Most of us who have transitioned out of the government or attempted to do something different have struggled with the question, "how do I select a resume writer?"
Finding a resume writer is easy, but assessing whether they actually know what they're talking about and can deliver a high-quality product....that's another thing entirely.
Almost every person out there has a history of spending hundreds of dollars on someone who talked a big game, but ultimately couldn't deliver a product that actually works when applying.
I spend about 6 hours a week discussing the transition with people from all walks of life, and I consistently encourage each of them to do their due diligence, even when they want to work with me. I want people to be 100% confident in their choice, even if it costs me money. When I transitioned out of LE, I worked with multiple resume writers, and I wouldn't recommend any of them today.
Okay Eric, skip to the good part please.
How to Select a Great Resume Writer
Ask your current network, preferably people with similar backgrounds, who they recommend. These individuals already know whether the product they received works and can tell you who to approach and who to stay away from.
Utilize Google and Linkedin to search for resume writers using keywords and phrases, i.e. "law enforcement and "resume writer," "government to private", "cop to corporate," "military to corporate" and "resume," etc.
Once you've narrowed the list to 5, start researching them on their website, Google Business, and through Linkedin. Look specifically for recommendations and testimonials they have from previous clients. If they don't have testimonials or provide their names and how to contact them, that's a red flag.
Once you see testimonials attached to real people you can find on Linkedin, start messaging them, introduce yourself, and ask about their experience using that service. Keep in mind, you should be going back approximately 6 months on the testimonials, because you want to target people who have been using that product for a while or are in a different job.
Questions to Ask Them:
Can you describe your experience with the company?
Did you feel the price was reasonable for what you received?
Have you received any compliments on the product(s) from recruiters or other people in the hiring process?
What was the level of service provided?
How did the resume writer treat you during the process?
Was communication primarily via email, phone, or video?
What is the timeline from start to finish?
Is there a refund policy?
Would you recommend them again? Why or why not?
6. Now interview the company and ask a sample of the following questions:
Why should I hire you?
What is your background and how did you get into this business?
Do you actually have a background in where I'm coming from or what I want to do? If no, why should I hire you?
Will the resume writer I'm working with have a background similar to me? (Several of the "law enforcement to corporate" resume writing companies out there outsource writing to people without a law enforcement background).
Do you maintain metrics on how long it takes your clients to get a job, assuming they follow your advice? (Obviously, this is extremely subjective, but it helps).
Do you help your clients after the service is concluded? Do you remain available for questions?
If the company doesn't offer testimonials that are readily accessible, ask for a sample of previous clients at least 6 months in the past that you can reach out to individually and have a conversation with (very important).
Please describe the products you offer, price point, and process from start to finish.
What is the timeline for product delivery?
7. Ask additional questions of your network, the testimonials, or anyone else in order for you to feel comfortable. Have an honest conversation with yourself about which product(s) you need.
8. Move forward with the service you want and always ask questions if you don't know the answer to anything. If you are not comfortable, do not move forward.
Resume writing is a specialized service, and the prices vary greatly. This is why conducting your due diligence and putting each company through their paces is so important to ensuring you get a great product at a reasonable price.
It's completely OKAY to ask the resume writer why they charge the price they do. A great resume and/or associated products are an investment. Treat it like you're buying something you want to last a long time.
Finally, because I am one of the companies operating in this space, I'll answer a few of my own questions and tell you why you should hire me and Government to Private.
What is your background?
10 years local, state, and federal law enforcement.
7 years in corporate working at Capital One, TD Bank, Facebook, Dell, TikTok, and Expedia Group.
2 years as a hiring manager
1 year as a Sourcer (I go out and find passive candidates who may be interested in specific jobs).
2. Can I talk to your previous clients?
Absolutely, I have over 100+ recommendations on my Linkedin, and they are all on my website too, feel free to reach out to any of them!
3. What is your timeline for product delivery?
On average, depending upon your responsiveness and availability, for a complete resume and Linkedin package, usually less than 1.5 weeks.
4. Do you outsource the work?
I do everything from start to finish. No one else works on your products but me.
5. Is there anyone you don't work with?
Absolutely, all resumes are not created equal. For example, I don't have experience in law or healthcare, therefore I don't create resume for lawyers, healthcare professionals, etc. That being said, I do help almost everyone else, even if you're not from the government. At the end of the day, everyone struggles with the same problem for the most part, which is "how do I translate my experience into what people want to see? Knowing the right questions to ask is crucial for a good resume writer.
6. Do you remain available after services are concluded?
Probably too much :) . I treat all clients as long-term relationships, and I consistently help them as long as I can. If I see a job that fits their experience, I tag them in it or message it to them. If I can facilitate an introduction, I do. If you need to hop on a call with me, we'll do that. I am passionately committed to your success and will work so hard for you, but you have to do the work.
7. How do I determine if we're a good fit for each other?
I offer free 30 min calls to everyone on my website! Book a call, let's chat, and we'll discuss everything. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I guarantee you will leave that conversation much more enlightened than you were previously.
Best of luck to each of you as you navigate this process! It isn't easy, but you are not alone!