Can You Write My Resumé?

Helen was surprised last month when she asked me to write her résumé. She thought she’d pay a flat rate, share a bit of information, close her eyes, and then have a résumé waiting the next week. After asking several questions about how her  résumé would be used, I told Helen that I couldn’t write her résumé for her, but would be happy to help her write her own résumé. I also shared that writing her résumé would help her with networking, interviewing and getting her next job or starting a business of her own.  
 
People are often shocked when they ask career professionals to write résumés for them. Career advisors, counselors, coaches and consultants rarely write résumés for clients. They help people write their own résumés so clients retain and build confidence; take time to explore their unique identity; and prepare for interviewing and employment. Although getting something on paper during a job search or transition is often of utmost importance, career professionals know that the person  behind the resume is what’s most important.  
 
Résumés are great tools to use to learn about you. They reveal your passion, motivation, dreams and direction. That’s part of the reason potential employers ask candidates to submit résumés. Creating a résumé builds self‐understanding and enables individuals to succinctly explain themselves to others. Résumés help identify what motivates you and where your motivation fits in your life, the world of  work, and beyond. Consider how much self‐knowing is missed when you ask someone else to write about your identity, strengths and accomplishments. 
 
Potential employers often become aware of second party résumés the minute they meet candidates by phone or in‐person. Personality comes out in a good résumé. If in face‐to‐face or phone interviews you don’t match the person on the résumé, red  flags go up immediately. Honesty is questioned, skill becomes an uncertainty, and you no longer quite stack up to other potential employees. I’ve heard employers say,  “Who was that guy? He certainly didn’t match his résumé.” “That wasn’t what I  expected.” “Wasn’t that a huge fabrication of her work?” Yes, résumés are designed to get an audience, but what good is an audience if you can’t perform? 
 
Don’t be shocked when a career professional can’t or won’t write your résumé for you. Career professionals are trained to help you find career answers within yourself. They help you capture your ideas and turn them into jobs and careers. If you have not examined what’s in your heart regarding a job or career; if you are unclear of who you are or what you want to bring to your employment, it’s mighty difficult for an employer to commit to hiring you. Let a career professional help you examine what you really want to do for the next 5 years of your life; which employers you would love to work for; the work environment that gives you positive chills when you think about it; and the type of work that feels so natural or inspires you so much that you never feel the time ticking by. Then you’ll be able to wow the next interviewer with a clear sense of direction and purpose. And your  resume? You’ll have a great résumé that reflects your direction, your passion and your strengths. A résumé written by you.