“More than half of candidates are eliminated from the online job search by applicant tracking systems”. (Anthony Gaenzle – Job Search Statistics You Should Know)
Many job seekers ask “right, what’s an applicant tracking system?”  An applicant tracking system (ATS) The ATS scans your resume and searches for specific keywords and phrases as they relate to the job qualifications. If the ATS doesn’t see the right ones on your resume, it might not even be seen by a Hiring Manager who, statistics tell us, spends an average of 6 seconds scanning a resume. That is why your resume needs to be well written.

You have some choices when it comes to creating your resume.  You can just wing it, find a template online and fill in the blanks, or have one written for you by a professional. Just winging it is failure from the start. A poorly written, unstructured resume may not even get fed into the ATS.  Resumes like you may have learned to write in school don’t cut it anymore.

Finding a template on line and filling in the blanks might work for you, providing you know the best key words to use for the job you want.  You have to be sure the grammar and punctuation are correct, that the font is professional and that you highlight your best qualities. Marketing yourself for a career isn’t something you do every day. You may have up to 10 or more jobs in your lifetime but writing resumes is still not something most people do regularly and crafting a marketing document to capture your own value isn’t something most people do well.

Your best choice is a professionally written resume. Finding the right person for the job should take a little time.  It’s OK to be picky, your career is in their hands.  Good resume writers offer a free phone call – and it should not be a sales pitch.  You should have questions and get answers.  Talk to several writers,  they should be upfront about their turn-around time and their fees; if they guarantee they will get you hired – hang up.  The one guarantee you should get is that they will work with you until you are satisfied. Most writers will ask for a deposit to reserve your time for your first meeting (after the free phone call); that’s fair, because time is money for them.

The writer should be firm about not misrepresenting you, should listen when you ask for changes, should give you a good reason for the wording they use, and respond in a timely manner to questions and concerns that come up during the process. In turn, you should be frank and open about the positions you are interested in and your skills, knowledge and experience.

Focus on the career you really want and let the writer craft your resume in that direction. Consider the cost as an investment in yourself.  Just like you might get a new outfit to wear for interviews because you want to present a professional appearance; a professionally crafted resume will make you 38% more likely to be contacted, 31% more likely to get an interview, and 40% more likely to land the job.