My inspiration for writing about resumé services came from a Facebook post by a job-seeking friend looking for a recommendation. Although I think this is a good start – getting recommendations – in securing such a service, I asked him if he thought that he might be the best person to write his own resumé. After all, he knows the product best and he is a pretty smart and articulate guy. His response was that he agreed, but wanted the extra polish that came with an expert preparing his resumé.

I’ve always written my own resumé, but I am not against resumé services at all. I’ve heard some horror stories, but I know that like in every profession, such as public relations, there are good and bad apples. That being said, here are some tips on finding a good resumé service, along with some reputable resources that can assist you:

1. Use a certified resumé writer. There are several certifications but The National Resumé Writers’ Association is the most prestigious. A certified resumé professional with a reputable organization can help ensure that the person you hire to write your resumé will give you high-quality service and a top-notch resumé.

2. Interview several writers.
 Ask the person you speak with if they are the one you will actually work with, or if they will give the assignment to a subcontractor. You want to work closely with the actual writer, know their credentials and if their writing and working style fits you.

3. Will the writer revise your existing resumé or develop it from scratch? It’s vital that the writer understands your skill set and work background, and offers a sound strategy to develop the right resumé to help you meet your goals.

4. Ensure you understand the process for gathering information for the resumé. A good resumé professional will not just use a form you’ve filled out – they will take the time to speak with you to get additional information and use that to develop a strong resumé that not just lists job responsibilities, but sells your accomplishments.

5. The writer should be open to your edits and feedback.  There is no way someone can provide you with a perfect resumé on the first shot – even minor changes and edits will be needed.

Other important questions to ask are the expected turnaround time (one to two weeks is standard), other services the writer offers (such as career coaching, job transition, cover letters and interview training), and cost.

For more good information on resumé services, here are some additional resources:

The National Resumé Writers’ Association

The Professional Association of Resumé Writers & Career Coaches

And good luck!