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Frequently Asked Questions

Selecting a Professional Resume Service is an important decision in your career that should be approached with thoughtful consideration. As you weigh your options, you are likely to have many questions. Below you’ll find the answers to a few that are frequently asked.

Why should I use a professional resume writer?

Quite simply, to gain the edge over your competition! Most people have a difficult time viewing themselves, their careers, and their achievements objectively and are uncomfortable “tooting their own horn.”
A professional resume writer knows how to position you for maximum impact based on your background, experience, accomplishments, and unique situation. Multiple factors must be considered, including presentation of critical information and what information should be eliminated or diminished to avoid potential obstacles.
An experienced resume writer approaches the process from the critical perspective of a hiring manager and understands the subtle nuances involved in the selection or placement of a single word or phrase. A professional is also an expert in industry “buzzwords” and strong action verbs relevant and appropriate to your profession and career level.
There are countless questions and issues a professional resume writer addresses when developing a resume-writing strategy. There are no “one-size-fits-all” solutions when developing a high-impact, accomplishments-based executive resume! Do you know the answers to the following questions?:

Which section of your resume is considered the most important during the initial scan by a hiring manager, and why?
When should an objective be included on your resume?
What criteria determines if your resume should be developed in one, two, or three pages?
If your career encompasses more than 20 years, should all of your experience be included, or only the past 15 years?
Should your resume be written using a reverse chronological, functional, or combination format?
Why is a functional resume potentially viewed as a “red flag” to hiring managers?
What is the single area that career industry surveys have determined hiring managers tend to agree on regarding what they like to see on resumes?
What is the most effective method to incorporate core competencies?
What key information is often lacking in quantifiable accomplishments?
How should position functions and accomplishments be differentiated?
In what unique circumstances can personal information such as hobbies be included on a resume?
If a prospective employer requests salary information, what percentage of hiring managers are likely to consider the   applicant if this information is not provided?
What percentage of candidates fail to send a thank you letter following an interview?

Why choose Executive Resumes Atlanta?

Executive Resumes Atlanta has served the six figure executive market in metro Atlanta and the U.S. since 2001. We are experts in developing high performance resumes for CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CIOs, CTOs, Board Chairs, Presidents, Vice Presidents, Directors, and entrepreneurs. We serve executives in all fields: operations, corporate management, sales, manufacturing, business development, technology, marketing, finance, human resources, supply chain/logistics, etc.

Colleen Reyerson, Principal, is a Certified Master Resume Writer (CMRW), Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), and Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP) with 16+ years’ experience in the career and publishing industries.

As certified professionals, we deliver value-driven, custom-crafted resumes, never losing sight of the impact our products have on our clients’ lives, careers, and economic futures. Our operating principles are grounded in integrity, quality, service, and results. A long-standing A+ rated member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) bears out ERA’s high level of commitment (click here to view our BBB A+ Ratings Profile). Our success is directly linked to the quality of the products and services we provide.
Executive Resumes Atlanta is a member of Career Directors International (CDI), Career Thought Leaders (CTL), the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARWCC), and the National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA).

How are you qualified to write resumes?

An experienced writer in both the career and publishing industries, Colleen has more than 20 years of experience. She is a Certified Master Resume Writer, a credential granted by Career Directors International, and a Certified Professional Resume Writer from The Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC). Since 2001, Colleen has developed high-impact, results-focused resumes for numerous new and referral customers in the Atlanta metro area and across the U.S.

What criteria should I consider when researching professional resume services?

The search for a qualified, professional resume service can seem daunting. However, there are several “red flags” you can look out for that can help weed out the amateurs.

First, it’s important to find a career industry specialist certified by a professional organization. Avoid jack-of-all trades generalists such as print/copy or secretarial services that provide resumes as one of numerous, non-related menu items. These services may provide either typesetting or fill-in-the-blank “cookie cutter” resume templates. Data entry by an administrative professional untrained and inexperienced in resume writing is vastly different from strategic writing by a credentialed, experienced professional resume writer.

Another type of service to avoid is the low-end “resume mill.” Impersonal resume factories focused on quantity and a fast turnaround, these Internet-based companies often appear professional with sophisticated websites and credible verbiage. However, these services employ low-paid and often inexperienced subcontractors to mass-produce mediocre-to-poor template-based resumes.

Key Questions to Ask:

Does your business provide only resume development services?
Do you offer a free consultation or critique?
Who will write my resume (a credentialed professional and service owner or a contract/salaried writer)?
Is the writer a certified resume writer?
How many years of experience does he or she have?
Can I see sample resumes written by the writer who will develop my resume?
Will I be able to talk with the writer on the phone?
Is your company a member of the Better Business Bureau?

What is a Certified Master Resume Writer (CMRW)?

The Certified Master Resume Writer (CMRW) credential is a top-tier resume writing designation conferred by Career Directors International (CDI), awarded to experienced resume writers who demonstrate excellence in working at an expert level of resume writing. In order to receive this advanced credential, the recipient must possess an existing industry recognized resume certification (such as CPRW), and demonstrate superior knowledge and experience in resume writing and career development through an intensive examination, professional writing and development process to demonstrate industry knowledge and resume writing skill.

