How to Choose an Executive Resume Writer

In this post we uncover some of the most common questions about hiring an executive resume writer, including:

  • Benefits of Using an Executive Resume Writer
  • When You Should Hire an Executive Resume Writer
  • What to Look for in an Executive Resume Writer

Benefits of Using an Executive Resume Writer

An executive resume writer can be a major asset to professionals looking to move up in their career. As you aim for higher level roles, the job search landscape grows more competitive – making your resume an increasingly valuable tool in setting you apart. There might be hundreds of people with the same experience as you, but a well-written resume can effectively highlight your unique value where it counts – separating you from the masses.

Bring Focus and Clarity to Your Resume

Research shows that hiring managers spend about six seconds looking at your resume – a lot less time than it took you to make it. This means that irrelevant information should be avoided at all costs in order to quickly capture a hiring manager’s attention. However, it can be difficult to discern what’s irrelevant and what should be front and center. An executive resume writer understands these constraints and works to make sure the right information is where it needs to be to get you noticed.

Lend Impact to Your Bullet Points

The inexperienced resume writer will attempt to overcome a lack of quality descriptions with sheer quantity. However, every bullet point on your resume serves a distinct purpose.  In order to convey your past skills and experiences with the most impact, your bullets must be written strategically. Executive resume writers understand what makes for well-structured bullet descriptions, and know how to utilize the right grammar and verbiage to effectively communicate your experience. They also take the guesswork out of how much to include in your descriptions, striking the right balance between providing enough detail without going overboard.

Craft a Clear Career Narrative

A strong resume requires more than well-crafted bullet points. The sum of your resume should reflect a clear career narrative that frames your professional history seamlessly. Executive resume writers are experts at shaping your various experiences into a cohesive story that aligns your skills and qualifications with the job opportunity.

Find the Right Format

Almost as important as the content inside your resume is how you format it. There are various formats a resume can take, but it’s important to use one that’s been vetted by hiring managers. For example, it’s likely you’ve read about the benefits of a functional resume format or been encouraged to consider using one. Put simply – don’t. A functional resume hinders recruiters from effectively following your career path and forces them to piece together the details – costing them time they don’t have. Instead of wondering which format your resume should take – and potentially using the wrong one – an executive resume writer can skillfully format it according to what hiring managers want to see, and package it in a way that helps them quickly grasp your unique value.

Beat the ATS

75% of job applications are rejected before they’re ever seen by human eyes. This is because it must pass through an Applicant Tracking System – a type of software used by employers during the hiring process to collect, sort, and scan the hundreds of job applications they receive. It’s an electronic gatekeeper of sorts, and it scans your resume for specific keywords to determine whether you’re a match for the job. Executive resume writers are skilled with the nuances required to create a resume that will pass through an ATS while still appealing to the humans who will eventually read it.

Save Time

Searching for a new job can feel like a full-time job in itself – and if you’re currently unemployed, expediting the process of landing a new role is paramount. Hiring an executive resume writer can save you countless hours spent trying to craft the perfect resume, and fast tracks the time it takes to get you through the hiring manager’s door.

Propel Your Career Forward

No matter what kind of career move you’re making, having the objective input of an expert can help you articulate your career history in a powerful way that catches the attention of hiring managers. Hiring an executive resume writer is an investment that can pay dividends in the long run by shortening the time it takes to land that next role, while positioning yourself as a confident leader who knows how to tell their career story with impact and insight. Take the time to research your options and find the best fit for you and your career goals.

When Should You Hire an Executive Resume Writer?

If you’re embarking on a career transition or going after a new role as an executive, how much work does your resume really need? Can you tweak it yourself to include your most recent experience, or is a more involved rewrite in order? If you fall into one of the categories below, you will likely benefit from the help of an executive resume writer. 

You want to progress to a more senior level role

If you’re looking to transition to a more senior level role, writing your resume will require a different level of strategy and skill than writing a standard professional resume. Executives resumes should reflect the depth and unique strengths of one’s experience. As such, an executive resume writer offers more than just great writing and editing skills – they understand the strategy behind what separates a junior level resume from an executive level resume, and can help turn yours into a strategic marketing document that positions you for more competitive roles.

