Q: What if my professionally written resume doesn't sound authentic?
“I'd like to hire a professional to write my resume, but I'm worried it won't sound genuine if a stranger writes it. How do I know it will still sound like me?” — Isabella N.
This is a fair question, Isabella. It's true — it's important that your resume is an authentic reflection of your skills, experience, and personality; it's important to come across as authentic in all aspects of the job search, actually. In a recent study conducted by job site Resume-Library and TopInterview, our sister site, “authenticity” was cited as the second-most attractive personality trait to employers when conducting interviews. But demonstrating that “genuine you” on paper can be challenging, and it's understandable that the prospect of a “stranger” writing your resume could be a cause for concern. After all, no one wants their resume to sound like boilerplate text.
The good news is that job seekers don't have to worry. Professional resume writers are trained in a lot of things. Of course, there is their expert knowledge of hiring practices, proper resume formats, and the types of information employers and hiring managers really want to see. However, they are also skilled in working with you and your unique career story. We often say that there is no one-size-fits-all resume, and our professional writers see it that way too; they are just as focused on putting “you” on a page as they are in getting you past the applicant tracking system (ATS).
As we've conducted our resume makeover contest, one of our past winners had the same concern. Andrew explained to us why he was discouraged during the job search, “Admittedly, I was worried about the authenticity of the product. I was afraid that I was going to read a draft and find a bunch of buzzwords that are really great, but don't actually describe me.” We were happy to hear that, upon receiving his first draft, Andrew's fears were dissipated:
“Seeing the finished product, it still feels like me on a page — just me with a haircut and a new suit.”'
Help your writer be true to you
That said, it will be difficult for your writer to keep your resume authentic if they are flying blind. To help them craft a unique resume that accurately reflects you, I recommend doing a few things.
When you sign up to work with a TopResume professional writer, you'll receive a questionnaire. I strongly suggest taking a little extra time upfront to fill this out as thoroughly as you can. In addition to providing a copy of your current resume, include links to relevant social media profiles — your LinkedIn profile summary or the content you share on your Twitter profile can give a writer a better sense of who you are. Feel free to include excerpts from a recent performance review or a feedback session with your boss that offers details on your greatest strengths in the workplace, especially if it mentions specific soft skills or personality traits that make you a good fit for your line of work. I also recommend providing a few sample job descriptions that reflect the type of dream job you want, plus a short blurb explaining why you're interested and qualified to perform it — these details will help your writer target your specific goals.
Of course, there's nothing like one-on-one communication. If you think of something new you'd like to share with your writer, you can email it when you provide feedback on your initial draft. Or, if you want to go the extra mile, you can opt for a phone consultation with your writer for a small fee before the writing process begins. Just select the option in your questionnaire and you'll be able to spend 30 minutes discussing your background and goals with your writer to help them best capture “you” on the page; even a short chat will abate some concerns because you'll get a chance to express yourself and share your own story.
Striking the right balance
Keep in mind that there are still some resume writing guidelines that always need to be followed; a bright pink resume may be true to you, but it won't please an employer or hiring manager. Don't be surprised, therefore, if your first draft includes language that seems foreign to you. Trust that your writer is carefully striking the right balance between conveying your authenticity and adhering to standard resume best practices.
Professional resume writers aren't just trained to write resumes — they're trained to interpret your employment history and pick the best parts of you. If you provide the right information, your new resume will tell your career story in a way that is both authentic to you and will impress employers and hiring managers.
Now you know that a resume professional can keep your document true to you. Ready to take the plunge? Click here to learn more about working with a resume-writing expert.
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