Do You Need a Professional to Review Your Resume? These 4 Cues Say “Yes”
If you're looking for a job, you're going to need a resume. You don’t get hired without a resume—it’s that simple. What's not as simple is knowing if you should go it alone or hire a professional to make sure you outshine the competition.
Hiring an expert to overhaul your resume can be expensive, but since this document is your key to job success, you want to be certain it can open as many doors as possible. Here are four things to consider that will help you make this important decision. If you do decide you need professional help, check out our resume-writing services.
1. You’ve never heard of ATSs
If this acronym is foreign to you, it may be your first sign to consider hiring a professional to write your resume. In today's digital world, many companies use an applicant tracking system (ATS) that scans resumes for keywords and determines whether they are relevant enough to send to the hiring manager.
Since many large and mid-sized companies get more job applications than they can handle, they use these computer programs to narrow down the pool. With so many candidates, it doesn’t really matter if some good ones get thrown out with the bad ones.
The way to beat an ATS is to incorporate keywords into your resume, and you can roughly determine what the right ones are from the job description. Optimizing a resume with keywords is a must to help the ATS separate yours from hundreds of others and give you a fighting chance.
2. You don't know what's in and what's out
Times keep changing. If you haven't looked for a job in five years or longer, you probably don't know what to include in your resume and what to leave out.
For example, did you know it's no longer the practice to include a career objective at the top of your resume? Instead, you should write a professional summary—a three- to five-line paragraph that summarizes your most valuable achievements and qualifications—to highlight right away what you have to offer.
Make sure you're up to date on how resumes have evolved in recent years. It doesn’t matter how qualified you are if you’re presenting all your skills in a format that hasn’t been standard in years.
3. You have different career needs
Your resume may still reflect your past goals. If your career expectations have changed, dust off the outdated version and revise it accordingly. For example, if you previously enjoyed a position where you traveled two weeks a month but now you want the option of working from home, see to it that your resume makes this clear.
Once your resume is updated, it’s a good idea to continually revise it even when you’re not looking for a job. In this way, it’s easy to get it up to speed when you are looking again, and if an unexpected opportunity comes knocking, you’ll be ready.
4. You have a complex work history
If you jumped around from industry to industry and perhaps took a couple of years off work, you need to know how to best present these circumstances on your resume so that you remain a desirable hire.
It’s hard to know how to address a gap in your employment history, and if you’ve worked in various fields, it may not be easy to determine what you should include in your resume. What's important to share? What doesn't carry any weight? If you have a hard time deciding, you might want to have a professional take a look and give you their expert opinion.
If you're confident in your writing skills, know how to optimize with keywords, and are up to speed on what to include in and exclude from your resume, give it a go yourself. However, if you have questions or concerns about how to craft a powerful resume that will get you noticed, consider having a professional do the heavy lifting for you.
Even if you’re relatively proficient in writing resumes, hiring a professional can be a valuable investment that helps advance your career. Keep in mind that a professionally written resume boosts your chances of securing an interview by 31%, according to TheLadders.com. If you’re ready to explore your options, reach out to our resume experts!