About Career Directors International (CDI)

Career Directors International (CDI) is a global professional educational and credentialing organization for career professionals. CDI is committed to raising the bar on resume writing and career excellence services offered to the public. A global Certification Committee representing the best-of-the-best in the industry directs all facets of the credentialing program. Career industry membership spans all disciplines and includes resume writers, career coaches and counselors, job developers, recruiters, outplacement specialists, HR practitioners and other specialists.

What is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)?

Certified Professional Resume Writers are the career industry’s leading experts in the development of strategic resumes and the CPRW credential is recognized as the industry standard of excellence. Offered exclusively through the Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARW/CC), certification is awarded to writers who have met industry standards for achieving client strategic goals and have mastered the craft of resume preparation, using the most current information and techniques.

A resume writer possessing the CPRW credential must pass multiple examinations that test the writer’s industry knowledge, comprehension of the resume writing field, command of grammar, punctuation, spelling and proofreading, and skills in strategic thinking on resume related issues. In addition, the writer is required to develop a resume and cover letter based upon background information provided by the PARW/CC on a hypothetical client to demonstrate the highest level of skill in resume writing.

What is the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches?

Established in 1990, PARW/CC is the nation’s oldest professional resume writing organization and premier professional association dedicated to elevating the skills, credibility, and visibility of specialists in the fields of resume writing, career coaching, and career counseling. PARW/CC created the career industry’s first certification program for resume professionals in 1991. Today, the Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) credential is the respected industry standard. As a member in good standing of the PARW/CC, Executive Resumes Atlanta pledges strict adherence to the PARW/CC Code of Ethics.

What is the National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA)?

Founded in 1997, The National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA) is the industry’s leading not-for-profit, member-driven organization dedicated to promoting the highest standards of excellence in resume writing through certification, education, and mentoring programs. NRWA members are committed to continual learning in the career services field, which equates to the utmost professionalism and the highest ethical standards.

What is a Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP)?

CEIPs have undertaken specialized training to prepare their clients for the critical employment interview. From possibly hundreds of resumes, an employer will select perhaps 10 or so of the best candidates for personal interviews. Candidates who have practiced their interview skills and are best prepared for this decisive meeting will be more confident, relaxed, and able to make a positive presentation that leads to the job offer.

How does the resume development process work?

STEP #1:   Initial Client Consultation & Analysis
We begin with a brief phone consultation to assess your current career situation, discuss your goals, and critique your existing resume. Colleen will outline the unique strategy she recommends for your project, suggest career products to aid in your job search, and provide you with a project quote.

STEP #2:   In-Depth Telephone Interview
Colleen will schedule a phone interview with you (generally lasting 90 minutes) in which she’ll review the key components of your background that are relevant to your current objectives. This will be a lively, interactive discussion, with Colleen asking pointed questions regarding your strengths, experience, and accomplishments.

STEP #3: Strategic Project Planning & Resume Development
Your resume draft is developed from scratch – not a template – and forwarded to you for review, usually within five to seven business days following your phone interview.

STEP #4:   Draft Review, Refinement & Completion
Once you’ve received your draft, Colleen will schedule a review session with you to discuss the draft and address any needed revisions. She’ll then email you the revised draft and, following your approval, send your finished career documents to you, along with tips on career marketing strategies and recommendations regarding future updates.

How long does it take to receive a draft of my resume?

You will receive the draft of your resume and cover letter for review in five to seven business days following the phone interview.

I need a resume right away. Can you help?

The typical turnaround time is seven to ten business days. Rush projects are not available.

Do I need to make an in-person appointment?

No. The entire process can be handled by phone and email.

What are your hours of operation?

9am to 5pm ET, Monday through Thursday; Friday 9am to 3pm.

How do you capture my information?

We employ a highly consultative information-mining process. During an in-depth phone interview, we ask leading questions and detailed follow-up queries to clarify and expand upon your responses. This exchange provides us with not only the facts (e.g., accomplishments, attributes, strengths) but also the context in which you performed and achieved results.

We are skilled at seeing both the “forest and the trees” to extract the “story” of your career. We’ve refined this process over many years, and it is highly effective in not only capturing your “big career picture” but also unearthing the “hidden gems” that enable us to create a distinctive personal brand that differentiates you from your competitors.

Creating strong achievements aligned with branding statements involves more than simply asking what you did; it also extracts the specifics of how and why you did it. This enables us to fully illustrate the overall environment and situation (e.g., trends, changes, or challenges in the company, industry, and/or market) that led to the successful result.

How long will the phone interview take?

The interview averages between 60 and 90 minutes. The time commitment is dictated your background (i.e. length of career and number of roles), current level, target role(s), and overall complexity of the project.

Where can I view client testimonials/referrals?

You can view client testimonials on Colleen’s profile on LinkedIn at LinkedIn/ColleenReyerson.

How are changes made to my resume once I receive the draft?

The process is up to you. Many clients provide a mark-up draft with tweaks, comments, etc., which may be combined with a scheduled call to address areas needing further discussion. Others prefer only a live conversation to discuss changes. Either way, in most cases a revision draft is provided within 24 hours depending on the extent of the changes (typically minimal).  The project is not finalized until the client approves/signs off.

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