on trends in resumes, job searching, and LinkedIn.

6. Do you have at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field?
Yes. I have a bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in print journalism and a minor in English from the University of North Florida.

7. Do you provide help with job search strategy and interview preparation?
Yes. I provide one-on-one job search coaching, and periodically I provide a Job Search Strategy Session via conference call for small groups of clients (typically 2-6 clients). The session goes over job search DOs and DON’Ts, networking secrets, and any specific questions or challenges you might have. I’m a Certified Hidden Job Market Coach (CHJMC) through the Career Thought Leaders Consortium. Additionally, I have an outstanding coach with a recruiting background who can get you ready for the most demanding interviews.

8. How many years of business experience do you have? Do you have hiring experience?
I have more than a decade of professional writing and business experience, which includes working as an award-winning daily newspaper reporter, working as a manager at a marketing and public relations firm, and owning this business. Additionally, for more than six years I kept a seasoned executive recruiter on my team to provide a recruiter’s perspective, and I continue to benefit from everything I learned. My career advice has been featured by Forbes, Money Magazine, Fast Company, Monster.com, CareerBuilder, GlassDoor, Detroit Free Press, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and other major websites and media outlets.

8. Are there any “hidden charges” I should know about?
No. You will be aware of all fees before we start on your project; unlike some firms, I don’t charge exorbitant fees for simple things like file conversions.

9. Are you an accomplished and credentialed writer?
In 2013, a resume I wrote was nominated for an international resume writing award in the prestigious Toast of the Resume Industry (TORI) competition sponsored by Career Directors International. The competition draws entries from the top resume writers worldwide and is judged by distinguished industry veterans and past winners. My work has also been published in Resumes for Dummies, the 7th Ed. and 8th Ed. (Wiley, 2015 and 2019), Gallery of Best Cover Letters (JIST, 2012), and Modernize Your Job Search Letters (Emerald Career Publishing, 2016). As a journalist, I received eight awards and honors from regional and statewide contests for professional journalists over a three-year period.

10. How long, on average, do you spend on a resume for someone?
That depends on several variables, of course, but my projects typically range from 7.5 to 11 hours for the resume writing process alone (this isn’t including time for crafting LinkedIn content, cover letter, bio, etc.). The total time for a package can be more than 20 hours.

11. How much do you charge?
Typical investment levels in my strategic, high-ROI career packages vary based on services included and complexity. Each project is unique and entails a custom quote. You can learn more on my pricing page.

You’ll find that my rates reflect the sizable amount of time and effort that goes into my services, as well as the expertise I offer based on my experience and training, and the exceptional results that my clients routinely achieve. Keep in mind that a cheap resume isn’t cheap if you’re losing money every month because of being underpaid or on unemployment.

11. Who will handle my project?
You’ll be working with me (the owner) from start to finish, and you’ll get highly personalized attention. No outsourcing to India, no factory-style process.

12. Are there any hidden charges I should know about?
I won’t hit you with surprise fees for file conversions, and your investment will include up to five rounds of revisions (most companies include only two rounds). Only two clients (out of hundreds) in the past eight years have required more than five rounds of revisions.

13. Do you have expertise in incorporating keywords into resumes, and optimizing resumes for employers’ software?
Yes. I have gained extensive knowledge from working closely with a software company specializing in applicant tracking systems. I’ll explain to you why most resume writers’ claims about their “ATS-friendly” resumes are simply misleading.

14. How does the process work?
I’ll give you some homework, then we’ll have a detailed info gathering and strategy session (or series of calls), and then I’ll write the resume and make any revisions you want. After that, I’ll tackle the LinkedIn profile and any other documents in your package.

15. Will the content of my resume be original?
Every resume I write is a custom job, and I don’t use pre-written templates or resume writing software.

16. Do you specialize in my industry or profession?
I specialize in resume writing (and related services/products) for senior executives in most industries, as well as sales, healthcare, media, and the business side of technology. However, I’ve also helped clients land jobs in many other fields over the years, and I have written job-winning resumes for fields that I previously had no knowledge of. If your project is outside of my wheel house, I will let you know and refer you to a trusted industry colleague (ie., competitor).

17. Will you be there for me for the long haul?
Yes. As you begin looking for a job, I’d like us to stay in touch. You can always contact me with any questions along the way. After you land your new job, let me know, and I can help you with wording to update your LinkedIn profile. And then we can reconvene every year or two to update your resume with your latest accomplishments, keeping you ready at all times.

18. What do past clients have to say, and what results have they achieved?
I’ve helped clients land new positions, make more money, re-enter the workforce, and change careers. You can read recommendations that clients have written for me on my LinkedIn profile (you’ll need to be logged into your account), and I’ve also included most of these recommendations from LinkedIn on my website, too.

Read our explanations of these questions and what to look for in a resume writing service.