For the second year in a row, Mary Elizabeth Bradford has been appointed to serve as a Top Tier Finalist Judge for Career Director International’s 2018 TORI Awards.
The CDI Toast of the Resume Industry Awards are regarded as the gold standard for best content/visual resume representation the industry has to offer. Top resume writers from all over the world compete for first, second or third place in their respective categories ranging from Executive to Healthcare, Finance, Sales, and Entry-Level.
According to CDI President, Laura DeCarlo, “The Toast of the Resume Industry (TORI) award winners represent the epitome of excellence for job seekers to stand out from the competition for the 60-80% of all jobs that are found through networking and the hidden job market.” TORI award winners are considered to be the top resume writers in the resume writing/careers industry.
Check out past TORI winners here.
If you have never invested in your career via having your resume or LinkedIn profile professionally written, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Sometimes it takes going down the path of applying for positions and not landing any interviews – or having a trusted college or professional recruiter tell you in confidence that it is your resume that may be holding you back – for you realize there is an actual ROI. However, more and more professionals are avoiding those uncomfortable situations by being proactive and planning their job transitions well in advance. I receive a lot of calls asking me about the value of having a resume professionally written.
The bottom line is when you retain and invest in your career, your resume writer becomes part of your professional support system, and you might be surprised by the benefits that can deliver. A really good, experienced and certified writer can:
- Help you by properly diagnosing the core problems you might be experiencing in your job search and dispel any areas you might have misdiagnosed so you do not inadvertently sabotage yourself in your job search.
- Help you identify your core motivations and crystallize your focus and goals.
- Create marketing documents for you that will help you land more interviews that align with your goals.
- Help you by stepping up the quality of your presentation which will improve potential employers perception of you and increase your value in their eyes; in other words, make you more money.
- A good resume writer can be the strongest ally, professional sounding board, and positive support in your core circle when times of transition are most critical. A good resume writer’s baseline of perspective is very accurate.
- It goes without saying that a professionally written resume gives you a distinct edge and advantage when working to naturally rise above your competition.
A few circumstances that come to mind when you should seriously consider investing in a professional (certified) resume writer include:
- When you are applying for government positions and filling out “KSAs.”
- When you are changing industries or attempting to move up in position.
- When you have any challenges in your job search that are really concerning you.
- When you need an edge. Generally, investing in a professionally designed resume ends up paying for itself and actually yields a bigger payoff. In many cases, having your resume professionally written is also tax deductible (check with your CPA).
If you look at my case studies here – you will see that quite often my clients write me to share they gained huge surges in income, among other benefits. Of course, every case is unique, but the odds are in your favor that this is a wise business investment in most any case.
When would it not be appropriate to retain a certified resume writer? If you really and truly don’t know what you wish to do next. A career coach is probably a better investment as they can help you identify your core skills and map out a direction.
I love my assistant. She is incredibly sweet, supportive, intelligent, organized and experienced in all the technical areas that I know nothing about. I enjoy talking with her, reading her emails, I trust her and just working with her in general is an enjoyable experience.
This was one of my goals when I first knew I needed to hire an assistant – I wanted our working relationship to be easy, fun and productive. Being a sensitive person, I knew myself well enough to know that any other type of relationship in my “inner circle” would sap my energy and creativity. I remember in our interview I clearly communicated this to her.
So how does this relate to hiring a career coach or resume writer? It simply demonstrates that knowing your expectations and the way you like to work will help you determine the most harmonious partnership.
Here are several tips to help you choose the best resume writer and/or career coach for you:
1. Understand Why a Good Fit is Important
This is the person who is going to help market you, draw out your greatest strengths, guide you towards your ideal industry and position and possibly much more. You are putting a large part of your career success in their hands. You should like them and trust them. You need to have a good connection with this individual so they can help you.
2. Make Sure They Have Ample Experience
I am sure there are lots of great resume writers out there who are either new to the industry and/or not certified. However you are probably going to have better success overall by choosing a writer who has a good amount of experience (the more senior the executive the more experience you want your resume writer to have – working of course at your level).
3. Make Sure They Are Certified
You also will benefit from the peace of mind of knowing they are certified. Career Directors International and Career Masters Institute are my favorites. Their credentials are tough to obtain (a good thing), require renewal and these two associations are really good about keeping their members up on the latest trends and techniques.
4. Determine Their Style
You want to really make sure that you gel with their style. Are they super business-like and detail-oriented, or more friendly and informal? How does that fit with your style? With my site for example, you can tell right away I convey a highly personal, friendly and caring approach. I was very careful to design my site to communicate this to my clients and potential clients. Why? Because I want to attract and help professionals who are drawn to my personal style.
5. Do You Resonate With Them?
Here is a quick and easy way to discern whether you resonate with a resume writer/career coach (or not):
- Look at their website. Do you like how it looks? Are you drawn to and do you relate to the content? Are you excited about their products and services? Chances are, if they know how to market themselves that’s a great sign they will know how to market you!
- Talk to them. Does the conversation flow smoothly? Are they asking you a lot of questions in order to better understand your situation?
- If the call was an appointment, were they on time? Have they returned your emails promptly? Do you feel that they understand your situation and have offered at least a general overview of what they can do to help you? Do you feel excited, or drained and overwhelmed at the conversation’s end?
- If you get a funny feeling or sense it’s not going to be a fit, then quickly move on! It doesn’t necessarily mean that the resume writer/career coach is a bad one, but it could mean they are just not a good fit for you.
A Word About Money
I truly believe you should hire the very best you can afford. These professionals are paid to draw out and market your key skills and abilities and pull you forward in terms of everything career success means to you.
This is an investment in yourself; a serious one that helps you achieve wonderful results. Barring a few exceptions, this isn’t the time to go bargain basement shopping.
By keeping these simple points in mind, you can move forward with the resume writer/career coach of your choice with excitement and confidence!
You will be amazed at how your “partner” and “coach” will help you in more ways then you may have imagined during your job search. Having someone you like, trust and enjoy working with walking step-by-step beside you towards your goals will ease your burden, increase your confidence and motivation, and quicken your path to success.