Is It Cheating for Someone Else to Write My Resume?

Question: Should I write my own resume or hire someone else to do it for me?  

Back in the day, I held the belief that it was important for clients to write their own resumes. After all, if they learned to do it once, then they would hopefully be self sufficient in the future. And who better to understand the nuances of the work except the person who did the work, right? 

But I have changed my mind.  After some vigorous debates with a previous colleague of my mine, I came to see that there can be value in having someone else help with the resume writing process for several reasons. 

It's Hard to Talk About Yourself:  If you're like many other people, you might find it awkward to talk about yourself.  You are good at your job, but trying to put it down on paper seems daunting. What is important to include?  What is too much information versus not enough information? 

I've met many people who are excellent writers, but they get completely lost when writing their own resume. One of my favorite parts of being a resume writer is the first conversation that I have with a client when I get to ask questions about their past work experience and accomplishments. So many times, clients remark that this conversation helped them to see their strengths and skills in a different light. And often this knowledge bought the clients a sense of empowerment that carried through in the rest of their job search!

Resume Best Practices Change with Time:  From when I started in the career development field about 10 years ago to now, the conventional wisdom on how to professionally write a resume has changed. As a job seeker, there is no shortage of information out there on resume writing, some of it accurate and some of it, terrible!  When you want to find work as soon as possible, the faster way might be to work with a professional whose job it is to make sure they are up-to-date on current resume trends.  And be careful with the advice that you get from family and friends. What worked several years ago for someone else in a certain industry may not be applicable to your situation anymore. 

It's Tough to Downsize: When it is your resume, everything on your resume seems important.  It is not unusual for me to see resumes that are creeping past 2 or 3 pages. However, often less is more. When applying for work, your resume needs to be focused and targeted for the job you are applying for.  Having someone else help you make those strategic decisions on what to keep in and what to leave out can help save you a ton of time and deliberation! 

Outsourcing in the Way of the Future: When I first started my business, I spent hours designing my logo. Now as I have gotten busier, I realize that was not the best use of my time. When another project came up that required some graphic design skills, I made the decision to outsource the work instead of trying to muddle my way through.  Though I ultimately approved the final project, it was so nice to focus my energy on other work that I needed to get done. Nobody expects a business owner to be able to do everything. Why would we expect the same of a job seeker? 

In the end, you are responsible for the accuracy of the information contained in your resume.  But if writing a resume is something that makes you want to pull out your hair, you may be better served by putting your energy into other aspects of your job search while letting someone else figure out the best way to make you shine through your resume.  

If you are the person struggling to write your resume, consider working with Career Story.  We write content-rich and visually-appealing resumes that get noticed!  Connect with us at 604-614-3155 or for more information.