You’re applying, but not getting interviews

A generic resume might land you an interview for a lower-level position, but that strategy is unlikely to work for managers or executives. If your job search isn’t yielding interviews, it may be because your resume lacks focus and a true demonstration of relevant achievements. Senior level executives are often hired for a specific reason, whether it’s to help a company enter a new market, create a new product, build a successful team, or embark on high-stakes initiative. An expert executive resume writer can sharpen your resume’s focus to effectively align it with the specific roles you’re targeting, subsequently increasing your odds of landing an interview.

You haven’t job searched or updated your resume in years

If you haven’t sought a new employment opportunity for five, 10 or even 20 years, chances are you haven’t updated your resume in a while. In an ever-evolving marketplace, trends and professional standards continue to change, and the job search process is no different. Utilizing outdated resume formats and techniques can be viewed as a red flag by hiring managers.

What to Look for in an Executive Resume Writer

Finding an executive resume writer who fits your specific situation is critical to getting the best return on your investment. There are a seemingly limitless number of resume writers available – knowing what to look for will help you identify a strong match.

Verify Their Background

Begin by examining a potential resume writer’s background and experience. Investigate the following questions to qualify their capabilities:

  • How many years have they been in business? Anyone can put up a website and call themselves an expert, but a good indicator of their level of mastery is the length of time they’ve spent cultivating their craft. You wouldn’t hire a novice to build your home, repair your car, or do your taxes – the same applies to hiring a resume writer. Find someone who’s been in business long enough to understand the elements of a successful resume, as well as the trends in the industry.
  • Have they worked at a recruiting firm and/or do they have first-hand experience as a corporate recruiter? While there are plenty of reliable, certified executive resume writers who don’t have a background in recruiting, those who do have one bring a unique and valuable viewpoint. They’ve seen and experienced first-hand how resumes flow through the hiring process. Finding an executive resume writer with experience navigating the hiring process can give you an important edge.
  • Do they have an online presence? Are there reviews and recommendations from past clients? Are they engaged on social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter? Can you find any articles, interviews, or other media in which they’ve been featured? Do they publish valuable thought leadership and advice on their website and/or personal blogs? Truly credible resume writers should have ample evidence of their expertise available online.

Look for Professional Credentials

There are numerous professional organizations that review, evaluate, and test executive resume writers to become certified. Resume writers don’t need to have multiple certifications, but they should hold one of the following:

  • ACRW (Academy Certified Resume Writer)
  • MRW (Master Resume Writer)
  • CERW (Certified Expert Resume Writer)
  • CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer)
  • NCRW (Nationally Certified Resume Writer)
  • CARW (Certified Advanced Resume Writer)

To become certified through these nationally recognized organizations, professionals must apply for credit, meet experience requirements, pass the exam, and maintain their certification through ongoing education. Finding certified resume writers is another way to gauge credibility.

Learn Their Process

Get clear on the resume development process for the writers you consider. Some will have you fill out a questionnaire and create your resume from that document. Others hold one-on-one phone calls to gather information and develop your resume verbally. Some will meet with you in person. Decide what method aligns best with your learning style and how collaborative you want it to be.

The same goes for the editing process – some writers limit edits to a specific number of revisions. Others will charge a fee to make any changes, while some may accept as many edits as necessary until you’re satisfied. While more isn’t always better, knowing what the expectations are upfront is helpful.

Consider asking the following questions to make an informed decision:

  • Will you work with a writer one-on-one from start to finish? How often will you be able to communicate with them?
  • Does the process take place in person, over the phone, or over email – or a combination? How often will they be available to speak with you to sort through any questions or issues?
  • Will they use your current resume as a baseline and make revisions as necessary, or will they create a new resume from scratch?
  • What is the turnaround time?
  • Is the person who gathers information about your career goals and history the same person who will write your resume?
  • How many rounds of revisions are included, if any? Will there be a fee for any revisions?

Study Their Samples

Viewing a resume writer’s past work samples is a straightforward way to gauge their skills. If you can’t find any on their website, simply ask for them. Are you impressed with what you see? If so, that’s a good indication that you’ll be satisfied with their work.


Looking for more executive resume writing guidance?

At ResumeSpice, we can write your resume from scratch, or simply help you improve yours through tips and advice, including resume description examples. If you’re ready to learn more, call 832.930.7378 or contact us online.