Two Ways to Do Your Resume: DIY & HAE

Boiled down to its simplest level, you have two ways to create or revamp your resume: Do It Yourself (DIY) or Hire An Expert (HAE). Since my profession is resume writing, you might guess I’m not going to tell you you should always do your own resume, but I will say that sometimes “it depends.”

Having made my disclosure about possibly not being 100% impartial, I’ll still do my best to give an unbiased view of the two ways you can choose to do your resume.

Write Your Own Resume (DIY)

In some ways, you know yourself better than anyone else does. That means that, theoretically at least, you’re the one who should be most familiar with your strengths, skills, achievements and so on–the elements that will form the basis of your resume.

Here are a few questions you should be able to say yes to if you plan to write your own resume:

  1. Do I have strong writing skills?
  2. Do I have a clear target or direction I want to pursue?
  3. Can I take an objective look at my current situation and identify what I need to do to move forward?
  4. Am I up on how things are done these days? If not, can I spend the time to get up to date on them?
  5. Do I know what to do next after I get my resume finished?

Hire An Expert Resume Writer (HAE)

For some people, hiring experts to do things they don’t have the expertise, time or interest to do for themselves is a no-brainer. They consider it a good investment in themselves and don’t need other reasons.

However, you might be one of those job seekers who either believe you should do your own resume or feel you need to save your money for other (“more important”) purposes. That’s fine, if it works for you. On the other hand, you might want to think about one or more of the following:

  1. You might be very good at what you do for a living–whether it’s sales, operations, or some other role–and know what it takes to be successful in your job. However, do you know how to communicate your value in that role to potential employers?
    Knowing how to DO the work and knowing how to communicate your value in doing it are two different things.
  2. Employment and job search trends seem to change constantly. Keeping as up to date on them as possible is a critical element of a successful job search. That means it’s critical for your resume.
    For instance, how much do you know about Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)? Do your resume and your LinkedIn profile work well together?
  3. Well-qualified resume writers can bring an emotional distance that allows them to see important aspects of your situation that you might be too close to. That doesn’t mean they’re disinterested in the outcome–far from it; but they can look at the situation objectively.

How Do You Choose Which Way to Do Your Resume?

No answer is perfect for the entire population, and ultimately no one can decide the answer to this question but you. You’re the one who has the most at stake.

You can, however, consult with people whose opinion you value and give some consideration to their input. In addition, you can do some research into various options and try to evaluate them with regard to your needs and goals.

If you choose to hire an expert resume writer, just make sure the person is reputable and not a fly-by-night operation or a resume mill that churns out $50-$100 resumes on an assembly line. I don’t know any professional resume writer who will come close to doing that!

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