Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2023; it has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Get an in-depth look into what you can expect from the best online resume services to ensure you’re getting the most out of your job search.
After a lengthy research process, you’ve finally settled on “the one” among the many online resume services out there. It fits all your criteria, offers the features you need, and looks like it’ll be a great partner in your job search. Now, you want to go in with your eyes open and prepared for what the experience will be like. After all, this is a critical part of your job search.
To empower you to set the right expectations, here’s an overview of what to expect when you work with the best online resume services.
Not sure you need to update your resume? Submit it for a free resume critique from a Let’s Eat, Grandma senior writer!
Mileage may vary
Before getting into the details, it’s worth noting that while most top-tier online resume services have similar core steps and methods, the processes of each service may vary. Major factors in this variance are often the price point of the service and the level of expertise of the resume writers involved.
For instance, some services are more automated than others. Usually, the best online resume services are more collaborative, requiring a heavier dose of customer input to craft the perfect resume.
As a result, you should always confirm details of the process with the service you’ve chosen, as each one may have its own nuances that you should be aware of.
With that said, here’s a general overview of the approach you can expect from the best online resume services.
Initial intake questionnaire
After you sign up to have your resume written, most services will start off with an intake questionnaire.
This can range from a simple overview of information, such as your name and current job title, to more detailed assessments, such as a summary of your academic background, work experience, and career goals. The exact specifics may depend on your chosen service; some may have shorter surveys, while others may require more comprehensive ones.
Along with that, you may also be asked to upload other materials related to your career, such as:
- A copy of your existing/old resume
- A copy of your existing/old cover letter
- Performance reviews
- Any additional documents that may help in creating a more accurate representation of your professional background (such as awards, certificates, or other recognition)
At first, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of requested information. However, it’s important to remember that the more details you provide, the better your resume will turn out. Providing sufficient information upfront can save time and effort in the long run – both yours and that of your writer. Not to mention, it’s the only way to ensure that your resume captures the full scope of your professional experience and accomplishments.
Note: With highly collaborative services, such as our Executive Concierge Service, intake questionnaires are often very high-level since you’ll have multiple meetings, email conversations, and rounds of revision with your writer to flesh out the details.
Phone or video consultation
Once your intake questionnaire is submitted, you’ll be paired with a professional writer. This person will be your point of contact for the duration of the writing process, and it’s important to establish an open line of communication with them from the start.
While a 1:1 consultation isn’t a standard for all services, some of the best resume writing services offer it as part of their process. We offer this as part of all our packages at Let’s Eat, Grandma – because we believe these conversations often reveal more than a questionnaire ever could.
This consultation is an opportunity for you to get to know your writer as a person and for the writer to gain a deeper understanding of your career goals, professional background, and personality. This is something that can’t be gleaned from your resume alone – but it will definitely help the writer in crafting a more tailored and effective resume for you.
You should go into this conversation prepared to answer questions about your career and be ready to discuss any specific accomplishments or successes that might make an impactful statement. Be willing to talk about yourself – your strengths, weaknesses, what you’re striving to improve – as that will give the writer a better idea of how to write for you.
Writing & revision
Collaboration throughout the writing process
Once your professional resume writer gets to work on your documents, it’s essential to make sure you are available and responsive during the resume-writing process. The best resume services prioritize a collaborative process, so it’s common for you and your writer to exchange emails, review drafts together over the phone or via video call, and make any necessary revisions.
For that reason, you should consult your calendar when booking an online resume service, and avoid times with scheduling conflicts – whether a vacation, long business trip, or any other extended period of unavailability – as you’ll need to be responsive throughout the resume-writing process.
Also, email will be your primary means of communication when it comes to working with your writer, so make sure to check it frequently, especially during the revision period.
Emphasis on results and metrics
During the drafting process, your writer may reach out to you with questions that require further clarification or detail. This is typically done to hone in on your specific accomplishments and contributions with measurable results.
For instance, they may ask you for specific numbers, such as “how much money did you save the company?” or “what was your drastic increase in customer satisfaction?”.
While these questions may require some extra thought and effort, it’s important to answer them thoroughly – the best resumes focus on metrics and results, and professional writers won’t leave any stone unturned.
Multiple drafts & rounds of revision
After your writer works their magic and creates a first draft of your resume, it’s time to review the document. It’s quite unlikely that the first draft will be 100% perfect, but the best online resume services anticipate this and provide time for revisions and input.
You’ll usually be allowed a set number of rounds of revision within a specific timeframe (typically a week), so make sure you don’t miss this window of opportunity. During this revision period, you’ll exchange emails and documents with your writer while they work to refine and perfect your resume.
This back-and-forth process is essential to getting the best resume that reflects your professional strengths and accomplishments – so it’s worth taking the time to do it right. Make sure to review each document carefully and provide clear feedback. The more effort you put into this stage, the closer your resume will come to being perfectly tailored and ready for submission.
By the end of the revision period and after seeing multiple drafts, you should have a resume that’s polished, professional, and most importantly – the perfect representation of who you are as an individual. It’s what makes working with a professional resume service so rewarding.
Wrapping it up: Final drafts
Finally, after all the hard work on both your and your writer’s part – you should receive a downloadable copy of your resume in universal formats (PDF and Word) that you can easily share with potential employers. You typically receive the resume either via email or a download link to the service’s website or portal.
The purpose of the Word resume is to provide you with an editable master document you can tweak for each job you apply to while the PDF ensures a consistent and professional format that any employer can open.
Once you receive these copies, make sure to double-check the content, format, and visual appeal of your resume. It should be the final version that you’ve agreed upon with your writer. If everything checks out, you’re good to go!
Note: Make sure to save this file in multiple places and keep track of your username and password (if applicable) for any future needs. You don’t want to lose this investment!
A perfect resume is in reach
Once you choose the right resume writing service, the rest is a breeze – you’ll find the process to be fun and rewarding! Not only will you gain a better understanding of your professional history (and yourself), but you’ll also end up with a high-quality resume that’s reflective of that.
As a result, you’ll be more confident when applying to jobs and stepping into interviews, knowing that you have a resume that truly captures who you are.
Just remember that the best online resume services require collaboration, communication, and commitment. You’ll get as much out of the process as you put in, so always ask questions, provide clear feedback, and communicate your expectations throughout the whole process.
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