Yesterday I happened to catch a conversation between a few recruiters on Twitter, several of whom were mocking the idea of working with a professional resume writer. When I asked one person why he was so against my profession, he said that he had seen people burned by working with bad writers.
I can believe that. We often get new clients who have already paid for a ‘professional resume’ and who now need our help to salvage the mess. But my question to those recruiters is this: What makes resume writing different from any other profession?
If a bad car mechanic messes up a repair job do you decide that from now on, you’ll do all your car repairs? If a lazy doctor misses your diagnosis, do you advise all your friends never to see a doctor again and just do their own surgeries?
A few weeks ago, I hired a plumber to fix a broken toilet in my house and he wound up making it worse. Then he wouldn’t return my husband’s calls to come back and fix it! Eventually we called a different firm and paid extra to fix the mess he’d made. Does this one bad plumber mean I should take plumbing courses and just do it myself in future?
Of course not. But there is something about my profession that really seems to bug some people and I genuinely don’t get it. I have a set of skills that I am really proud to use on behalf of other people. I have always been a good writer but I\’m not particularly imaginative, so writing novels or screenplays was never going to be for me. I have 15 years of senior-level HR experience, so I’ve hired at all levels of companies across a number of industries. And I’ve always been good at taking a massive amount of information and seeing clear themes. That combination of skills makes me exceptionally good at what I do, and over the years I have helped thousands of people to find better jobs and make more money than they would have been able to do without me. Many recruiters refer their candidates to my company before submitting them for vacancies. Most of my clients refer friends and colleagues to me. And if anyone is ever unsatisfied with my work, I work for free until they are happy.
Yes there are some bad resume writers out there just like there are bad plumbers and bad doctors and bad web designers and even – gasp! – bad recruiters. But there are many exceptional and dedicated professionals who help people every day and some recognition of that reality would be nice.