By The Good Jobs Team, 23 May 2016
A good resume is a powerful aid to getting a job, no doubt about it. And it's possible that using one of the many résumé-writing services available on the Australian web - just Google them - might get you a more effective résumé than the one you write yourself. But it's still something you should be wary about.
- A bought resume can give an impression you can't live up to
Unless you have an identical twin in the business, you're not going to be able to get your consultant to go to the interview, or to sit at your desk for the first few weeks. That means that if your spelling, your command of English and your degree of organisation is markedly worse in person than on (bought) paper, your new employer may be in for a nasty surprise. And that's not going to predispose them to keeping you on.
- A bought resume is fixed and inflexible
You can improve your chances in any application by at least tweaking your presentation so that it points up the things that this specific employer regards as particularly important. This is more difficult if you didn't write the original material. (And it gets a bit expensive if you get a new one every time.)
- A bought resume lacks the personal touch
You're trying to catch the eye of the interviewer, to forge a connection. This is never easy, but it's even more difficult if the connection that arises from the pages isn't yours.
- Your cover letter may not match your resume
Your cover letter must be customised to the particular job, and you're going to have to write it yourself. If there's a major difference in styles - and it's hard to avoid - it casts doubt on the whole application.
- There are a lot of sites out there to help you write your own
You're not entirely on your own. There's a lot of online material you can use, such as templates and help with formats.
All that said, if you do have so little confidence in your own communication skills that hiring a professional résumé-writer seems like a good idea, there are a few precautions to take.
- Check and proofread
It's bad enough to be marked down for your own mistakes; it's unforgivable to be knocked off the shortlist by other people's.
- Use the commissioned resume as a learning experience
You've got the format, you've got a model. How hard is it to turn out a version that's changed where it needs to be changed? Having a résumé done for you is something you should only need once.
While a well-written résumé is a plus, it's what's in it that really counts.